Last week I made an appointment to see a loft in Exposition Park just before news hit that Amsterdam Bar would be closing. This on the heels of the Meridian Room's shuttering thinned the neighborhood of its history. Walking to my car from Craft & Growler late Saturday night, the only signs of life were at Pizza Lounge, which is a greasy, sloppy drunk, and only marginally delicious version of life. Expo was empty, and empty doesn't feel safe for a young, single woman. I cancelled my appointment.
Of course, it didn't take long for developers to swoop in, with announcements yesterday of two bar/food places headed to Expo. And while the neighborhood's not completely empty, we figure we'd offer our suggestions to any real estate developers looking for them before they yuppi-fy the place.
A Forward-Thinking Gallery While Dragon Street in West Dallas is home to the city's commercial spaces, Expo Park is home to Reading Room, Beefhaus, 500X, CentralTrak, and Cohn Drennan (fire damage pending), and we'd love to see another forward-thinking gallery join the ranks. Maybe one that is consistently open and hosts weekly events.
A Bookstore/coffee shop/Booze Shop a la Wild Detectives A neighborhood-driven, well-crafted, well-curated, smartly designed shop that's comfortable to spend hours in and hosts events integrated into the neighborhood. They could collaborate with the Reading Room and Craft & Growler to make it a happening place.
Pedi Cabs It's not safe to drive a pedi cab through Uptown, so that lovely Austin knock-off concept should stop risking the lives of the drivers and head East where they can bounce between Deep Ellum, Greenville Avenue and Expo. Of course, they'll have to avoid the potholes over here.
Wine Tours of Fair Park Forget the Arts District, the best place to see architecture in Dallas is Fair Park. Charge some money, give people a thermos filled with wine and hire Mark Lamster or a student of Lamster at UTA to lead the people INTO Fair Park.
A Metal Club Apparently in what is now Remedy on Greenville Ave. there used be a club where metalheads could get their grindcore headbanging on. I've only heard rumors of it, but I'm not sure where those cats hang out and rage anymore. Reno's? Even that will be gone soon in the rapid evolution of Deep Ellum.
A Bodega Canned goods. Milk. 6-packs of beer. Microwave dinners. Noodles. A small selection of produce that stays fresh. Toilet paper. Tampons. Band-aids. But not a 7-11 or CVS, for the love of all that is unholy.
Karaoke I'm imagining times I spent at Arcade Bar, where it felt small enough to be a Korean karaoke room, but was filled with strangers who were too drunk to remember an off-pitch version of "All That Jazz" at 2 o'clock in the morning.
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A Diner Not Buzzbrew's, more like Goldrush Cafe.
A Jazz Venue To keep the Amsterdam history alive and also for when Balcony Club eventually gets gentrified out.
A Really Good Dive Bar Because we'll miss you Amsterdam and Meridian.
Things we don't want: A Fakeass Speakeasy A Brewery with Bad Beer (Good beer would be acceptable but not desired) Bottle Service Valet Parking Truck Yard Stephen Pyle's Alamo Drafthouse (no offense, guys) (unless it was IN Fair Park) Boutique Hotels Walmart