Bobby Dean Orcutt is a Tulsa native with more than 24 years of experience in the service industry as a laborer, manager, and Tulsa business owner. Born at St. John’s hospital to working-class parents—his mom was a career waitress and his dad a carpenter—Bobby Dean respects the people whose families and work makes Tulsa the community that it is.
As co-owner of Mercury Lounge—a beloved neighborhood dive bar by day and regional benchmark music venue by night—he already brings his business acumen and community-mindedness to bear in District 4. Located at the corner of East 18th Street and South Boston Avenue, Mercury Lounge is just one facet of what makes District 4 a hub for local culture and community.
During the Covid-19 pandemic and related shutdowns, Bobby Dean worked tirelessly to keep Mercury Lounge employees and the bands that play there safely employed. Across the country, as music venues closed and their employees and touring gigs were out of work, Bobby Dean and his employees thrived because of dollars-and-sense approach to the pandemic: do what’s right to keep everyone in business. Because of this, the Live Music Society awarded Mercury Lounge a prestigious grant in 2021. He also grew a new business out of that time period: SSDD Print Co., a full-service screen-printing operation that allowed him to keep his employees working when there wasn’t other work to be had.
A love for Tulsa, a spirit of collaboration, and a keen interest in local government and business run in Bobby Dean’s blood. Just across the street from his birthplace sits Swan Lake, which was once Orcutt family property before being annexed by the City of Tulsa in the late 1920s. At that spring-fed watering hole, Colonel A.D. Orcutt—a member of Oklahoma’s first legislature and one of the individuals credited with naming Tulsa—ran a cattle ranch. Later, A.D.’s oldest son developed the area into an amusement park. Orcutt Park featured a movie theater, ice skating rink, and the state’s first roller coaster. In 1910, Orcutt Park’s 4th of July celebration boasted 10,000 attendees. Today, Bobby Dean lives in the Swan Lake neighborhood and continues his family legacy of placemaking and stewardship.
Bobby Dean is also no stranger to hardship. Due to an abusive stepfather, he became a high school dropout and homeless teen in Reno, Nevada, working service industry jobs to stay alive. When he was 19 years old, he moved back to Oklahoma to be near family and get his life on track. A year later, he became a proud father to Aidan, who is now a student at Tulsa Community College and supports herself by working as a server at a lively, locally-owned restaurant. Bobby Dean’s biggest win in life, he says, is providing for his child the kind of safety, structure, and support he didn’t have.
He brings that same care and commitment to District 4, with its large population of service industry professionals who live and work in an area that depends on a healthy tourism and hospitality economy. He knows the decisions made here impact those folks twice. He also understands the kind of solutions-based, humanitarian responses needed to address homeless populations in the area and keep the community safe.
Bobby Dean is ready to get up everyday and work to protect District 4's time and money. He's prepared to use City resources to support and grow what's already here: an amazing network of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. In his own work, before making executive decisions, he consults with his employees. He’ll do the same in District 4: he’s here to be a candidate for everyone. He isn’t here to push personal or partisan beliefs, but to represent the community. To that end, he’ll be an accessible City Councilor—ready to listen, receive feedback, and act for the collective will.
Tulsa is on an amazing path. Bobby Dean Orcutt will help keep Tulsa on it.