Metro Outdoor Living store focuses on patio kitchens
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 2:37 AM
Winter isn't even here yet, but the crew at Metro Outdoor Living is already thinking about grilling season.
Tulsa-based Metro Appliances & More has opened an outdoor kitchen and dining concept store, Metro Outdoor Living, hoping to tap into one of the fastest-growing segments of the home industry.
The new retail showroom at 6235 S. Mingo Road eschews the parent company's focus on appliances in favor of outdoor living spaces, from high-end grills, outdoor fireplaces and custom outdoor kitchen and living spaces.
"People used to just want a propane grill outside, but now their patio is an extension of their home," said Mark McCoy, manager of the new store.
Metro Appliances & More has sold appliances and building accessories for more than three decades in Tulsa and has expanded to 11 stores in Oklahoma and surrounding states.
The new store is just a mile from its sister store, Metro Appliances and More, at 5313 S. Mingo Road.
Metro Outdoor Living dedicates 25,000 square feet to the patio concept, including seven fully functioning outdoor kitchen setups with everything from sinks and grills to griddles and flat-panel televisions.
McCoy said outdoor kitchens must be flexible enough to keep up with trends in outdoor appliances, with new products coming every year.
"I really think the biggest change we've seen lately is the variety," McCoy said. "Just a few years ago you were pretty limited in your selection, but now they have selection for everything."
With the new concept, Metro Appliances hopes to move into a business almost entirely dominated by home builders and landscapers - designing full outdoor living spaces.
The store is a unique blend of retail showroom and custom design center.
McCoy, who came to the company after working for a landscaping outfit designing outdoor kitchens, said he spends much of his time designing stone kitchens and wooden arbors that house the eating and living spaces.
After working on designing a space with customers, McCoy said he turns the work over to contractors who can do the stonework and install natural gas and electric lines.
The store also sells high-end patio furniture, grilling accessories and even outdoor paintings, which are waterproofed to stand up to the elements.
McCoy said the paintings in particular have been a big seller since the store opened a month ago.
But the focus with outdoor living spaces is still on barbecuing and grilling.
The store has tried to focus on the newest trends in outside cooking, bringing in ceramic barbecues that are supposed to cook juicier food and custom smokers for serious barbecue fans.
"We even have an outdoor dishwasher," McCoy said. "It's the only one on the market."
Metro Outdoor Living
Outdoor appliances, furniture, accessories and living space design
6235 S. Mingo Road
Size: 25,000 square feet
Opened: Nov. 2012
Original Print Headline: Outside is in
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
The Metro Outdoor Living store focuses on furniture, barbecues and fireplaces for the patio kitchen. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Mark McCoy is manager of Metro Outdoor Living, which focuses on furniture, barbecues and fireplaces for outdoor use. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World