Around Town: Local business supports the causes we love

Neighborhood JA.M., 102 W. Main St., will open in July. The Norman site will be the second location of these locally owned Hal Smith restaurants. The outside of the building is designed to look like the original Denco Cafe.

June Bug Jam, Transition House’s annual show celebrating life and the agency’s biggest fundraiser, was a huge success. The Saturday event provided a showcase of talent with lots of audience interaction. 

We danced, we sang along, we cried, we laughed. I only wished all of Norman was there to enjoy the talented performers, hear the heart-wrenching stories of recovery and to experience the spirit of love and unity at this family-friendly event.

Equally impressive were the community sponsorships. While there were many from individuals, most of the larger sponsorships were from Norman businesses. It really made me think about how many great events and organizations in Norman are supported by our local businesses.

Sponsors make local 5K and cycling events, like the upcoming Norman Conquest, successful because sponsors help cover the cost of the event and the perks that draw more participants. That means more dollars go directly to the designated cause.

Local businesses support festivals, the Second Friday Art Walk, Norman parades, and dozens of fundraisers like June Bug Jam. Our businesses lead the way for the annual United Way campaigns, encouraging employee participation and serving as community pacesetters.

I am fortunate that my job puts me in a position to learn about so many great agencies that serve various populations throughout Norman from Transition House that serves those recovering from mental health to Progressive Independence that advocates for persons with disabilities to Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Food and Shelter, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Full Circle Adult Day Center, Meals on Wheels and many, many more.

Without those agencies, many of our most vulnerable folks would suffer rather than live triumphant and jubilant lives that allow them to also give back.

We are all connected in this community, this world.

Without our local businesses giving back to Norman, we would have much fewer resources. So, please, take a minute this week and give back to those local businesses through patronizing them. Because the only thank you they really want from us, is to be able to continue to serve our community by doing what they love. #ShopNorman #DineNorman #LoveNorman


Downtown Norman

Neighborhood JA.M., 102 W. Main St., part of the Hal Smith restaurant group has moved its opening date back to July. The Norman site will be the second location.

Lazy Circles Brewing, 422 E. Main, has started a weekly 16 mile bike ride on Wednesdays, leaving at 6 p.m. led by brewer Stephen Basey. This is a no drop ride, however please make sure you can keep an average of 15 mph on a road bike to participate. This ride will go out east Norman towards 60th Avenue. Helmets and lights are required. After the ride, enjoy a free beer for ages 21 and over.

Plans for BIG Brew Co. brewery with taproom is proposed for 216 East Main St. (south side of Main at Peters Avenue) are moving forward with plans to open in the fall. BIG Brew plans to have eight to 10 taps and expand to 12-15 as the market allows. Their business plan is to rotate beer options so there is always something new on tap.

The Red Room event center, 114 W Main St., is gone, replaced by offices that owner, attorney Aaron Stiles took back to their original historic color.


Northwest Norman

Tribute Memorial Care is building a new funeral home at 3601 Tecumseh Dr. for a $1.8 million investment, according to city building permits.

The Press & Plow, 2596 W. Tecumseh Rd., appears to be nearing completion. Based on a March building permit, it’s a coffee shop, but it looks like one side offers coffee and “provisions” while the other side offers fine wine and spirits. In the same Tecumseh Retail Center, Land Run Grill is also nearing completion including a sizable patio. These join RCB Bank, Flaunt and Amour Nails & Spa.

Brookfield Custom Homes LLC received an occupancy permit for the Keller Williams office, 3421 W. Rock Creek Rd., Suite 100 valued at $140,000.

Brookfield Custom Homes LLC received a new shell permit at 3311 W. Rock Creek Rd. for Legacy Office Park valued at $500,000, according to building permits. Monterey Construction Office will take Suite 130 of the Legacy Office Park with a $105,000 value.

Full Circle Adult Daycare Center guests and staff are getting new digs at 4223 28th Ave. NW. The $1.16 million facility is just getting started and will be built by Landmark Fine Homes.


Northeast Norman

Lions Park, 1800 Northcliff Ave., will get a new pavilion worth $150,000, according to city building permits.

Campus and Campus Corner

Othello’s, 434 Buchanan Ave., is aiming for a reopening the second week in July. Spearman Investments, Inc. is putting $50,000 worth of repairs into the restaurant.

Chase Bank is moving away from its current location, 116 S Peters Ave. across from Cleveland County Courthouse, to 215 W. Boyd St. on Campus Corner. The grand opening is slated for Aug. 20. The county plans to build a parking garage to serve downtown Norman on the current location.

The Porch, 311 West Boyd St., is open. Owned by Norman’s own Ryan and Mary Beth Broyles, along with Joey Bess and proprietor Ray Reyes, the local eatery is aiming to create a community feel. The restaurant serves sandwiches, a signature line of flavored adult teas, wine and beer. Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options are also on the menu.

Kong’s Tavern will open in the spring at the former site of Brothers. Coming soon: Skinny Slim’s, 320 White St., a sports bar.


Lindsey Street

Sooner Pharmacy, 1811 W Lindsey St., recently opened a drive-through window.


West Norman

The Neighborhood Market Walmart at 3571 W. Rock Creek Rd. is undergoing a $116,000 remodel.

Walmart expects to spend an estimated $42 million over the next year in Oklahoma through the remodeling of 12 stores as well as the rollout of several in-store and online innovations designed to help busy customers save time and money. The spend is part of Walmart’s total capital expenditures guidance of approximately $11.0 billion for Fiscal Year 2019, which was outlined last October at the company’s annual meeting for the investment community and reiterated in February 2018.

The Moore location, 640 S.E. 4th St. is also on the list slated for improvements.

CiCi’s Pizza, 540 W. Main St., is doing $90,000 worth of fire damage repairs, according to a recent building permit.

Inside Sooner Mall, Journeys, the teen-oriented chain supplying casual, surf and skate-inspired clothes, shoes and accessories, is finishing up a $44,800 remodel.

Robinson Village, LLC, 501 E. Robinson St., a $552,284 investment received a building permit to do foundations. The facility will be an active seniors community. Services will not include medical care, but will be similar to Brookhaven Mansions, with a variety of ages who want to live in a community that provides transportation, meals, activities, day trips and other services.

“Well provide some office space if physicians want to come out and make rounds. This seems to be an unmet need in Norman,” said Hal Ezzel, one several partners in the project. “Everyone involved in this is local.”

A building permit was recently issued for a remodel of the Delta Norman by Marriott, 1000 Interstate Dr.

Norman Music Institute Theater is expanding and is building a new location just down the block from their currently location. The new address at 2795 Broce Dr., represents a $500,000-plus investment and should be completed by August.


Ed Noble Parkway

Gaberino’s Homestyle Italian Restaurant is moving to the old Chili’s building, 400 Ed Noble Parkway. Owners Mitch and Laura Duprez said they recently closed on property which they purchased. They will open this summer and are targeting mid-July. Gaberino’s is currently located in Red Bud Plaza where it has been for the last seven years.

The new space will be larger and allow for a full bar including mixed beverages. There will also be a patio and a special event room. The restaurant also includes vegan and gluten free options.

“It’s a great area and it’s accessible,” said Laura of Ed Noble Parkway. “I hope we’ll be part of the revitalization.”

Alameda Square and east Norman

A new construction building permit was recently issued for the 24th Ave. Church of Christ, 1660 24th Ave. SE, across the street and to the southwest of Ronald Reagan Elementary. The estimated value of the new church is $768,000.

FFO Home discount furniture store is coming to 831 Sonoma Park Dr. north of Walmart on 12th Avenue NE. According to the new construction building permit, the value of the future store will be $1.65 million.

Sister’s Mediterranean Taste, 1400 12th Ave. SE in East Village at 12th Ave, Suite 312, with a $74,000 value. Owned by three sisters from Lebanon, the new restaurant offers everything from tabouli to vegetarian falafel to kebbah, kafta, gyros and more and is already getting good reviews from locals.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 12:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Sister’s is closed on Sundays.


University North Park

A GoHealth Urgent Care, 2312 24th Ave. NW is coming just northwest of Embassy Suites. An interior finish building permit for the $335,000 facility was issued recently.

Brain Balance will be coming to Norman at 1806 24th Ave. NW. Brain Balance helps children who struggle behaviorally, socially, and academically through a holistic and integrated approach that is customized to meet the needs of each child. The nationwide franchise already has a location in Oklahoma City.

A CarMax Auto Superstore is coming south of W. Rock Creek Road fronting Interstate Drive making it visible from Interstate 35. CarMax is the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. Pieper O’Brien Herr Architects is overseeing the project.

University North Park Professional Center Shell Building at 3501 24th Ave. NW received Certificate of Completion on Dec. 22. The valuation of the 25,600 square building was reported at $2.2 million.

Plans are also moving forward for a four-story Residence Inn with 124 rooms east of 24th Avenue NW on the south side of Conference Drive near Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn Express.


Classen Avenue

Sandy Beaches Sun Spa, 2627 Classen Blvd. Suite 124 is doing a $50,000 expansion.

“We are expanding our Classen location to add more spa services and sunbeds,” said Sandy Beaches General Manager Brittany Byers.

Classen Crossing Apartments, 2608-2664 Classen Blvd. recently received an occupancy permit from the city. Classen Crossing features two and three bedroom units in a private, gated community. That community is comprised of 44 smoke-free units with upscale interiors, energy efficient stainless steel appliances, over the range microwave, washer and dryer and access to the 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center at East Village.

In addition to 24-hour coded access, the pet-friendly apartment complex has a courtesy patrol and is a Crime-free Norman community. The landscaped grounds include exterior lighting, a pet walk area, outdoor picnic grilling areas and social fire pit areas. To learn more see

Classen Landing, 1915 Classen Blvd., bought a new shell building permit for a $1.6 million investment. Classen Landing will include over 19,000 square feet of new retail shops and a restaurant at Classen and Lindsey coming in the fall.

A building permit for $700,000 construction value for new construction indicates a Star Bucks Restaurant is coming to 3051 Classen Blvd.

Norman Development, a social media site run by a local realtor is reporting a Wendy’s is set to be the restaurant tenant for a new development in South Norman on Classen Blvd North of Highway 9.

A building permit was issued for $1.75 million construction value for new construction of The Wash Factory car wash, 2721 Classen Blvd.

The city recently approved a preliminary plat for Cedarwood Development Group’s plan to build an OnCue gas station, car wash and restaurant oat the northwest corner of Classen Boulevard and State Highway 9.

Expect a new Aldi grocery store at south Classen Avenue and Highway 9. This will be the second Norman location.


Southeast Norman

Private school, Terra Verde, 1000 36th Ave. SE, recently purchased a $1.6 million building permit for new construction to build a combination gym, auditorium, and cafeteria with construction starting in February and hopes for an August 2018 completion date. The school recently completed a new middle school wing in August 2017.


Main Street

An expansion of the offices for various Rieger entities at 136 Thompson Dr. is finishing up at $500,000.

Starbucks at 820 W. Main St. will undergo a $500,000 remodel.

Cellar Wine & Spirit, 555 W. Main St., is one of many local liquor stores adding interior coolers since recent state law changes.


Residential building permits for – May 24-30

Six permits for new single family residences were issued with a combined reported valuation of $1,243,120. The average reported value is $207,187. Twenty three permits for addition or alterations to residential property were issued with a combined reported valuation of $350,450. Fifteen of which were storm shelters.

Four applications for new single family residences were submitted with a reported valuation of $1,889,698. The average reported value is $472,425. Four applications for addition or alteration to residential property were submitted with a reported value of $19,890. Three of which were storm shelters.


Stephen C. Jones earns AIF designation from Fi360

Stephen C. Jones of Voya Financial Advisors has been awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the standards-setting body for Fi360. The AIF designation signifies specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care. The designation is the culmination of a rigorous training program, which includes a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor, and agreement to abide by the Center’s Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards. On an ongoing basis, completion of continuing education and adherence to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards are required to maintain the AIF designation.

Jones is an Investment Advisor for Voya Financial Advisors. He specializes in putting his client’s interest ahead of his own. He believes the manager of your retirement investments should have a proven approach to help clients protect their assets and grow wealth. That your financial advisor should act in a fiduciary capacity and provide independent, objective investment advice.


Local Health System and Urgent Care Clinics form new partnership

Norman Regional Health System and Immediate Care of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City metro’s leader in urgent care clinics, are partnering with an aim to provide seamless and comprehensive medical care for people in central Oklahoma.

The partnership, which began in April 2018, provides patients more locations and more convenience when it’s time to seek non-emergent medical care. Immediate Care of Oklahoma has five locations in the metro area which are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

The urgent care clinics provide illness and injury treatment, immunizations, and have on-site lab and x-ray services.  Patients also have the convenience to schedule online appointments at any of the clinics.

Like Norman Regional Health System, Immediate Care is locally-owned and operated. 

Norman Regional is a not-for-profit hospital system that includes hospitals, emergency departments, physician clinics, an online telehealth virtual care and now urgent care centers.

Immediate Care of Oklahoma has locations in:

Edmond, 805 W. Covell Road, Edmond, OK 73003. Call 405-400-0982

Norman 24th, 800 24th Ave Norman, OK 73069. Call 405-896-7292

Norman Tecumseh, 3400 Tecumseh Road, Norman, OK 73072. Call 405-838-1638

West Moore, 11808 S. May Ave., Moore, OK 73170. Call 405-703-9896

I-240 & Sooner Road, 5700 SE 74th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73135. Call 405-896-7112


Introducing the ExpressJobs App

Bringing job seekers and recruiters closer together than ever, Express Employment Professionals announces the release of its much-anticipated ExpressJobs app.

The new app is a significant step in the digital transformation of the company, which believes in creating a personalized experience for job seekers while harnessing the power of technology.

With more than 12,000 jobs currently posted to ExpressJobs, the app leverages machine-learning models and intelligent search to help users easily find jobs in their area, link to their social networks, apply to jobs, schedule interviews, access resources and manage their employment details, all within the same platform. Additional features include live messaging capabilities to allow Express staff and job seekers to be in constant contact. This allows staffers to develop real relationships with job seekers and continue to maintain these touchpoints throughout their careers. 

For current Express associates, ExpressJobs gives them easy access to work assignment history and documents, such as payment history and employment forms, in addition to helping users view their schedule, clock in and out, submit timecards and much more. 

ExpressJobs is available to download for free for Apple and Android products through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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