Almost Two Years After Opening, Deep Ellum Venue and Restaurant La Grange Is Up For Sale

Categories: DFW Music News
Nekro-10.jpg
Mike Brooks
A scene from the Nekromantix show at La Grange three weeks ago. Hey, the place sure seems to be doing OK in this picture...
Stephanie Schumacher balks a little when admitting that, yes, she is putting La Grange up for sale less than two years after opening her Deep Ellum music venue, restaurant and bar.

"Well," she says with a sigh, "it's kind of been for sale since Day One. That's what I like to do. I'm an entrepreneur."

Still, she admits, both she and her co-owner, husband Rob Schumacher, are now ready to move on. Mostly, she says, it's because they're worn out.

Since opening on December 30, 2009 -- and that's not counting the months and months of construction and planning leading up to the venue's debut -- Stephanie says that both she and Rob have been consumed by the venue, and more so than they originally expected.

Granted, much of the burden on their shoulders has been put there by themselves -- shortly after opening, they expanded the venue, buying out the lease of the vacant storefront next to theirs and converting the space into a restaurant shared with the main bar and stage room. But, a year or so into their marriage and with a young family to look after, Stephanie says the Schumachers are looking for a little less fast-paced of a lifestyle.

"It's an exhaustion point," she says, now laughing. "It's just that time. There's always a time to fold 'em. This is it. We want our lives back."

But, Schumacher (nee Houston) is quick to point out, this doesn't necessarily mean the end of La Grange. At least, she hopes not.

stephandrobschumacher.jpg
Mark Graham
Stephanie and Rob Schumacher in their venue.
The hope, Schumacher says, is that someone buys the room and keeps it open, with only a few signed pieces of paper to show for the change in hands.

"We started knowing we were going to eventually sell it," Schumacher says. "When we wrote the business plan, we had an exit strategy."

Much of that exit strategy was built around turning La Grange into a collection of assets that someone else would deem as valuable -- the furnished patio, the glass garage door that serves as the storefront for the venue, the soundsystem, the high-definition video projector and screen, the design of the bar, the next-door restaurant, the kitchen, all of it.

"Adding in the kitchen really turned it into a whole product," Schumacher says. "There's value there. We've got real assets here."

And, Schumacher says, she's not the only one who thinks so. Already, she's met with a few potential buyers for the space.

"Everyone that we've talked to has come right over," she says. "The interest has been high, which is good. And the interest had been fast, which is also good. That kind of tells me that we've reached our goal."

With the venue closing in on its two-year anniversary, though, Schumacher swears that she won't simply sell the joint off to just anybody. She's still optimistic about Deep Ellum, she says. She's proud of opening up a nicer room in the traditionally grittier Deep Ellum neighborhood. She's proud of being a part of Deep Ellum's latest revival. She doesn't want that all to be for naught.

"We want someone to come along and take what we have to the next level," she says. "That's what this space needs. What we don't want is a dark spot on Elm Street."

So, for now at least, she and Rob are committed to not letting that happen.

"The House of Blues has been up for sale for years, and it hasn't gone anywhere," Schumacher notes, making it clear that, just because she's entertaining offers, doesn't mean she's shutting down the venue in the near future, if at all. "[This sale] could take two years. It could take two days. I don't know. But I do know that we have put a lot of time and money into this place, and also that we have a good reputation. We have a good product for sale here."


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13 comments
Felchingisgross99
Felchingisgross99

"maybe it is your crap face" That coming from a business owner? THAT IS WHY WE ALL HATE LAGRANGE. Perfect example of how NOT to run a business, into the ground with your attitude.

holman
holman

It (her money) was her own.

And she earned it.

Lies
Lies

I love spending dad's money.

Kamroon22
Kamroon22

Snowcones! That place rules. I hope it stays the same. Saw Spector45  there and a police tribute that blew me and my date away. Good Luck!

Jason Bonner
Jason Bonner

Great venue. Great food. They treat musicians right! Good vibe, sound, and space.

holman
holman

Stephanie really put something together.  A lot of energy advanced the restaurant/bar operation down the field, but these operations are management intensive and drains the heck out of anyone.  Now, there is enough physical identity and all the pieces are in place for a pro restaurateur who's done it for others to press the accelerator a bit and do it for themselves.  If she carries the paper on the deal, it's a rare opportunity for someone who has the know-how, the experience, and the excitement to seize the day.  These deals don't come by very often.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

No buyer will be successful if they don't keep the crew.  Good people are part of a good venue, and La Grange has good people.  Ditch the crew, you ditch a lot about what makes the venue special.

Childrenrn
Childrenrn

Why do you find the need to be so disrespectful?  This is a family who contributes to society and our economy.  It takes so much courage to be an entrepreneur.  I am grateful for business owners like them...this is what makes America great.  Hope you can start to see the positive things in life instead of being so critical.  What's sad is that attitude is a sign of weakness!  Hope you figure it out! Peace bro...

Stephanieschumacher
Stephanieschumacher

I wish- my dad is a real jerk. He owes me about 30 grand.

Thanks for making me laugh though!

Stephanie Schumacher.

Guest543
Guest543

we get it... you are the husband. geesh 

Janeweadock3
Janeweadock3

The Schumachers (well Stephanie) threw a lot of money into their space and hoped Deep Ellum would actually turn around and make LaGrange a good investment. They took lots of fancy vacations and let other people run the show. Surprise! The business sucks. You need to do more than just hang fancy stuff on the walls and sell snow cones to make it work.

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