Toby Keith's Bringing One Of His Big Bar-n-Grills to Dallas. It'll Be (The Old AMC) Grand.

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Friday morning, a Friend of Unfair Park sent a note with the header: "The Former Grand 24 Theater." In it, he asked: "Have you checked out the new refurbishing there? It's worth taking a camera along." So on the way in, I swung by -- because, clearly, I'm on the Dessicated Dallas Tour. As you can see (jump for more), it's a sad site to behold: AMC gave the Kansas City-based owners its walking papers in June, completely adiosed the property on October 31, and a few weeks ago the once-mighty megaplex flooded after thieves broke in to rip out the copper.

But there was a small demolition crew working on the property when I pulled up, gutting from top to bottom the theaters that used to be where you see that cut-out door above. While Entertainment Properties Trust still lists it as the AMC Grand 24, and word is the remaining theaters may well become dine-and-views a la the Studio Movie Grill or the Alamo Drafthouse, there are plans in place for that side of the former megaplex:

It will become the local outpost of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill franchise, which lists Dallas among its coming-soon cities. I still haven't heard from John Weis, head of investor relations at EPT, but this morning, Larry Cappos, director of operations for Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, replied to my e-mail asking him to confirm. Which he did: "That is the area that we will be coming to later this year."

I followed up with a phone call, asking Cappos for more specifics -- chief among them, do they have an opening date?

"At this point, we don't," he said when we spoke late this morning. "As big as we're gonna be, there could be issues that come up. We'd shoot for later in the summer or early fall -- it depends on how well construction comes along and how it goes with the city as far as permitting."

Right now, he says, the joint will take up some guesstimated 30,000 square feet -- though it could be larger once build-out's finished. I asked Cappos why they chose that location. He said he has nothing to do with site selection, but he's got high hopes for it: "We feel we'll do great, with a name like Toby's to attract people. We like to consider ourselves a pretty big tenant, and as big as we'll be I think we can add something to that whole complex."

And, yes, Keith will be here after the opening -- though it could be two, three months down the road. Cappos says the country singer was in Denver last month for the Grand Opening of that location, which actually opened its doors in December.

So, what'll become of the other half of the old Grand? Last I heard, other theater operators were interested in taking the space, and there's even a concept floating around that divvies the space into separate clubs and bars.

Oh, and I see Firewater Bar & Grill is about to house a new tenant too: When I drove past it this morning, I espied a sign out front that read, "Mary's Southern Cuisine & Entertainment Coming Soon." That's  too bad -- guess my one-man BulletBoys tribute band will have to find somewhere else to play.

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Nothing sadder than a theater without its seats


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41 comments
Chris
Chris

People are blowing this thing way out of proportion.  I've been to the Toby Keith's bar and grill in Oklahoma City, and they (the restaurant) ARE NOT honky-tonk dance clubs that are going to attract stupid rednecks and hillbilly's.  The restaurant is a fine establishment, with a wide variation of people eating there.  The food is great, the atmosphere is great, and there's nothing to really complain about.  I do agree however, that Dallas might not have been a smart choice.  Why not put it near or around the Stockyards? (A.K.A. Cowtown??)  I will definitely make the trips to Dallas when it opens, but you just gotta wonder why they wouldn't put the place in a more "western and country" setting...

Art Carnage
Art Carnage

"I'm on the Dessicated Dallas Tour." Dessicated? When did it become acceptable to just make up words? Did you mean "desiccated", or "decimated"? Both are actual words, but neither seems to actually fit.

Guest
Guest

Yes, PLEASE take the major douche bombs out of my nabe. I'm left to going to my "Cheers" on dead Mondays because Sundays are a body-press just trying to get a beer and eggs. Really. It's become ridiculous.

LaceyB
LaceyB

I just saw "Jackass 3D" there, in 2D, which was plenty, and hysterical. Ahh, the stool memories. Sad.

Howard
Howard

I see a multi-stage strip club.

Seriously, though, if plans call for reusing the building, does it necessarily have to be one tenant? Perhaps it could be retro-fitted where the inside is divided up and turned into a kind of giant enclosed mini-mall of restaurant chains.

ChrisU
ChrisU

the Dixie Chicks are putting their F.U.T.K. bar in the same area

nik
nik

Nobody mentioned it, but where the hell is this place? Is there an address I can google?

bobbyv
bobbyv

I'm waiting for Alamo Drafthouse to come DOWNTOWN where one belongs. This white trash grill concept here will never work, but a Studio Movie Grill would probably do well here.

Rooster
Rooster

You know, you just can't have enough 30,000 sq ft C&W live music venues within a one block radius of each other....

James
James

Are these guys nuts? Do they know anything about Dallas? This might be one of the worst locations for something like this... It's doomed to fail before it even opens! I can count 10 restaurants that have gone out of business in that area, and the ones that are still open count on the daytime population...

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Great. Before people go to Red River to get their drink on, they can go to Toby's. Unless he has a dance hall too?

Ed D.
Ed D.

Converting a former movie theater into a bunch of different clubs has been done (one of the Prestonwood mulitplexes was so converted) but it's just nice to see one not getting turned into yet another non-denominational megachurch. (Nothing against non-denominational megachurches but that re-use has become a cliche.)

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Robert,

One wonders if the strip mall across from the Dallas Galleria will soon look the same way.

Just last weekend was in the area and now three huge spaces are vacant where once Restoration Hardware, Aneita Fern and Crate & Barrel once stood. Pretty empty parking lot with just World Market and Container Store and a mini Starbucks.

Prime real estate...wonder why it is so empty.

Downtowner
Downtowner

Now if someone could open a goddang theater downtown... reopen the old West End Cinema or build a new one on Elm or at Victory Park....

Clark
Clark

This will surely become more of a douche zone than Uptown and Knox-Henderson combined.

Patrick Michels
Patrick Michels

I couldn't be more excited. Maybe this'll shut everyone up about In-N-Out for a while.

md
md

Considering you say "nabe" for "neighborhood," you may well be in your element.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

10110 Technology Boulevard East, 75220-4323. Offa Stemmons and Northwest Highway.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Yes you can Just not English speaking country HUGE CLUBS.Check out where country 2000 used to be at mananna and 35

If TK speaks Spanish he can get rich.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I bet Toby Keith can come up with something that will be a real draw for a certain segment of the population. "I'm gonna make it real cool, with amusements, dancing and a damn fine spread"

P1Steven
P1Steven

I was wondering the same thing... not exactly their demo aroun there.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Red River has been open for a while. I moved here in 2000 and it has outlasted any other country dance halls around here.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Keep toby keith and his country oklahoma ass restaurant and dance hall in oklahoma or its sister cities garland/mesquite. mkay, thanks

fred
fred

Sachse and Wylie are the new Mesquite and Garland...

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

methinks they wouldn't get as much rent from a church as they would another concept. I agree with you. I remember when I had to go to a CHURCH to go to church.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I wonder why that old Showcase Chevrolet lot has been vacant for so long. Bought my Tahoe there in '05 and it closed down within a year. Huge lot. A lot of traffic around there. I would have thought they would have locked someone in with the impending implosion of Valley View Mall. I guess that's why i'm not in commerical real estate.

W Thomas Hawman Jr
W Thomas Hawman Jr

if they would have thought about it better, they could have built the hard rock cafe in the building where planet hollywood was in the 90s.... would be more room and who knows, maybe even a decent place for bands to perform since each floor had an opening to the one below it all the way down to the basement in the west end marketplace building... and yea reworking the cinema 10 in the west end would be a good idea... if for whatever reason they change their minds about the former AMC 24 being a decent location for Toby Keiths I Love This Bar And Grill.... the former Planet Hollywood building in west end would be good... They have got to put something in that building to bring back the west end because nothing is more sad than an empty building and a very desolate looking Dallas Alley.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Yes, PLEASE take the major douche bombs out of my nabe. I'm left to going to my "Cheers" on dead Mondays because Sundays are a body-press just trying to get a beer and eggs. Really. It's become ridiculous.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Pickups and starched jeans and tube tops galore

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Perhaps, but with a very different crowd than what's seen in Uptown and Knox-Henderson.

Tvdave
Tvdave

What? Did you say In-N-Out? Where?

Oldmaninwoods
Oldmaninwoods

no thats on of those butt inviters that wear there jeans around there ancles

Nik
Nik

Thanks, RW

cp
cp

Wait, what? You mean that place it *still* open???

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

such racial insensitivity. If P-Diddy was opening a club there and you said "keep P-Diddy in Brooklyn or in it's sister cities South Oak Cliff or East Dallas", oh the outrage that would erupt.Couldn't help myself at playing the race card, it feels good sometimes.

P1Steven
P1Steven

Been to Garland or Mesquite in a while.... very few Toby Keith fans still hanging around. Although, the Mesquite Rodeo still remains, the Toby Keith crowd started leaving 25 yrs ago.

cp
cp

Yeah, douches in too-tight jeans and cowboy hats. Yeehaw, y'all.

Oldmaninwoods
Oldmaninwoods

yes its still open and doing well i might add !!!!!!!!!I thing a new dancehall is what we need as long as we can keep the a$$h@/%$ out and the little punk jean sagging but inviting pricks out!!!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

sory p1 was bring a sportatorium bit that I stole from kergo over here, guess it flew over your head. My point being, both are s-holes with nothing but the chicks of walmart at every turn.

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