By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The 16th Street Plaza District Association will honor Keith and Heather Paul, owners of A Good Egg Dining Group, as the recipients of the 2015 Urban Pioneer Award. The presentation luncheon will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, 800 N Harvey Ave.
Presented by Fowler Volkswagen of Norman and Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, the Urban Pioneer Award is given annually to individuals in the Oklahoma City community who exemplify Oklahoma’s pioneering spirit with their leadership and commitment to urban revitalization.
“We believe Keith and Heather embody the true spirit of urban pioneers. This is our first year to honor small business owners, and they are a perfect example of entrepreneurs who have made a profound impact on our historic commercial neighborhoods,” said event chair, Aimee Ahpeatone.
In 2000, Keith and Heather opened their first restaurant, Cheevers Café on NW 23rd and Hudson. Due to their vision and passion for historic places, Cheever’s Café continues today to be a staple of the Oklahoma City dining experience and the now growing Uptown 23rd district.
“Heather and I are so surprised and thankful to be receiving The Urban Pioneer Award,” Keith said. “One of the most important elements in building our company has been our love of restoring old spaces in the urban core of Oklahoma City.
“This award seems to give all of our projects another level of success we weren’t expecting. We are having a blast doing what we love in this great city.”
Since Cheevers Café, Keith and Heather’s innovative spirit has continued to revitalize the historic commercial areas their restaurant’s are an important part of. These include Iron Star BBQ at 36th and Shartel, RED Primesteak in Automobile Alley, Kitchen 324 in downtown Oklahoma City, Tuckers Onion Burgers (three locations) and The Drake, which is coming soon to the Uptown 23rd District.
With each of these endeavors the Paul’s saw a need for a quality dining experience and channeled their abilities for re-imagining historic properties.
“We are food people…from the inside out,” Keith said. “A Good Egg Dining Group creates unique tastes and memorable dining with every one of our Oklahoma City restaurants. That’s how we bring good food to other food people just like us.
We also take pride and joy in delivering true hospitality,” he added. “So if you can feel that love of food and comfort in our restaurants – from our people to your plate – then we have been good eggs, indeed.”
This is the eleventh year for the award. Previous honorees include Tom McDaniel, Lou Kerr, Meg Salyer, Mike Turpen, Mark Funke, Ann Simank, Steve Mason, Bill and Bob Ross, Wayne and Michelle Coyne, Chip Fudge, and Midtown Renaissance.
The event is the largest fundraiser each year for the Plaza District Association. Proceeds support ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts.
New this year, a special Urban Pioneer Award Happy Hour will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8 at Oak and Ore, 1732 NW 16th St. in the Plaza District.
Presented by Oak and Ore and Anthem Brewing Company, the happy hour will feature behind the scenes stories from Keith and Heather Paul in a casual environment with local craft beer by Anthem Brewing Company and light bites by our host, Oak and Ore.
Individual tickets for the luncheon cost $45 and tickets for the happy hour are $25 each. Both can be purchased at www.plazadistrict.org/upa. A bundle option is available including tickets to both the luncheon and happy hour for $65.