The Buzzbrews planned for the old Mecca space on the corner of Skillman Street and Live Oak is expected to open around the end of March. If The Mecca's performance was any indication, the folks at Buzzbrews will have their work cut out for them.
The Mecca came to East Dallas after a decades-long run on Harry Hines. They brought plenty of loyal, long-term customers with them, but the diner closed after less than a year, with the owner citing unreasonable costs. Before that, Molly Maguire's enjoyed a tepid existence in the same space. Still, Buzzbrews comes with a different take on the same diner menu, and their eggs-all-day (and all-night) approach has an allure that the previous tenants lacked.
Besides breakfast dishes, sandwiches and other diner plates, Buzzbrews locations keep busy by engaging the neighborhood. I ate a Reuben at the Lemmon Avenue location once, while art music nerds filled the place with the sounds of a classical music open mic. Another time, at the Deep Ellum location, I walked in on a jazz band whose drummer was so loud I thought I was back in the theater watching Whiplash. The restaurants seem full when these events are running full bore. So, maybe that's enough?
The Skillman location is expected to open by the end of the month, while Buzzbrews: Victory Park edition has just been announced and is expected some time next year. That location will have its own set of challenges with respect to the neighborhood. Before and after events at the nearby arena, the surrounding streets are filled with potential patrons and energy. But when the arena is empty, so are the streets, and Victory Park feels more like an upscale ghost town.
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Maybe the promise of a 2 a.m. omelet or sports-trivia night will draw in the customers. They'll need something for the buzz to match the brews.