New Oklahoma City group wants shoppers to stay, shop on N May
Merchants on N May Avenue have formed a group to promote the area as a local shopping destination called NOMA.
The newly formed NOMA District stretches from Hefner Road to Memorial Road along N May Avenue.
Preston Moon, owner of Anytime Fitness, 2820 NW 122, and one of the organizers of the new district, said most people don't realize that about 80 percent of the businesses on N May Avenue are locally owned.
The Shoppes at Northpark mall, 12100 N May Ave., is filled with local retailers that many people overlook, he said.
“I feel like it's just a sleepy area, but I think it has a lot of potential and a lot of businesses,” Moon said. “If you pull everyone together, there's actually a lot to talk about. There's just no cohesive gel right now.”
The new merchants group is hosting a launch party Sept. 24 with food trucks, music, inflatables and entertainment.
Kelly Smith, owner of the Keedo Kids Clothing Boutique in the Shoppes at Northpark, said that with more people shopping online, she hopes the new merchants group will help encourage people to spend more of their money in the community.
“Most of us in the district are owner-operated businesses,” Smith said. “We are not a big box retailer and we are trying to get people to come back to our area.”
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Bruce Rinehart, chef and owner of Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine at the Shoppes at North Park, said he decided to get involved in the NOMA effort because he believes merchants can do more to market the area if they team up.
“It's a very diverse area, and there's lots of things in terms of retail, services and entertainment,” Rinehart said. “If you can create an experience overall that complements each other, then it's adding value to the area.”
The merchants group also has begun hosting food trucks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second Saturday of the month at the Shoppes at Northpark. The mall, as well as Quail Creek Bank, 12201 N May, are big sponsors of the new NOMA effort.
There are also several new businesses coming to the area that Moon believes will help draw more people to North May.
Hacienda Tacos, a new restaurant concept created by one of the founders of S&B's Burger Joint, and a new Billy Sims BBQ restaurant plan to open in the Shoppes at Northpark.
Hopscotch, a new restaurant specializing in burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and beer, also is set to open soon in the former Dugout Bar & Grill building at 10909 N May Ave.
The Shoppes at Quail Springs, a new mixed-use development with retail stores on the ground floor at N May and Memorial Road, also is set to be completed early next year.
Kayla Argyle, manager and trainer at Anytime Fitness, said the N May merchants group wants to promote the district as a family friendly shopping destination to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
“We want people to stay in the neighborhood, shop local and supporting local businesses,” she said.