The firm that operates the long-running Deep Ellum rock club Trees and the Gypsy Tea Room has filed for bankruptcy. Another blow to what used to be Dallas’s only truly bohemian section. But Deep Ellum is a venue that may have run its course. It used to be a place that the botton-down crowd could go and observe exotic life forms and feel a slight tingle of danger. Once the Skin Head gangs were driven out there wasn’t much danger until the last couple of years. But Deep Ellum has gotten pretty rough lately. There is a sinister feel even in daylight. The pioneer restaurants like East Wind, the Deep Ellum café and Sambuca have departed or folded. Downtown and Uptown (and soon Victory) offer safer havens. Then there is the irritation of the constantly circling 24X7 parking meter squad. Sad.
So far as I know PenWrite was the only store in a Metropolitan area of over 3 million that offered a full array of pens – from the hyper expensive – to the mundane ballpoint. It was the only place you could take a vintage pen for repair. It closed its doors last week. You would think a location in Inwood Village between the Park Cities and Preston Hollow would be perfect. These days for niche retailers it appears the only profitable location is on the Internet.
Main Street Revival
If you haven’t driven down Main Street in downtown lately give it a try. There are half a dozen buildings undergoing either construction or conversion. And the makeover of the Mercantile block is still a few months from its start. Maybe this stuff about a downtown revival is real this time. Nearly all of these projects received City backing. And Laura Miller voted “yes” on each and every one. Good think none of the developers are named Hunt.
If you haven’t made it to the Dallas Arboretum for their Dallas Blooms Autumn edition there is one week left. The Arboretum is one of Dallas’s real treasures and there is nothing better to do on a bright crisp afternoon than pass a couple of hours there. By the way, it is as kid friendly as any place can be.
So long Hank
Hank Haney’s driving range on McKinney has been around for only a dozen years so it doesn’t qualify as an institution but it was a great asset to an infant Uptown. The value of finding this big patch of green and lights in such an urban environment cannot be underestimated. Alas, a driving range does not constitute the “highest and best use” for such prime acreage. City Place owners apparently feel that two 20-story apartment buildings are the best use. That may be true but you still wonder if this won’t diminish the quality of life that has made Uptown so attractive.