Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Flip’s Philosophy

Turning over memories of an OKC classic



 

Way back in 1985, J.R. and Sue Ellen were feuding on the hit TV show “Dallas,” Madonna and Tina Turner were the hottest acts in music and the Coca-Cola company introduced its short-lived “New Coke.” In Oklahoma City, entrepreneurs Gail Vines and Betsy Mitschke had an idea for a new restaurant. They pooled their resources with a group of 17 investors, and on Valentine’s Day, Flip’s became one of the city’s most-beloved new restaurants.

“The name ‘Flip’s’ came from Betsy’s husband,” Vines says. “His name was J.J. San Fillippo, so we shortened it. Within two years, we had enough money to buy out all those other investors, so the two of us owned the restaurant outright.”

Many, many restaurants have come and gone since the 1980s, but Vines believes the secret to Flip’s longevity has several components.

“I have always thought success will kill your business faster than failure,” she says. “We come from a very disciplined background. Some restaurants may start off with a bang and become successful, then they let their food or their service slip. We pride ourselves on both the consistency of our food and our service.”

In fact, she says that’s one thing that sets Flip’s apart from other restaurants.

“We make everything in-house. We make all of our own pastas, we cure our own meats. A lot of restaurants will just deep-fry something and put it on a plate. We take care to make sure our menu is updated regularly and our items are prepared fresh.”

Several years ago, Chesapeake Energy bought many businesses around their campus. Vines said rumors swirled that Flip’s was next.

“Aubrey (McClendon) was always a really good customer,” she says. “He came into Flip’s for lunch just about every day when he was starting Chesapeake. He would have lunch, then usually stay and work for an hour or so. We had a really good friendship.”

As Chesapeake and its holdings increased, Vines said McClendon approached her about buying into the restaurant.

“At the time, my son had cancer, and he ended up dying about three weeks later,” Vines recalls. “I told him, ‘Aubrey, now is not a good time. Besides, I really don’t like the way you operate some of the other restaurants you are involved in.’”

Flip’s did close briefly for a while, but not because of Chesapeake – about five years ago, the restaurant suffered a massive fire.

“Our customers would stop by every day and ask us to not close the restaurant,” Vines says. “We had to make a lot of upgrades to bring the building up to code, which was very expensive. But there was never any doubt we would re-open. And we worked really hard to update the interior, yet keep it as close to the original as possible.”

More than three decades after opening, Flip’s still packs them in every day.

“Flip’s will be here long after Betsy and I are long gone,” Vines says. “We never get tired of serving our customers or hearing their compliments. It is kind of amazing: 33 years in business with two chicks running the place. That’s pretty unusual!”

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Madison Cunningham’s Come-Up

The young singer prepares to open an OKC show for The Punch Brothers

Touring Fort Smith

From the historic courtroom of Judge Isaac Parker to the new Park at West End, Elaine Warner finds plenty of highlights in Arkansas’ second-largest city.

The Palazzolo Palazzo

Designer Lindsay Palazzolo combines neutral shades, multiple textures and a sense of airiness throughout the entirety of her remodeled Nichols Hills palace.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2018

No Events
No Events
No Events
No Events

More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags