Tulsa >Orpha's Inc
Downtown dive with longevity and personality. Orpha's has a long history for me. My Dad used to go shoot pool and drink a beer at Orpha's on his lunch hour. When I started working downtown I would go a meet him there (after getting a few Conies to carry in). After a while, my cousin, Harlan, and I would go in to see Dad, visit, and eat conies. Dad is gone now but my cousins, brothers, sister-in-law, et al try to meet in there once a year (usually around Christmas) and have a mini reunion and pay homage to my Dad and... to Orpha's. Live on Orpha's.
BETTER THAN A MOVIE, AND CHEAPER.
I landed in Tulsa on an unplanned six-hour greyhound layover from Albuquerque to Minneapolis at about eight in the evening. Decided to walk a few blocks to see what was around downtown. The streets were practically empty, though. Then I spied Orpha's. "At the very least" I thought "I can get a beer and maybe look in a phone book for a movie theater or something."
Walking in I found a profoundly smoky and run-down little room, with a small square bar, two pool tables, a juke box blasting Dilbert McClinton, three tap selections, plastic pitchers, a hairlip asking for my phone number, about 17 varieties of off-brand liquor in plastic liter containers behind the bar, and a singing bartender, the only other woman in the room besides myself. I got a can of Pabst for 1.50 and decided to stay, despite one particularly drunken patron's repeated insistence that I "could never make it on the streets of Tulsa." The bartender told him to shut up and said "Don't worry honey I'll give you a ride to the station in my cab after I close." This she did. She also heated up one of her TV dinners for me. What hospitality! I was treated to some pool lessons by the only non-creepy man in the bar as well. I got drunk enough to forget the fact that I would spend the next 15 hours on the bus, too.
So, Tulsa came through for me. I am a big fan of dive bars. This one kind of reminded me of the 8 a.m. crowd at Palmer's on the West Bank in Minneapolis, where I used to bat for the home team on a regular basis.
Adventure in Downtown. The perfect bar to leave with a story. Promised. Go expecting martini's and cigars, you will be disappointed (though they do have Sinatra on the jukebox). Go with an adventurous spirit and you will have a tale to tell the grandkids (when the reach 21). A good place to begin the night and tell everyone where you went to get the night started. Mention you drank at Orphas and look at the reaction on peoples faces. Priceless. A great stop for bachelorette pub crawls. Suggested activities- men try to a shot contest with a few hardcore regulars, you will know the meaning of will. Women, pick-up a game of pool and see that everyone will be climbing over each other to play you, plus you will not have to pay for another drink all night.
Well not really sure, we didn't stay long enough to experience the service, or prices. However, I just wanted to save someone from an unpleaseant experiance. This bar is not elegant, or upscale. A couple pool tables, smoke, and a beer drinking crowd is what you will find at this bar. Please don't go to this club if you are looking for anything else.
I only included numbered ratings because I wasn't given a choice.
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