The Alley set to open at old St. Michael's Alley location
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Restaurant Critic
Friday, October 26, 2012
10/26/12 at 5:30 AM
Brian Biehl, who recently has worked at a trio of McNellie's Group restaurants, will open a new restaurant, The Alley, in Ranch Acres Shopping Center before the end of the year.
It will be located on the back side of the center in space that formerly held St. Michael's Alley for many years and most recently Rick's Café Americain.
"I know the space had a long and colorful history with St. Michael's Alley, so the name is a nod to that history," Biehl said over lunch Wednesday at the Palate Deli, just down the sidewalk from the new restaurant.
Biehl said he plans a gastropub-style menu.
"It will be high-end pub fare, and it's going to have really good beer and wine lists," he said.
Exact hours have not been determined, but Biehl said The Alley will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
St. Michael's Alley opened in 1960 as Tulsa's first San Francisco-style coffeehouse. Baby boomers will remember the high-backed oak booths, dark paneling and subdued lighting.
St. Mike's sometimes featured poets and folk singers, and it would become known for signature dishes such as hot German potato salad, Reuben sandwiches, charburgers and white chili.
The restaurant had several owners, and after a fire it was replaced for a while by the Glen Again. It reopened as St. Michael's Alley in 1988.
In 2008, it closed and was replaced by Rick's Café Americain. Rick's closed in 2011.
"I can't re-create the atmosphere of St. Michael's when it opened," Biehl said. "That would be impossible. But we will have a little something here and there to remind people of it."
To that end, Biehl is even having a couple of booths custom-built to look like the ones from St. Michael's Alley.
Biehl most recently has worked at The Tavern, Fassler Hall and Dilly Deli.
Original Print Headline: The Alley set to open before end of the year
The former site of Rick's Cafe Americain at Ranch Acres will be home to The Alley, a new restaurant from Brian Biehl. The name and decor, he said, is a nod to St. Michael's Alley, which opened at that site in 1960 and had a colorful history. CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World