By all accounts, the Dallas real estate market seems to be on the upswing; plenty o'land for anyone who wants it, right? It's cheap too, and there's enough space so that nobody has to get riled up over not-in-my-backyard! issues. Except when the land is literally your backyard, and someone else decides to make it their backyard. Literally.
Two Exposition Park favorites, the Bar of Soap and the Amsterdam Bar (formerly New Amsterdam Coffee Haus) are engaged in just such a dispute. According to MySpace bulletins flying hither and thither from the Bar of Soap:
"We have been informed today that we have 2 days to vacate our patio. The Amsterdam Bar has made what we feel to be an illegal deal with the management company in violation of our lease. We are shocked by this cut-throat way of doing business which has never before existed in Expo Park, where we have been for 20 years...They really did go behind our backs and got our patio. On the 15th they are set to arrive and start tearing it down..."
Charlie Gilder, the BoS owner, built the bar's patio 12 years ago and says he invested $10,000 to $12,000 in the thing. This week, the owners of the neighboring Amsterdam Bar, who Gilder says have had their eyes on the patio for some time now, offered the property's management a deal they couldn't refuse. The result? No more patio for Bar of Soap, because, technically, the land wasn't included in his lease. As you might imagine, Gilder's pretty freaking pissed off.
"I'm getting my head handed to me," says Gilder, in an exhausted, grainy twang. "For the sheer greed of money, no other reason."
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Business is so bad lately, says Gilder, he can't much blame somebody for needing the cash. But he feels like the Bar of Soap, which will have been in Expo Park for 20 years this September, deserved a little better treatment: "They're just pulling the rug out from under me." --Andrea Grimes