Drinking

The Parlor on Commerce Closes, and Deep Ellum Loses a Little More of Its Soul

The Parlor on Commerce is no more.
The Parlor on Commerce is no more. Alison McLean
The Parlor on Commerce, a low-key Deep Ellum bar known for its laid-back atmosphere and incredible patty melt, has closed, owner Seth Byars confirms.

"We closed up shop, and it was kinda a sweet release for me, personally, cause I was working 17 hours a day, seven days a week," Byars says. "I was killing my relationships."

The bar, which opened in late 2016, was digging itself into a financial hole that Byars couldn't get out of, he says, although he attempted to reopen after what he hoped was a temporary closure. In the end, the Parlor closed for good May 18.

click to enlarge
The Parlor's style was the modern dive bar at its best — simple but thoughtful, with vintage pinball and a bar top repurposed from old gymnasium flooring.
Alison McLean
In Deep Ellum, there's more competition than ever, and some of the new bars opening lately — such as Bottled Blonde, Harlowe MXM and Stirr — are massive enterprises bringing different crowds to what was once a neighborhood known for its live music, no-nonsense dive bars and grit. The Parlor, though short-lived, was one of those lovable dives. It exemplified everything Deep Ellum bars were at one time: laid-back, unpretentious and straightforward but with attentive service and a lot of soul.

"I think the mega-bars in Dallas are taking over everything, and that's what it is," Byars says. "Unless you've been established forever, like Adair's, it's hard to keep up. Us new little guys, we can't compete with it."

There is a sliver of good news, however: Byars is looking for a new home for the Parlor's epic patty melt, and he wants to keep it in the neighborhood. He's shopping it to nearby bars.

The Parlor's patty melt was famous for a reason: It was an incredible bar snack.
Nick Rallo
"We're trying to do that just so it stays alive," Byars says. "People love it. I don't care if it's not mine."

Byars said he's not leaving the bar industry.

"I'm gonna get back into the bar biz bartending, managing," he says. "But I don't wanna own anything else ever again."
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Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin