Right now, it's three walls, a roof and a lot of rubble. But next year, the empty space between The Slip Inn and Form, near The Pearl Cup off Henderson Avenue, will be home to Black Forest Biergarten, a German-style beer garden owned by Blake and Di Ann Bogus. "We're super excited," says Di Ann.
They plan to re-build the former home of Save Mart liquor and convenience store from ground up, adding a full bar, covered patio and open garden that will extend all the way to the sidewalk on MacMillan Ave. You can see an architect's rendering of the current plan above, with a few more angles below. They're tentatively planning to open for business sometime early next year.
The Boguses owned Knox Street Pub on McKinney Ave. for seven years before selling it to their general manager in July. "We had new landlords that have come in up and down McKinney," says Di Ann. "They wanted so much for the rent, and we didn't think we could keep going forward the way we were going."
The Houston natives moved to Dallas 14 years ago. Di Ann has a background in business, and she says Blake has a natural talent for marketing and sales. They always wanted to own their own business, and Knox Street seemed like a good fit. "Thinking back I can't even believe we tried that," says Di Ann. "But it was successful for seven years. We learned a lot. We learned how to manage people."
Once they sold Knox Street, they started looking for a new space in East Dallas, and on Henderson in particular.
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They found the Save Mart building and saw promise in its surroundings. The exact block of the future Biergarten hosts a thriving nightlife scene in The Slip Inn and nearby Beauty Bar, Gin Mill and Barcadia
"We've heard a buzz about Henderson lately," says Di Ann. "I could see this really working. The people around us are competitors, but I don't look at them as direct competitors. Hopefully we'll fit in and bring new people to the neighborhood."
As part of the lease agreement, the landlord is currently gutting the Save Mart building and raising its roof. The Boguses take over on October 1.
They're already working on the menu, which will feature a wide range of German beer and a smaller selection of bratwurst and other bar food. The outdoor garden area will feature long benches on a stone surface, with lights hanging above. They're considering hosting live music. But not much is certain right now, other than that you'll soon have a new place to raise a stein in East Dallas.