Lost restaurants of Tulsa: The 1800 and The Garden
The Garden closed in 1995. Today, the Wild Fork occupies the space.
Courtesy Howard Hopkins Collection
Restaurants might come and go in Tulsa, but many have made their mark on our city’s history for their food, service, owners and atmosphere. Here’s one serving of Tulsa’s gastronomic history from “Lost Restaurants of Tulsa.”
Before it was The Garden tea room, the restaurant was known simply as “The 1800.” It was operated by the Carters (co-developers of Utica Square) and the Powers family before it transitioned into The Garden in 1967.
The Garden was operated by Gerri Freeman and Peggy Helmerich; it was designed to offer an unparalleled dining experience in Tulsa. Each room was elaborately decorated around a specific theme. Helmerich explained: “In the west room, (decorator Jack Wagor) wallpapered the walls with stylized tulips … sort of contemporary. And then, he made chandeliers … that brought the colors together. He did sconces on the wall … it was sort of fabulous. It just knocked your socks off.” Another room was stylized around an iris theme with purple, blue and lavender. “The middle room was for men,” for a period of time. “It had beautiful fixtures with great big copper plates … it looked very masculine. That was the Geranium Room.”
The Garden became quite a social hub. It was the site of wedding showers, bridal luncheons and fashion shows. After The Garden closed in 1995, the space evolved once again. Today, the Wild Fork occupies the space.