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Posted: May 13, 2014

Update: Shotgun Sam's Pizza Palace re-opens today in Tulsa

Owners want to bring back family atmosphere, good food

Shelby Travis
"I'm Shotgun Sam the Pizza Man, I run the Pizza Palace. Shotgun Sam that's who I am and my horse's name is Alice."

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            Update: Shotgun Sam's Pizza Palace re-opens today in Tulsa
Shotgun Sam's

            Update: Shotgun Sam's Pizza Palace re-opens today in Tulsa
Shotgun Sam's

By Rick Couri

After a gap of 35 years, the Tulsa icon will begin tossing dough and serving pies at 5 p.m. To say people are excited about it, may be an understatement.

 "While we've been under construction we've probably turned away 800 or 900 people a week," owner Jim Rice told KRMG news.

 "The one that killed me was on Mother's Day," Rice began as he continued working to put the finishing touches on the dining area. "Guy pulls up out here, gets out with his wife and two little kids and says 'are you not open?'

 "I said no, it's gonna be Tuesday," Rice continued. "He just looked devastated and told me they had come all the way from Oklahoma City to eat here on Mother's Day."

 That's the kind of emotion and memory many have of the pizza place that scores of little league teams, and families frequented decades ago.

Rice and his staff were at the restaurant until Midnight on Monday making last minute touches. "The Health Department threw us a few curves, but we'll be ready tomorrow at noon" he proudly proclaimed.

 When Jim was asked what excited him the most about his noon opening, his answer was thoughtful. "Getting to live the dream that four men lived in the earlier days who owned this corporation," he began. "We want to follow in their footsteps and provide people with a quality pizza they can't get anywhere else." 

Original story below.

The restaurant will be re-born later this month in the London Square Shopping center at 56th and Lewis.

Jim Rice is one of the men behind the venture, he told KRMG news “Shotgun Sam’s was a great family place. Tulsa doesn’t have anything like that right now.”

Rice remembers the golden days of the pizza place. “There was a room with games for kids on the right when you walked in, and there was a piano in there, there were things for families.”

As much as Rice wants to re-create the atmosphere, he’s even more focused on the food.

“We’re bringing back the corn meal dusted crust that made it so good,” he bragged.

The Shotgun Sam’s at 21st and Sheridan was a hotspot for youth sports teams.

Workers making the dough were behind large glass windows near the door of the restaurant allowing hungry visitors to watch as their pizza was made.

Diners sat at long tables and were given playing cards to claim their pies.

When your pizza was ready you weren’t “order number 12,” but instead the ace of spades or ten of diamonds.

Despite closing in 1979, the restaurant still has a Facebook page full of fans.

Rice hopes to clear some final hurdles with red tape and be open within about three weeks.

You can bet when they do, KRMG will be there.  


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