My cell phone is still packed with photos I took of my dad and son in front of the Preston Center Metro Grill on its final day of operations in August 2008. And now this? Teresa Gubbins breaks the news that the Gaston Avenue Metro, an institution since '68, is also about to close. I just got off the phone with owner Wayne Adams, whose dad James bought the place when Wayne was 9, and he confirms: The end is near. End of March, to be precise.
Last I talked to Wayne was when we were sitting at the Preston Center counter on August 21, 2008. He told me then that as much as it hurt to bid farewell to that location, the Gaston Ave. spot -- which was already an operating eatery when his dad bought it -- was "my baby." This afternoon he told me: "It's still my baby." But he's sold the property -- to Baylor, Teresa notes. Wayne says he doesn't want to get into specifics till we sit down and have a long talk later this week for a follow-up I'll post on City of Ate. All he'll say are: "There are a lot of circumstances" leading to this sad bit of news, which, as Teresa notes, also includes the moving of The Petal Pusher flower shop next door.
Wayne did say he told the employees only yesterday about the closing, and that he hopes to do on Gaston what he did at Preston Center -- turn the adios into "a positive closing ... a celebration." (At Preston Center, during the week of closing you could get burgers and biscuits at '63 prices.) Still, I hate to see this happen: My grandfather started taking me there when I was a wee lad, and God knows how many cigarettes and cups of coffee I consumed at the Metro way back when it had the best jukebox in town, especially after Deep Ellum clubs closed at 2 in the a.m. How many best-ofs did we give this place? A million, looks like.