Tulsa Route 66 business on its last eggs

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Route 66 News is reporting that the Country Store, on the southside of 11th Street just west of Memorial (a site that was once on the very edge of town), may close soon:

Four decades of urban sprawl later, the Country Store’s location on historic Route 66 is considered part of midtown Tulsa. Farmers are an endangered species, and most of the city’s gardeners are out in the suburbs: Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow.

A perfect storm of big-box stores, urban sprawl, heavy debt, and crop-scorching drought is bearing down on the longtime Tulsa institution and its third-generation owner, Bill Sivadon, and barring any last-minute miracles, it looks as if the business may close for good.

If you aren't looking for the store, you may not notice it, as it sits up a rise and back a bit from the road, but it's been there for 40 years, selling plants, seeds, and animal feed.

There's a chance the business could be saved, but only if folks act now:

Sivadon and his wife, Kathey... reported Tuesday that the store is set to close any day. If they can sell off their remaining stock at retail prices, they may be able to raise enough to pay off their debt and save the business — but time is of the essence. Their creditors have been poised to pull the plug for the past week or so. Wait a day — or even a few hours — and it may be too late to buy one last souvenir and make one last effort to help keep a Route 66 institution alive.

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XonOFF said:

This is a great place. And, the owner knows the answers to almost anything. He's the one who helped me finally get rid of those nasty weeds in my yard.

Rachel Townley said:

Our daughter 22 and son 19 have very fond memories of the Country Store. We took them with us to shop there for all of our garden and lawn needs throught out the years, even after we moved to the 81st and Sheridan area.

I almost cried when John Swinney told me about the Country Store's impending closure. He said he heard about it from the guy who supplies his handles for striking tools. I hotfooted it over there as soon as I was done at Swinney's and begged Bill to tell me it was just a nasty rumor.

I piled $188 worth of merchandise on the counter -- tons of bulbs and seeds and a bunch of stuff I'd looked at and planned to buy "some day" -- before realizing that they couldn't run a credit-card transaction because they'd disconnected the phone line. Bill's immediate response was, "Don't worry about it. We'll just give you the receipt and our address, and you can send us the money when you get it." Typical Bill. I gave Kathey the $40 I had in my purse, and Ron mailed them a check for the rest that night.

The timing was strange: Not 24 hours earlier, I had set up a new blog -- http://indietulsa.wordpress.com -- for the express purpose of reviewing Tulsa's mom-and-pop businesses. I'd planned to make the Country Store my first entry. :(

Rachel Townley said:

To our delight we found the Country Store still open on Saturday and purchased about 130.00 worth of goods we needed. We were able to find about 3/4's of the herb seeds I want to plant this spring. One item we found was Lee's corn cutter in two models(wooden or metal). This will come in handy when Bixby corn is in season(yummy). We bought the last 2 bags of topsoil, the last bag of peat moss and some bags of long horn steer manure. We bought a few packages of those fly catchers(Bill and Kathy have many), you know, the ribbon kind that get caught in your hair if you suspend them to low and forget to duck. We are donating them to the Broken Arrow 4-H Club who still have barns for those kids who want to raise a sheep, goat, horse, chicken, rabbit or a pig for their animal projects. There were still yard ornaments,kitchen crockery and large clay pots available for purchase. I'm checking to see if they are still open today.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 31, 2007 8:48 AM.

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