In the recently published “Our Towns” authors James and Debra Fallows wrote of how often one of the indicators of rebirth in a community is the presence of a brewery that produces local beer that contributes to town’s sense of identity and revitalization. And in Oklahoma City such a brewery, the Elk Valley Brewing Company, is found in a location at 1210 Hudson Avenue in a structure whose façade consists of black tiles that are similar to the ones featured in a retail establishment from a previous era on Commerce Street in the Capital Hill area in South Oklahoma City, and its concrete flooring recalls a previous time of tiled flooring that have left a lasting imprint of where they were in place. But the bar itself is indicative of the modern era, with an array of numerous taps that dispense a wide variety of beers of different quality and alcoholic content with names such as “Tenkiller,” “Magic Juice,” and other memorable titles. It is located in a building situated near the renovated Seiber Apartments on Hudson Avenue, and it has been explained that both the apartments and what is now the brewery where constructed by members of the Seiber family who were developers in Oklahoma City in the period shortly after Oklahoma statehood. During the holiday season, the first floor of the Seiber Building hosts the Pambe Ghana Market which contributes to the festive atmosphere currently found there.
The Elk Valley Brewing Company offered what was described as a ‘preview opening” on Friday, December 14 2018 to commemorate the maiden voyage of the Oklahoma City streetcar that is now traversing an approximately 5.6 mile route in Oklahoma’s Capital City. And an adjacent building, which was formerly a movie theater with a marque that was also constructed by members of the industrious Seiber family , is currently undergoing renovation and will be hosting a restaurant, specialty shops, and other establishments that will soon be part of the on going Midcity renaissance. It’s official opening is set for December 22. The streetcar has a nearby stop that is designated N. Hudson and that site also offers a flotilla of small scooters for impatient travelers who don’t want to wait the estimated ten minutes that elapse between stops at that location. William Faulkner wrote in 1927 of the New Orleans street car that “From Royal Street there cam a hum of a trolley that rose to a staggering clatter, passed on and leaving an interval filled with the gracious sound of inflated rubber on asphalt, like a tearing of endless silk.” But the Oklahoma City streetcar is largely silent, except for the ringing bell sounded when it makes when it pauses to pick up passengers.
The designated stops also includes a map of the route that the vehicle traverses in the city, and one wonders if tee shirts with that route embossed on them will become popular just as the souvenir shirts from London, England ,that feature that city’s underground rail routes have.
The Elk Valley Brewing Company has its main location on N. Meridian Avenue of off Interstate 40, but shrewdly decided to open a retail location in the Midcity area in recognition of the increasing appeal of that area. And the Curbside Chronicle publication told of how the streetcar was brought back to Oklahoma City as a result of the farsighted Jeff Bezdek’s decision to include funding for such an undertaking in the MAPS 3 that he played a role in developing that was approved by the Oklahoma City electorate in 2009. While some critics have worried that the streetcar system may just be a tourist attraction that will really not address the mass transit needs of much of the citizenry, a recent announcement by Mayor David Holt about a federal grant obtained by Oklahoma’s senior lawmaker Senator James Inhofe that will fund an expedited bus service, as well as the recent creation of a regional transport authority for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, suggests that the streetcar and the bus system financed by that grant will possibly in time provide an intermodal mass transit system that will serve Oklahoma City’s residents as well as commuters from it’s suburbs.