"I'm not saying it won't be Deep Ellum Live, but we're still figuring stuff out," Gavin Mulloy said last August when asked if owners Clint and Whitney Barlow intended to keep the old name of the venue at 2727 Canton St., which shuttered in 2004.
Now we know the answer is no. The Barlows, who began their music venue empire with the reopening of Trees in 2009 and then opened Bomb Factory in 2015, have decided to try something new for their third concept.
This week, they revealed a rebranding of Deep Ellum Live, which was a fixture of the alternative and grunge scenes in the '90s. Before that, in the '80s, it had been a country dance hall, Tommy's.
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The new concept will be called Canton Hall, and countrified Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman — known for songs like "Bad Girlfriend" — will headline the first show at the venue on Halloween. Canton Hall will sit next to the Bomb Factory at the corner of Canton and Crowdus streets (a building that used to separate them has since been demolished) and serve as a midsize alternative to its hulking neighbor, which has 50,000 square feet to its 12,500.
But in terms of the renovation, Canton Hall is likely to have a lot in common with Bomb Factory, which the Barlows glammed out. The spiffy new website and logo unveiled this week are just the first glimpse. Reactions to the unveiling on social media have been very positive, with several people commenting that more music venues are needed in the neighborhood.
"Oh praise Cthulhu it's a venue and not another restaurant," Instagram user _chrisoconnor_ wrote on Trees' post about Canton Hall. However, others hoped there might be some differences between Canton Hall and the Barlows' other venues. One request echoed a couple of times was that the stage design be more accommodating to short people.
"Please make the stage tall, unlike the Bomb factory," easterwoodc wrote.