Living in a thriving urban center like Dallas means never having a shortage of new restaurants to explore and new retailers (local and otherwise) to patronize. But the pace of these developments can be rapid indeed, and, to make room for the new, sometimes the old has to relocate to the realm of the remembered. That very much applies in Downtown Dallas, where the business landscape seems to change on a nearly weekly basis. It can be hard to keep up, so we’ve assembled this quick listing of the closings you may have missed — and the openings you definitely don’t want to.
The Pharmacy (2812 Elm St.), which burst onto the Deep Ellum scene late last summer, unexpectedly closed after a name dispute with the Texas Board of Pharmacy. However, the bar has reopened under the name Select Start and now features a wider array of arcade games, an expanded craft cocktail menu as well as ice cream and ice cream floats. The owners do plan to reopen the old concept — famous for its boozy adult milkshakes — in a new location, under a new name.
Shell Shack (2916 McKinney Ave.) in Uptown is also closing its doors within the next month. But if you’re a fan of seasoned crab, lobster and shrimp, you don’t have to go hungry. The Shack will reopen at a new location on Henderson Ave., and the old establishment will be turned into a poke restaurant, so it’s safe to say the Dallas seafood scene is safe.
Not everyone escaped a hard closing, though. Two recent heartbreakers felt by everyone in the Uptown area were McKinney Avenue Tavern (2822 McKinney Ave.) and The Idle Rich Pub (2614 McKinney Ave.), both long-standing bars that shut their doors for good early this year. The Idle Rich, a traditional Irish pub, operated in Uptown for almost 14 years before calling it quits in late January.
Deep Ellum personal fitness pioneer Doug’s Gym (2010 Commerce St.) also recently ceased operations. A labor of love for over 50 years, the gym’s distinctly old-school vibe — complete with the kind of punching bags, reducing machines and dumbbells Curtis Cokes might have trained with — will be missed, as will the wisdom of owner Doug Eidd.
District Climb (3636 McKinney Ave., Suite 130), a VersaClimber studio famous for its low-impact, high-intensity workouts, and Class Studios (2801 N. Central Expy., #200), a dynamic cycling and circuit studio combo, both opened their doors in Uptown’s West Village early this year. Boutique fitness studios are becoming a bona fide Dallas trend, especially in Uptown, where you can also spot SoulCycle (3699 McKinney Ave.), Barry’s Bootcamp (3600 McKinney Ave., #150) and Pure Barre (3700 McKinney Ave., #130) all within a block of each other.
Downtown Dallas’ historic Adolphus Hotel (1321 Commerce St.) is now home to a new coffee shop with an interesting twist. Unlike the quick, in-and-out hustle of your average Starbucks, Otto’s encourages you to linger — as in, all day long. It’s the city’s first ever Viennese-style coffeehouse, but it still screams Dallas: Otto’s coffee will be sourced from the city’s own Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.
Especially exciting for music history fans, Deep Ellum Live reopened late last year as Canton Hall (2727 Canton St.). The music venue, founded in 1991, once played host to acts like the Smashing Pumpkins and Al Green before closing its doors in 2004. Clint and Whitney Barlow, who are also responsible for re-energizing Trees and The Bomb Factory, plan to use this space as a concert hall and private event venue.
Lastly, few openings have caused as much buzz as Uchiba (2817 Maple Ave.), which started serving adventurous diners just north of Victory Park in February. The owners rebranded the space, once home to Top Knot, as a full-fledged specialty cocktail bar with a distinctly Asian twist. The menu features small bites (usually involving sushi) and brunch on Sundays.