And at long last, the will-it-close-or-won't-it saga of July Alley has reached its end. The Deep Ellum bar had been plagued by rumors of its demise for a years, culminating in a temporary shutdown over the Fourth of July weekend this past summer. Yesterday afternoon, the speculation was finally confirmed when a sign appeared on the door stating that the property had been seized "for nonpayment of taxes owed to the state of Texas."
Last month, our writer Jeremy Hallock sat down with July Alley's longtime owner Frank Edwards to talk about his history with the bar and the continued rumors that the business was on the verge of closing. "This is the one dragon that's hard to slay," Edwards acknowledged at the time, while being unable to comment on the specifics of the situation. "I'm still working on it. All the other situations I've been able to take care of."
Edwards bought July Alley in 2005, right around the time that Deep Ellum saw many of its longtime bars close. For a brief period of time, it was one of the few to be open in the neighborhood. But as the area has experienced a rejuvenation in recent years, aided with the redevelopment plans of the city, July Alley's clientele and bike-bar aesthetic felt more and more out of place.
Regardless of the circumstances, the demise of July Alley means that a prime piece of real estate is set to become available on a stretch of Elm St. that's arguably as hot as any in the city.
For better or worse, though, Deep Ellum has certainly lost a character, not only in the bar itself but also in Edwards.
"I love Deep Ellum," Edwards told us last month. "That's why I'm here. I saw a vibrant community that was dying, and I would not let this community die... I could go anywhere, I could do a lot of things. But this place really touched me."
Au revoir, July Alley.