Frisco's Music Scene Faces Its Biggest Hurdle Yet, As The Only Venue In Town Sets To Close

Categories: DFW Music News
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Less than a year ago, we told the tale of Frisco's burgeoning music scene. But it seems that, as quickly as it appeared, the Frisco scene has now officially burned out.

At least for now.

Matthew Harber of Wellhouse Co., the entity behind Frisco's musical growth, confirmed to DC9 yesterday that the scene's headquarters, Lochrann's Irish Pub & Eatery, will close after this weekend.

The news comes after several court battles between Lochrann's and its landlord, Frisco Square, which all started after Lochrann's alerted Frisco Square of the bar's plan to move to the Gilley's complex in Dallas.

"We were trying to move, and because of personal guarantees that we have on our lease with the Square, the Square obligated that they should keep all of our assetts," says Lochrann's owner Deina McNabb.

After several battles in court, though, Lochrann's was allowed to keep all of its assets.

"The Square then was upset about this, and came after us personally," says McNabb."Meaning? They were suing myself and my family."

McNabb is still working on moving the bar, but the new lawsuit has slowed her plans quite a bit. Whether the bar will still move to the Gilley's complex is now uncertain, she says. 

The news also comes as a big blow to Wellhouse Co., which has worked to build a music community in the North Dallas suburb for over a year now.

"This is very unfortunate on many levels," Harber writes in an email to DC9. "Most importantly, it is going to be difficult for locals, as there is not a viable alternative for consistent live entertainment [in Frisco] outside of the Top 40, dance, cover band variety."

Since before last September's Oysterfest, which brought in several national acts including Bowerbirds, Efterklang, Rhett Miller and others, Lochrann's was very much serving as the main source of original live music in Frisco. Since that festival, Wellhouse Co., with the help of Spune Productions had continued to book weekly shows, bringing top regional and even a handful of other national acts to the Lochrann's stage.

After Harber learned the news, he says his own Wellhouse Co. entity even attempted to rent the space from Frisco Square, the bar's landlord. Their efforts were unsuccessful, he says.

In the meantime, Wellhouse Co. plans on continuing its work in Collin County, hosting and promoting a summer music series at Plano's Nylo Hotel. But, mostly, Harber views this as a time to regroup his efforts to create a buzz in the 'burbs.

"We have most of the resources we need to open a restaurant/small venue in Collin County," he writes, "But [we] have to find the right location, and this may take time. We are also taking a separate look at options in Dallas and Oak Cliff."

We''ll keep you posted on his efforts.


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22 comments
Deina
Deina

Hello, I'm Deina McNabb, owner of Lochrann's.  First, I want to thank Daniel for all the support as well as for writing this article.  We have really enjoyed meeting so many and especially working with Wellhouse and the bands we had the opportunity to host.  In our three and half years, we have made life long friends and many great memories.

As for our departure, it wasn't something that we wanted to happen initially, however, after a long time in discussions with Frisco Square to try and fix our rent situation, we weren't able to come up with a happy medium.  We initially signed a 10 year lease with many promises of development and traffic that never happened.  It was due to this that we knew we had to move.  We initially had Frisco Square's blessing to do so, however, once again they went back on their word, and proceed to file on us personally after the judge agreed and signed an ordinance to allow us to move.

We are looking forward to the future and are happy to be able to move on at this time.  They successfully stole our beautiful bar, however, they aren't able to take the heart of my Lochrann's family of employees and patrons.  We will keep you all posted and thank you for all of the support and love throughout the years.  Slainte!

FriscoJazz.org
FriscoJazz.org

We don't have enough details in this article to pick sides. I've worked with Frisco Square on several events including recently, Jazz in the Square. I really want to see that area of Frisco grow and continue to be a place where people can go to hear live music and experience the arts. I was also on the board of the Frisco Arts Association. And I can tell you that there are a lot of things in the works to support the arts in Frisco. We have a new black box theater. There's the Collin County arts project. We just need to continue to spread the word that the arts are important in Frisco and elect officials that get it. 

That said, I have to say ... I hate seeing litigation over issues like this. As someone below mentioned, they probably had a lease agreement. Like any lease, there's a penalty for breaking the lease. That penalty should have been paid and both parties should have moved on. None of this is good for the city of Frisco. And I hope they settle this issue quickly and get back to building the scene. All of this is ugly and reflects poorly on everyone involved.

kYle
kYle

Loved Lochrann's for dinner after Friday Night Lights in N. Collin County.  The rest of the time it was a DUI waiting to happen.   

phe_75034
phe_75034

Despite the bile in many of these comments, I think this is a huge loss for Frisco. Lochrann's was a tough sell for many Dallas area bands - a long way to go to play for an audience that didn't appreciate original music very much.

However, as Barry indicates above, there were the beginnings of a community. Deina and Matt's efforts were getting some traction. No one was under any illusions that Lochrann's would be the next Dada, but it was showing every sign of becoming a legit venue for buzz-worthy local acts.

That's gone now, and I am sad to see it go. I hope a new spot seizes the opportunity. Matt (and the lovely Annette) have some great connections. There is an audience - small, but growing. And there's a void that stretches from waayyy downtown all the way north to Denton.

Build it, and they will come.

Bluehorseshoe33
Bluehorseshoe33

I live in Frisco and Lochrann's sucks.  I paid $18 for fish and chips and a coke.  Yes, I ordered it.  But I was hungry.  Would rather go to the Londoner any day.

baadf00d
baadf00d

Went to Lochrann's for the first time last weekend before the soccer game. Food was bland and it had (what looked and felt like) a small piece (maybe an inch) of one of those flimsy (poly mesh?) scrubber brushes you can use to clean dishes. Can't say I'm sad to see them leaving..

LochrannsHater
LochrannsHater

This bar closed because it sucked, end of story.

CheapMick
CheapMick

Went to Lochranns once. Overpriced for what it served. No great loss to Frisco.

CG
CG

Once The Londoner opened across the street, it was a matter of time. Never went to Lochrann's once that they weren't out of multiple beers. Happy Trails.

Music Man
Music Man

nffcnnr, So it's ok to sign a lease with a landlord and just skip out without any consequences any time you want?

Barry
Barry

Wellhouse Co has been the collective force and momentum behind something in Frisco/Plano that has become much more than just a “music scene.” With a shared love for local and original music, Lochrann’s has served as the beloved meet-up place for a growing number of  like-minded, DIY, locals that have put their passions and creative energies to work to develop a tight-knight, collaborative, group which exceeds the narrow scope of a “music scene.” In just over a year the area has seen a community of design and artistic endeavors (Ironstamp Designs and Junky Trinkets Artwork), a music blog (Dusted Juke), photographers, musicians, and a record label (Tree Fall Sounds) begin to develop in-stride along the good folks at Wellhouse Co. Look around any show or festival in the metroplex and it’s very likely one (or many) of us will be there. Although our HQ is sadly gone, the scene has not “burned out.” Rather, the roots have been established to develop what we all hope and wish for here in our bustling, suburban, communities.  Note to any Frisco/Plano establishment looking for some business: The Lochrann’s expats of our growing scene are loyal bunch. We like good music, good food, good beer, and friendly non-pretentious service; and we’ve got some disposable cash to put our money where our mouths are. We’ll set-up camp somewhere, have no fear.

Rockin' the Suburbs
Rockin' the Suburbs

Damn. I guess it's back to Varsity Club's kid karaoke nights. Have you heard a mic'd up 7-yr old sing a Miley Cyrus song while trying to enjoy a cold beverage? It falls well short of Telegraph Canyon or WFR live.

Camel
Camel

rubbish...attended a ton of those shows...some amazing...some OK...some empty.  but, as far as venues go it was a great space and had some success.  the staff was OK if they thought you were going to tip well.  really sad, Frisco just really has not clue how to create a well rounded city and I for one - as a young professional - probably just decided to Dallas as there is literally nothing to do here for us.  

nffcnnr
nffcnnr

Now there is grand total of zero reasons to go to Frisco if you aren't going to Ikea or a soccer match. And whoever owns/operates "the square"? Fuck you.

parkay
parkay

welcome to 21st century america, been here long??

parkay
parkay

fuck sports. and its consumerist adherents. what does it really do for anyone anyway? frisco is gross. bottom line.

nffcnnr is a moron
nffcnnr is a moron

huh.. I guess baseball, hockey, basketball, shopping, any restaurant you want, good neighborhoods and schools don't matter any to nfcnnr.  What an idiot. 

parkay
parkay

you ARE a reactionary delusional douche, and everything you stand for is a FUCKING lie, boy.

MattL1
MattL1

Because you can't shop, eat or watch sports in Dallas?

Camel
Camel

There is also these things called art, culture, and music that Frisco does not have on a daily basis...big events don't build community. AND, outside of the mall and some restaurants...all those sports teams and facilities typically just blow the city's $.  Life is more then stuffing your face and buying crap at the mall...and sports just ain't enough.

Coleman
Coleman

not that I don't agree, but "boy?" that's a little much, dude. If a culture-less enclave without art is what he and his neighbors really want, I say they should keep on keepin' on....way up in Frisco.

Paul S
Paul S

yup you can keep Frisco and its McCulture.

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