The Enemy Within

Plus: Fat Chance; Naming Rites

"We've got some names for it," he says conspiratorially, leaning into the table so that, presumably, the waitstaff or the couple four tables over can't steal his ideas. "Here's the first name. Tell me what you think," he says, pausing for effect, smirking, eyes wide. "The Idle Rich."

We need hear no others. "The Idle Rich" rolls off the tongue; that is to say it is lyrical. It is multilayered, in that it not only suggests the leisure class but also, to the Irish, can mean a beggar (all classes welcome, in other words). It can be easily shortened: We decide regulars will dub it "the Idle."

Most important, though, is the name's history and connection with Dallas. The original Idle Rich Bar operated out of a gorgeous, Moorish building near Farmers Market downtown. It was a longtime hangout for cops, cop reporters and other working-class men and women. It closed in 1996, when, says the building's owner, the clientele was nothing but a few drunken cops who, once overserved, would empty their revolvers into the moose head above the bar. What remains are an architectural firm and an oil-on-wood painting called "The Detectives," which shows six men and one woman posing at the Idle bar.

The Oak Cliff Buddhist center draws young people seeking peace.
Mark Graham
The Oak Cliff Buddhist center draws young people seeking peace.
Steve Satterwhite

McKinney takes another drink. "Besides that," he says in his Irish lilt, "it's a pretty damn good name."

Now, several months later, The Idle Rich has opened on McKinney Avenue. On the side of the building, it says simply, "The Idle." --Eric Celeste

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