The Last Hiding Place on Lower Greenville
"I will be coming from the gym. I hope it's okay if I am a little grubby." The message appears on my phone with a ting.
Flickr user stan.
"Oh, same," I reply. "Now we can both be a little grubby."
That shared agreement is important. Two gym outfits cancel each other out and presumably make you invisible to those who don't condone such attire in public.
Call it development, call it gentrification, but Lower Greenville is settling into its revamped nightlife niche slowly but steadily. The latest jewel in the crown, Blind Butcher, is sustaining its meaty and beer-y buzz. Even as we somewhat sadly bid adieu to Zubar, I have found myself belly up to new establishments' bars or at the two-top of one of these new, more "health-conscious" restaurants. As bougie as it may be, I do like having so many variations of Brussels sprouts available to me in my neighborhood. A girl has to eat.
But there is still one mystery door hanging on the crowded Greenville block, one spot we pass that some of us assumed was closed. A door I had not darkened since prior to a homecoming dance in the mid-'90s. A place that has always, in some way, seemed out of place, and yet continues to welcome someone, through its stark entrance and warmed pots.
That place is, of course, the lower Greenville location of Simply Fondue.
It doesn't occur to me until I am en route that the last time I had been there I had an up-do and some curls that likely needed a good tousle. And now I am on my way, in a pair of compression pants and Nikes, to see if this place is indeed still open and indeed still serving dinner.
With every new opening, every spacious new patio or rooftop to enjoy, Simply Fondue grows more and more eccentric on the block. Though part of a chain, the original location actually does sort of seem like the ghost of a former thing. Which is either poetic or sad.
Sipping espresso outside of Mudsmith or walking past its doors on our way down the block, the fondue spot always comes up in conversation.
"I just don't understand," someone will mention.
"I can't tell if it's open," someone will reply.
I always knew it was open; some of my favorite people-watching is sitting on those patios and trying to guess which door pedestrians on Greenville will be walking into. I always get the Simply Fondue customer wrong.
I live in East Dallas. Watching Greenville Avenue metamorphose has been at times perfect and at times infuriating. Like Deep Ellum, it's a neighborhood that is always on the brink of coming back or dying; it's the same cyclical conversation peppering the ether since I had a car and a small disposable income.