Local Business Highlight- Palace Cafe

As many of you already know, Cherry Street has become one of those iconic areas of Tulsa, that you just fall in love with every time you drive through. If you've been or dined on Cherry Street, then you've surely noticed this little café on the corner of 15th and Peoria named Palace Café, which opened in 2002.  It's one of those cafes that while driving by you always look in and think about taking your significant other or family to.  Well, let us be the first of many to say, if you haven't stopped by then you're truly missing out on a culinary experience.  

Several months ago, Chef James Shrader who has been with the restaurant since 2002,  become the owner and operator of this establishment along with Prairie Fire Pie and Kitchen 27 in Philbrook.  Chef James a native of Seattle, Washington had only been in Tulsa 6 years before he realized his life-long dream of opening his own fine-dining restaurant.  His dream came true with the transition from chef to owner at the beginning of 2021. With Palace Café being a chef-owned restaurant, you can expect great pride in the menu development and the execution of the menu.  The passion that Chef James has in his menu is felt in every bite of each dish.  It's a true culinary experience that never disappoints! 

Here are a few questions and answers that we asked Chef James Shrader that we wanted to share with you.


WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CULINARY INSPIRATION OVER THE YEARS?

Experiencing other restaurants and food while traveling.  When traveling, I feel like I always bring back an idea or an inspiration from someplace that my wife and I experienced on our vacations.  Sometimes this inspiration comes from obvious places like amazing restaurants in large cities like New York, San Francisco, or Seattle.  But other times I have been equally inspired by a fantastic meal experience in an unexpected beachside restaurant on the Pacific coast of Mexico.  Good food is good food and is always inspiring.

WHAT ARE YOU BEST KNOWN FOR?

Our seasonally inspired menu.  Palace has featured a menu change with every season since we opened in 2002.  We take inspiration from the local growing season and feature menu items that reflect that.  This keeps things fresh as far as the menu goes and allows our guests the opportunity to try new things every 3 months or so.  We consistently get phone calls around each change of season wanting to know if the new menu is out.


WHAT ONE SPECIFIC ITEM DO YOU WANT TO HIGHLIGHT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

We make everything in the house.  From our fresh sourdough table bread [made fresh daily] to our desserts and everything in between.  That is the benefit of a chef/owner being responsible for the kitchen, my expectation is that everything is freshly made and very flavorful. I aim for perfection all the time.

DOES PALACE CAFE OFFER CATERING? 

Palace Cafe is the flagship of our restaurants. In 2017, I got the opportunity to open Prairie Fire Pie, our sister restaurant right next door to Palace. Then in 2018, we added Kitchen 27 to the Philbrook Museum of Art.  On top of that, we have a robust catering business, we cater everything from intimate in-home dinner parties to events for up to 750 people. It is always fun to work with clients to make their vision for a special event come to life. I have loved growing this business I am passionate about.


DOES PALACE CAFE HAVE ANY FUN FACTS OR HISTORY?

Palace was once an Alhambra Hardware Store built-in 1901.  We had a lot of fun unearthing the secrets of the space when we built the Palace out originally in 2002, 101 years after it was built.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO COMBAT COVID-19?

Previously all staff was wearing masks in accordance with CDC guidelines, and guests were asked to as well. However at this point, all of our current staff has been vaccinated, and so it is now optional for them to wear masks as long as we have proof of vaccination, again in accordance with guidelines.  We ask that guests wear masks when unvaccinated as well for the protection of other guests and our staff. Our high back booths provided a very COVID safe environment for our guests automatically, while everyone else was building partitions, ours were already in place!

We will wrap up this local business highlight by saying this, a restaurant becomes an icon because of consistency, quality, and passion.  So, the next time that you're driving down Cherry Street, or wondering about where to have dinner tonight make Palace Café your next stop. We promise you won't be disappointed!

Palace Cafe Address: 

1301 East 15th Street 15th &, S Peoria Ave

Tulsa, OK 74120

 (918) 582-4321