Hailey's Club to Relaunch With Sports Bar and Video Arcade Concept

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Two for the price of one. Well, maybe not for the price of, but in the space of one. Two weeks ago, we reported that one of Denton’s most beloved music venues, Hailey’s Club, will be closing its doors on December 31. "But to become what?" was the unanswered question. Now we know at least half the answer to that question, with news that part one of the two-part concept may be opening its doors as soon as January 1, 2016, city permit pending.

At the time the news broke that Hailey’s was closing, owner Jennifer Gibbs did not want to say anything beyond that the bar was closing at year's end and would cease to host live music. Gibbs has confirmed that the relaunched club will be split into two separate spaces: The back bar area has been closed off and will operate as a separate business, and the main bar and stage area will be reconstructed into a "sports barcade."

If you're not quite sure what that means, think a smaller scale Dave & Busters-style joint that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Gibbs says there will be sports-style arcade games (like Hoop Fever basketball and air hockey), as well as traditional arcade cabinets, big screen TVs and projectors. Plus there will be food and drinks, and it will be a non-smoking environment. However, that part of the concept will not be open until later in February or March.

“We aren’t going Chuck E. Cheese here,” Gibbs says solemnly. “I mean, there is one here [in Denton] and I take my kids to it all the time. This isn’t that.”

It sounds like a nice place to take your kids after dinner, and maybe enjoy a margarita while they play some arcade games or, hell, join 'em. It might also be an ideal place to go on a first date, unless you are super competitive and refuse to be defeated in Street Fighter. (Not speaking from personal experience or anything.)

Speaking of Street Fighter, Gibbs, who refers to herself as a gaming nerd, rattles off a handful of games that would be a great fit in her new concept. She says they “haven't made a final list” yet on the selection of games, and that it all depends on construction. “We won’t know for certain until we are in there and installing them,” she says. "Oddly enough, we don’t have as much space as you’d think for arcade games."

The name of the new business is also undetermined. On Facebook, there's an ambiguous page called Denton Sport Barcade, and Gibbs says she's soliciting Denton's help in coming up with the official name. “Denton is full of, more than any other city I know of, really creative people,” she explains. “What better way to launch a game bar than to have the people of Denton name it?” If you’ve got a name suggestion, they want to hear it. The winner will even receive a prize.

There's also the matter of the second, yet-to-be revealed concept, which will occupy the area where patrons used to play pool and smoke. “Our goal in that room is for it to become not just a cool room to get a beverage in, but to make it the room to get a drink in,” Gibbs' partner Adam Arnold says. Gibbs is waiting to release more information about the second concept.

“It is killing me not to be able to tell anyone what we are doing back there,” Gibbs says.

If you’re still upset about Hailey’s closing (it’s okay, we are too), you have a couple chances to relive some great memories. The last ever '80s night will take place in December and Fab Deuce will play the final show at Hailey's, on New Year's Eve.

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