Knox-Henderson looks poised to get a significant makeover in the not-too-distant future, and that could mean big changes for one of the neighborhood's long-standing nightlife spots. Earlier this week, Dallas' Open Realty Advisors revealed plans for a new multi-use development along Henderson Avenue, from Glencoe Street to McMillan Avenue. Those plans, if approved, will leave night club Beauty Bar without a home.
"Eventually when we get the entitlements, [Beauty Bar] will be part of the development site," says Mark Masinter, founder and managing member of Open Realty, confirming that Beauty Bar would be forced to leave. "Part of our commitment as part of the development, if our request is approved, is that we will not put a bar or restaurant on that corner."
Open Realty's proposal, which includes restaurants, retail, office space, a community garden and an underground parking garage, is scheduled to go to the City Plan Commission for proposed rezoning in January and, if approved, will advance to the City Council "a month of two after that," Masinter says. If all goes to plan, construction could begin by "late summer, early fall" of 2017.
"[It] will of course be a sad day to see her go in that location that we have had such great success at," says Beauty Bar owner Brooke Humphries, via email. "But," she adds, with emphasis, "we will relocate. Hopefully in a seamless manner." Beauty Bar, which celebrated its sixth anniversary last month, hosts some of Dallas' most popular recurring dance nights, including DJ Sober's Thursday night Big Bang and Blake Ward's Saturday night Glamorama.
Humphries points out that the proposed redevelopment "is still in the planning stages." "These things take time," she says. "[It] will likely take up to a year or possibly longer to come to anything fluid and actual action on the street. Beauty Bar will keep rocking and rolling until then."
Masinter is unequivocal, however, that the removal of Beauty Bar is "a critical piece of the redevelopment." Open Realty began purchasing properties along the Henderson corridor almost four years ago (Beauty Bar has been their tenant ever since), and in developing their plans they consulted with nearby neighborhood associations.
"One of the big requests of the neighbors has been to limit the number of bars on the street. There's an overwhelming majority of people who live in the community that feel there are enough bars there," Masinter says. "And I think that's really the way to go. In order to have a great balance of uses, I think you've got to start introducing other things, and I think there are enough beverage establishments up and down Henderson."
Open Realty, in conjunction with its Los Angeles-based investor CIM Group, also owns much of the surrounding property around the intersection of Henderson and McMillan where Beauty Bar is located. That property includes another night club, Whippersnapper, and another bar run by Humphries, Barcadia. While Masinter says part of the agreement stipulates there will be "no new bars," he promises that none of those surrounding businesses will be affected by redevelopment. (Much of the area slated for redevelopment is currently park space.)
Humphries, who owns several other businesses in Dallas including It'll Do Club, Mudsmith and Pints & Quarts, also makes clear that, with Barcadia, she remains invested in Open Realty's plans for the neighborhood. "As an owner on the street for Barcadia, the future looks interesting and very promising," she says. "We are glad to be a part of it."
"And let's not forget," Humphries adds, "we aren't gone yet!"
Masinter says he doesn't take the redevelopment of a popular neighborhood like Knox-Henderson lightly, which is why the input of the associations was so important to the plans. "It's a big responsibility when you own properties in important areas like this, and it's important that you take that responsibility very seriously and try to create something of value for everybody, not just for you as commercial owners," he says. "Hopefully, what we’re doing is going to help the neighboring properties and encourage people who own those properties to do really great work as well."