Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Local restaurateur holds contest for Paseo Arts District space

OKLAHOMA CITY - Empire Slice House in the Plaza District is known for its iconic pink elephant and, of course, the pizza. Now, with six concepts, CEO and Founder Rachel Cope is expanding into the Paseo Arts District with a contest.

Cope plans to open her seventh restaurant concept where the American Civil Liberties Union use to be in the Paseo. And, she just announced a contest for the for the 1,000 square foot space where retail store Craig's Emporium used to be.

"It could be anything, flower shops, music stores, retail. Literally, if you can dream it, I'm listening," she said in a video released Monday.

The hopeful tenant will submit their idea online. Cope said she's looking for ideas that will bring more traffic to the district.

"I want to make sure whoever the tenant is of this space isn't only a good business person but really will contribute to the community aspect of the Paseo,” she said.

It's a concept very familiar to Cope. She got her start the same way in the Plaza District.

"We actually lost the contest, and I went to Austin, and I was very sad and I ate at a pizza place down there and thought 'Why didn't I do pizza?'” she said.

But, the first winner didn't work out, and Cope got a second chance.

"And, that became Empire Slice House," she said. "Fowler Auto had actually sponsored six months of our rent in the beginning, so I always thought that was so cool."

The winner of the contest will get three months of free rent paid by Great Plains Bank.

“We have so many creative people here. I have really funky ideas, but I'm really curious to see what someone comes up with,” Cope said.

For more information and to submit your idea, click here.

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