The Experienced Three Links Owners Get Their Priorities from the Odd Fellows

Three friends and Deep Ellum devotees hover around the polished wooden bar inside the building at 2704 Elm St. as they unwrap a package. "These are awesome," says one. "I'm so happy with the way they turned out," says another. Oliver Peck's tattooed hands move swiftly for a moment before unveiling two wooden toilet bowl seats and setting them side by side on the bar. Engraved in the one on the left is "Rebekahs," the other "Fellows," and both are covered in symbols. Among the symbols are a moon and stars, a right hand with a heart in its palm and crisscrossing hatchets. "These are going to hang on the doors," he says.

It's no news to Deep Ellum frequenters that the longstanding building that once held the Elm Street music venue La Grange has completely transformed since the venue closed in late 2012. Now sits Three Links, a bar and venue owned by Tactics Productions founder Kris Youmans, talent buyer Scott Beggs and Elm Street Tattoo owner Oliver Peck. The three have been working on this space basically since the moment it closed, and it now hosts a larger stage, revamped sound system and wider beer selection. And a particular brand of artistic décor (like David and Goliath interpretations, repeating owl-over-pyramid diagrams and the like) that represents something significant to the three men — an organization called International Order of the Odd Fellows.

"It's a civic-minded community and charity group," Peck says. "It's an old fraternal organization that's been around since the early 1800s and it's an offshoot of what The Masons were."

From left to right: Youmans, Beggs and Peck.
Mark Graham
From left to right: Youmans, Beggs and Peck.

Location Info

Map

Three Links

2704 Elm St.
Dallas, TX 75226

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Downtown & Deep Ellum

Historically, the Odd Fellows society is very large, Peck says, and over the past 200 years or so it has become worldwide. As of the last couple of decades, however, fraternal organizations such as The Masons, The Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World and Knights of Pythias have "kind of just fallen out," he says.

Everything about Three Links is derived from the principles that the three men tout as members of Odd Fellows. Apart from investing themselves, both literally and figuratively, into Deep Ellum's iconic community and continuously uncertain future, they've chosen to do so while promoting their core values: fellowship and civic-mindedness.

"Young kids are not civic-minded anymore," Peck says. "Young kids just go to the bars and hang out or do whatever. Nobody really has a sense of community anymore, and I think that's kind of what got me into the Odd Fellows — even though the community that I'm directly related to is in Waxahachie, we still do a lot of stuff statewide."

The three main goals of an Odd Fellow are to "educate the orphan, care for the widow and bury the dead." Most Odd Fellows lodges today focus on caring for elderly in retirement homes and starting programs for needy children.

"My granddad was a member, so I grew up around knowing the name, although I wasn't active in it or anything like that," Beggs says. "My granddad and several of his friends were Odd Fellows, and several of my dad's friends were Odd Fellows. I mean, I played on their baseball team and everything else as a kid. I guess I joined about five or six years ago."

The main logo for the Odd Fellows are three chain links, with the links representing friendship, love and truth. "We wanted to have a secret society kind of theme to the bar, but we didn't want to take any direct name from the lodge," Peck says. "So we called it Three Links."

Beggs says that it's kind of a tip of the hat to the Odd Fellows, which is an organization that he says does a lot of good in the community, and they wanted to recognize that.

"The fact that there are three of us, we're friends and we're all going into this together — it kind of just fits," Peck says. "One of my things going into this is that I want to be a part of Deep Ellum. I have a shop down here, I've been working in this neighborhood for 20 years and I've seen the neighborhood go up and down so many times. Over the last couple of years I've really wanted to get involved in another business down here, be more of a part of the community, be a part of a bar that does a lot of promotions for shows and clubs and hanging out — these guys and I, that's all we do."

When the former La Grange co-owner Stephanie Schumacher decided to close the former venue's doors in late 2012, the Three Links guys knew they had to act fast.

"We've all been talking about it for about a year now," Youmans says. "I guess when she closed it back in November we started jumping on it. We thought it was time to make it a reality. Scott was already running La Grange (as a manager) when we started working on this, so that part was obvious, that he would come in and take over what we were doing, based on what he was doing before."

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5 comments
lancehaley
lancehaley

This is a positive thing and for the people bashing need to seriously give it up.  Oliver Peck is all but 100% true Odd Fellow and needs no guidance from any of you.  Any true Odd Fellow that is trying to assist or guide another Odd Fellow would never subject the other to harmful or hurtful words.  Remember the obligation that you took to not subject your brother to the value of anything? and please include your name and Lodge Number as only one would do when trying to help.  Also, have you ever thought that the information that was taken was written or printed in error.  And there is no international about it.  We are in 29 Countries.  Europe was Chartered only in 2006 by the Sovereign Grand Lodge in Winston-Salem, NC they now have 8 Grand Lodges and over 95 THOUSAND members.  Not to mention Australasia, Mexico, Cuba, Philippines.  Seems others need to know more about the Order than others.  Please let these fine young men do what they do, they are doing it right.  Not to mention the Lodge they belong to in Waxahachie is one of the strongest in Texas.

Lance Haley

Terrell #232  

G_David
G_David

My only awareness of Odd Fellows is from driving down I.O.O.F. Street in Denton, back in college.  Cool Story.

oddfellow105
oddfellow105

Peck you got some of it right.....

FIRST GLARING ERROR


"INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS" 

 second.......

"Visit the sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the dead, and Educate the Orphan"........

"to elevate the character of man"

Those are the Tenants of Odd Fellowship

there is no "international" involved if its here in the U.S. ..You also have missed the mark in some areas. If youd like to know more and have this corrected us active ODD FELLOWS would appreciate it


I AM AN ODDFELLOW .........i am also a member of the "Encampment" as well as the "Patriarch Militant" I am a Past Grand and and have held office at the state level as well. i would love to talk to you avout this i find it cool as hell that your interested in Odd Fellowship...we are still very alive and have lodges all over the United States and the world



i can be contacted at... Oddfellow105@yahoo.com

McKeeverDesign
McKeeverDesign

Stoked I got my Three Links shirt, Fuzzy's opened (already been) & just renewed my lease! Gonna be a great year in Deep Ellum :)

grmtn2000
grmtn2000

@oddfellow105 Not sure who you are, but I was thinking many of the same things when reading the article. GET THE NAME RIGHT! 

 
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