A new underground coffee shop/ venue/ art gallery, Notion, opened in downtown Tulsa in March 2020. After operating for only three days they were forced to close due to COVID-19. Now that they have once again opened and are carefully operating during COVID-19, we caught up with founder Greg Baca to learn more about the new business and what they have planned for the future.
Tell me about Notion. Notion is a specialty coffee shop, gallery, and event venue located on the corner of Pride Street and Frankfort Avenue next to the Boxyard. Our name is derived from our quarterly exhibits which we call “notions.” Each Notion has a different theme and art installation created in collaboration with local artists.
Our current Notion is “Life is an Art” and the installation was created by @awhizer of @cleanhandsarmy. The aim of the current Notion is to provoke people to think about what it is that they are creating with the blank canvas of their lives. We built Notion with the dreamers in mind. We wanted to create an inspiring atmosphere where the ideas and notions of others could easily be conceived.
The same creativity and attention to detail that went into the aesthetic is the same given to every drink and menu offering. In addition to our specialty coffee drinks we also offer pastries, made to order fresh salads, sharable plates such as pita with hummus and charcuterie boards, and we even have a few dessert offerings.
How are you operating during COVID-19? COVID-19 had a big impact on us initially. We originally opened with a soft launch in March but were forced to close our doors after only three days of operating. We chose to see the silver lining in the lockdown and used the time to expand our kitchen to offer more items.
We reopened with our grand opening on July 31 and business has been great. Our daily business really feels pretty much like pre-Covid times with the exception of masks while standing, and plenty of hand-sanitizer available. We have a lot of space so it’s very easy to maintain 6 feet of distance. Our customers have been flexible and very easy to work with given the times that we are in. We are grateful for the support the community has already shown toward us.
What are your plans post-pandemic? Our primary plan post pandemic is to take off these masks and welcome even more people into our space!
Tell me about the gallery. We built Notion out in the lower level of a historic 1930s building that is today NEFF Brewing Co. When we first walked into the space it was a raw basement that probably looked pretty much like it did when first constructed. We chose the location in part to let the space itself serve as a metaphor for the creative process. During the first phase of creating almost anything, it looks bare, blank, and raw. This blank canvas is either intimidating, inspiring or a little bit of both. We wanted our space to reflect what can happen to the blank canvas when hard work, creativity and inspiration are applied. For us the gallery is not just about the installations hanging on the walls but about all of the yet unrealized dreams waiting to be unearthed within the hearts of our customers.
Anything you want to add? In addition to being a coffee shop and gallery Notion is also an event venue. We have an auditorium that seats 200+ and is an ideal location for weddings, conferences, workshops and more. Also, occasionally we have special events including after hours events that are only available to Notion subscribers. If you’d like to learn more simply text “notion” to 94090 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.