918 Coffee recently set up shop on Route 66.
Coffee shop owners Morad and Annie El-Raheb
Attention, coffee lovers: there’s a new gig on Route 66. And it doesn’t serve your average cup of joe.
Although housed in an old service station from the early 1900s, 918 Coffee is anything but typical.
Morad El-Raheb and his wife, Annie, have created an upscale coffee house right down the street from The University of Tulsa. The shop has been open since July 2013.
“Our son went to TU, and we really like the area,” says El-Raheb, a physician from Egypt who has lived in Tulsa for more than 23 years. “We also thought a coffee shop on Route 66 would be a good addition.”
918 Coffee is housed in what used to be the old George Tune auto shop. The cottage-style building was constructed in 1928. The El-Rahebs made every effort to maintain the integrity of the historic building, including the original steel beams and the small cottage attached to the garage of the gas station that they turned into the coffee shop entrance.
Other elements are a nod to the property’s former life.
“When I bought this building, they had these fabulous toolboxes that were used from the 1940s, so I had them redone,” El-Raheb says. “We use them as condiment stations. They look amazing.”
While the couple maintained historical elements, the coffee house exudes a modern, clean feel with an art deco twist.
918 Coffee serves a variety of coffee, tea and smoothie drinks along with an assortment of baked goods and hot gourmet sandwiches. The shop is open seven days a week and has 15 employees.
Customers range from college students, retirees from the nearby neighborhood, business professionals and Hillcrest employees.
“Business has been very good so far,” El-Raheb says. “We offer great products in a fun atmosphere that keeps bringing people back.”
In the near future, they hope to expand their live music offerings and vinyl record nights, which will feature a music artist on
The El-Rahebs had no prior experience in the food industry, but running a coffee shop is something they have always wanted to do. And they don’t feel pressure from the larger chains such as Starbucks.
“We offer a completely different experience than a Starbucks,” El-Raheb says. “Everything is freshly made with quality ingredients, and our atmosphere is very unique.”
Tulsa sets sail
by Alana Jamison
A new Navy vessel will bear Tulsa’s name.
The USS Tulsa is one of two littoral combat ships (LCS) set for construction by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. USS Tulsa (LCS No. 16 out of 17) will be the second Navy ship named for Tulsa.
Littoral combat ships execute focused missions close to shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The ship design is flexible, allowing the Navy to build an affordable, multi-mission ship.
The tradition of naming of vessels after states’ most populous cities “forms a bond between a city’s residents and the Sailors and Marines who serve in its namesake ship,” says Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “For decades to come, these ships will sail in the fleet, building partnerships and projecting power around the world.”
2002 Marked the beginning of the littoral combat ship program.
16 Littoral combat ships will be constructed for the Navy by the time of USS Tulsa’s construction. The first littoral combat ship was delivered in 2008.
4 Littoral combat ships are stationed in San Diego, but the Navy is still determining a homeport for the USS Tulsa.
4 Other ships were recently named after U.S. cities along with the USS Tulsa, including the new littoral combat ship USS Billings and three other joint high-speed vessels.
2 Years after the laying of the keel, the USS Tulsa should be delivered to the ship’s homeport.
40 Knots (approximately 46 miles per hour) is the average speed of a littoral combat ship.
419 feet: length of the USS Tulsa, once completed.