The Night They Turned Off the Lights at 7-Eleven And Other Tales of Greenville Ave.

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Yes, as a matter of fact, they did close the 7-Eleven on Lowest Greenville this morning -- at midnight, almost to the second. And, at just past midnight, the sidewalks -- which, moments before, had been thick with club-goers shuffling from drink special to drink special at the Pussycat Lounge, Kush, Lost Society -- all but emptied. The new law, the planned development district ordinance, had gone into effect -- the one intended to rid Greenville of its bad actors. The effect: Greenville was a ghost town, or close to.

Only a few places remained open, most legally: The Libertine, the neighborhood benchmark; Billiard Bar, crowded; Taco Cabana, essential. Yucatan and Service Bar, denied their late-hours permits from the City Plan Commission, also managed to remain open pending an October 7 hearing in front of a judge -- the first, but not the last, legal challenge to the law.

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At midnight this morning, Lost Society's owners told Dallas Police officers and code compliance enforcers who'd come to ticket the joint that he too had filed for a temporary restraining order. Assistant City Attorney Melissa Myles, no-nonsense in her jeans and boots on this crisp night, said it didn't count -- it never went before a judge. So Lost Society shuttered, rather than risk a ticket.

Even some with the proper SUPs had to close, though, the Greenville Avenue Pizza Company and Nandina among them. The former didn't yet have its new certificate of occupancy, yet another step required by the ordinance (and another $500 expense, amazing); its windows were covered in black paper. Meanwhile, Nandina was still tied up at City Hall, straightening out paperwork it thought was in order.

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Yucatan didn't get off scot-free: Fire Marshals wrote it up for being over capacity. The club's owner stood outside, repeating over and over: "You're harassing me. You're harassing me. OK, OK, I'll calm down. You're harassing me." Only one club flaunted the new rules: 180, its doors wide open past the witching hour. Officers wrote two tickets: one for violating the ordinance, another for operating as a dance club without the proper dance-hall license.

Meanwhile, down at the Libertine, business was good -- not great, not packed, but good, steady. It too almost didn't get to stay open after midnight; it too ran into snags concerning its new CO, despite its being held up at plan commission and city council as perhaps the greatest of all Greenville ventures -- the Perfect Neighborhood Bar, one that operates with consideration for the residents who live all 'round. We stayed till last call, till the lights came on, watching dozens of cars pull into the 7-Eleven parking lot and yank on the door, only to find it was closed -- closed?!?!

On my way home, a little past 2, I drove past a club still jam-packed, its patrons spilling into the street, beer trucks blocking Greenville, cops all 'round. The place: Kinki Lounge, at Martel, near the Granada, far from Lowest Greenville.
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119 comments
moose
moose

Flouted not flaunted

Robomonkeymonk
Robomonkeymonk

Greenville ave was turning into a complete shit hole anyway. It was a waste of taxpayer money sitting a shitload of cops in the area to police a bunch of rundown bars is bullshit.

Paul
Paul

Please go and read the crime reports for this area.  These are definitely places where one doesn't go for a "nightcap" unless your idea is to get capped in the leg at night. I wish people who are not from this area and probably don't frequent this area think that these are pleasant places where adults go to socialize and have some enjoyable entertainment. I wouldn't step into most of these places without body armor and a crew served weapon for protection. I am waiting for someone to do a heads up comparison between this so called "entertainment district" and all of the others in terms of police presence and response and the percentage of "bars" vs. restaurants. I seriously doubt that anyone who has been posting on this board would accept in their neighborhood an "entertainment district"  that requires at least half a dozen police squad cars and at least one paddy wagon to control all of the "adults" who are out for a "nightcap" and "pleasant socializing".

Paul
Paul

Ahhh ... massage parlor ... how much for massage with happy ending?

Wrecked
Wrecked

I think Hunt and Medrano are doing their jobs - which is to represent their constituents.  Sadly, the small business owners on Gvl Ave will pay the price.  The city of Dallas has never supported small business.  They're all "big hair and big $$".    

Rangers100
Rangers100

"I think Hunt and Medrano are doing their jobs - which is to represent their constituents."

Agreed.  Small-minded people elect small-minded representatives.  The type who call black people "bums" if they sit in parks.  The type who shut down businesses because someone got a bottle in their beautiful, never-used but effectively-isolating yard.  

God Save the Yards.  

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

There are a billion solutions to the problems that LG faces and leave it to the city to pick the most totalitarian and stupid.  The problem seems to be people on foot, not people in the clubs. SO many ways to crack down on those problem people without doing much to the clubs at all. Instead we get business-killing street work, pathetic money-grubbing permitting and bureaucracy, and a curfew like everyone in Dallas is 16 and needs to be home before they turn into a pumpkin.

Deep Ellum is coming back.  Don't try this crap there, Dallas, we've been working hard on it.

Jay
Jay

you know what's funny? Dallas is a majority minority city. But if you went to any of the entertainment areas of this city which get support from the city, publicity, etc. - Bishop Arts, West Village, Uptown, Knox-Henderson, Downtown, etc. you'd NEVER EVER know it...Places that actually LOOK LIKE the population of this city are quickly overrun by 16 squad cars for every weekend night and crusading city council members and neighborhood activists with absolutely no desire to cooperate with mostly peaceful local patrons (that's the key, focusing on the 3% of the population that causes problems is unproductive...) and the establishments they go to. But people say race has no part in this and wonder why anyone would ask the question? Where the hell are the minorities in this city? I guess they don't go out on the weekends? What area of this city that's "hip" and not majority-white gets infrastructure funding or publicity in this city's major publications? 

jharris214
jharris214

Escapades 2001 and 2009 are Latino clubs and bring in the most alcohol sales than any other club in the entire state of Texas to my understanding.  They're off on their own no where near a residental area or any other major entertainment areas and they seem to get a lot of backing.  Considering a race-greivance merchant like John Wiley Price is one of the most powerful men in Dallas, it's absurd to think there is a race based agenda going AGAINST black and hispanic groups when it comes to entertainment.All the areas you mentioned catered to certain tastes that may not widely appeal to the overall minority populations of Dallas.  Certainly you could have similiar areas that cater to minority groups, but potential investors would probably think the risk is higher.  

Sam
Sam

If I am not mistaken Pauline Medrano is also a councilmember for Lower Greenville.

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

You are correct. Angela Hunt has the East side of Lower Greenville and Pauline Medrano has the West side. Greenville Ave. Pizza Co. and Taco Cabana are both in District 2 but 7/11 is in Angela Hunt's District 14.

Rooster
Rooster

I guess we can all rest easier at night knowing Angela Hunt and Co. are protecting people from buying groceries after midnight...

MJ
MJ

This just makes me glad I live in Denton.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

No one is glad they live in Denton. Don't try to justify your 8 year college plan.

George
George

Somewhere, Avi is doing his best Mr. Burns impression as he says "excellent."

David H
David H

I'll bet that alot of the places that close will just pick up and move to Deep Ellum, and all these knuckle-heads with nowhere to go will just follow. 

I hope I'm wrong, but it makes sense with all those empty properties in Deep Ellum.

Allen78704
Allen78704

WOW...I love the people that wanna move into a "hip, vibrant, cool nightlife" neighborhood...and then bitch about noise. Greenville is dead and Lakewood is being turned into Douchebagville....

jharris214
jharris214

It's a real shame things came down to this.  I lived off Greenville for years and I frequented lower Greenville for years, but to be honest I hadn't been down on that part of Greenville in well over a year.  The main reason is because quite frankly it had been overrun by scum, the same sort of scum that ruined Deep Ellum.  I don't want the place transformed to suburbia, but clubs and bars that cater to the 18 and up, 'urban' crowd need to go find some industrial park somewhere to set up shop because they don't mix well with others.  It's not a race thing, I'm not even white, but it's undeniable that they attract a certain element that has a knack for trouble and screws it up for everyone else.  

Rawlins
Rawlins

@jharris214You make an excellent case here, linear & clear.  I remember when I was walking to my car in Deep Ellum after years & years of being there on Sunday nights at Monica's.  And on the way to my car over on Commerce or Canton, the edge of the crowd was clearly not fun seeking yahoos as in times past.  I've got street smarts sixth sense & I could tell it an accident waiting to happen.  I could smell it.  So I avoided the area...and others apparently did also because Deep Ellum then went into a prolonged decline, only now reemerging in a new incarnation.  That, in order to curtail the decline on Lower Greenville they resort to closing at midnight, it ills me to realize how many merchants who have been models of business decorum are being killed by this when it is clear what the real issue is.... but it's a losing situation for anyone attempting to tell it like it is.  Thanks to jharris214 for being an exception. 

jason
jason

I am honestly speechless at your comment.  And to see that 3 people "liked" it really scares me.

So, let me get this straight.  You would like to segregate the 'urban' crowd into an industrial park?  Brainstorm this a little bit, won't you?  Should the city regulate it?  Should the businesses be able to regulate it?  Maybe the city can start a new revenue stream by issuing Whites Only signs.  It can become part of the SUP process.  You should get in touch with Angela Hunt.  Maybe she has an opening on her staff for a big thinker like yourself.

I think Lower Greenville is better off without you going down there, wherever it is you're from.  Keep your racism in your own part of town.  Thanks.

Reality Observer
Reality Observer

Pathetic reality-ignoring white-guilt libtard.

Jason
Jason

Oh, hai! Okay. You got me. Thanks.

By the way, you should place a comma between "ignoring" and "white". I'll give you the whole incomplete sentence bit since the subject (me!) is implied, but you should really divide your adjectives with commas.

jharris214
jharris214

Uh, did you miss that part where I stated that I'm not white?  Also my part of town is just a little over 2 miles from Lower Greenville in Lakewood. 

Let me say again, this isn't a race thing.  It's a youth culture thing.  If a blues club, a jazz club, or even an afro-centric coffee shop opened on Greenville, I would not have a problem with it.  My problem is with the places that attract some of the worst elements this town has to offer, and most often those are clubs that either are 18 and up, or have lax rules regarding age limits, and who tend to cater to the what is referred to as the urban crowd.   It doesn't mean you can't have those places, but whenever those places open in areas like Greenville or Deep Ellum, the next thing you know violence kicks off, crime kicks off, and the area ends up going downhill.   I've seen it time and again.  Royal Rack on Greenville use to be laid back and a cool joint, until they started catering to that crowd and next thing you know you had to get a pat down upon entering.  Dread'n'Irie in Deep Ellum, same thing.  One summer a hip-hop club opened across from Aqualounge in Deep Ellum and it was melees every weekend and people being attacked just walking down the street.  It's so consistent that it's impossible to ignore.  The clubs that attract the gangstas and wannbe gangstas just don't fit in.   Honestly if you're a club owner and want to cater to that brand it would benefit everyone if they do like the owners of Far West and Escapades do and open up a place where nothing else is around it.

Rangers100
Rangers100

"Uh, did you miss that part where I stated that I'm not white?"

Uh, were you under the impression that only white people can be bigoted? 

jharris214
jharris214

I make no excuses for my sentiment.   Yes, many of the scenarios involved people of color because many of the troublemakers involved happen to be black or hispanic, but certainly there is plenty of white trash to help fill in the gaps.  Probably one of the biggest dirtbag clubs I've ever been to was Lazers in Deep Ellum and it was mostly white trash hoods that came through there.    When I go out for a good time, or I'm on a date, absolutely I want out of sight, out of mind.  I want enjoyment, and that enjoyment doesn't mean wading through a mob of a-holes looking for a fight or to cop a feel on a girl I may be with. You're right a business can start anywhere and cater to whoever they want, but if a city or neighborhood association uses certain methods to make it difficult for shady businesses that don't fit in to certain areas to set up shop, then quite frankly I have no real problem with that. The history speaks for itself.  West End went down the crapper and never really recovered, Deep Ellum went down the crapper and is slowly recovering, now it's Greenville's turn.  Eventually Henderson or maybe even Uptown.

jason
jason

Oh, yeah, I read where you said you weren't white.  But by saying that doesn't excuse your sentiment.

Even in this rebuttal you go on to describe scenarios that involve people of color.  For instance, you cite Dread-n-Irie, Royal Rack.  You use phrases like,  "a hip-hop club", "gangstas".  You use examples, Far West, Escapades to describe clubs that cater to people of color and how they are located where nothing else is around.  Out of site, out of mind, right?  As long as you don't have to deal with them.  You mention that you would have no problem with a blues club, a jazz club, and an afro-centric coffee shop.  Sure, you're trying to say that it's about youth but it's really about youth of certain races.  The thing about it is that we live in a free and open society.  A business can start anywhere and cater to whoever they want.  They just have to follow the rules of how they run their business.  The point of this article and most of the comments is that the city now has a process in place that is not business friendly.   

StoptheWar
StoptheWar

If X was legal again, there would be way less drinking and way less violence at those establishments. Yes, people would be there into the wee hours of the morning...but it would be a huge dance and cuddle session and once the magic wore off, most everyone would simply go home peacefully...sober...and feeling fab.

Dan "The Man" Levitan
Dan "The Man" Levitan

Lotta uninformed postings on this site...

The problem with 7-11 was that they were not aware the ordinance applied to them. This is 100% the fault of the city if they truly weren't made aware. Now that they know, it should be painless for them to get the SUP.

Second, and a recurring theme with the Dallas bureaucracy/city staff is the bumbling of getting the CO's and paperwork ready in time for this deadline FOR BUSINESSES ALREADY APPROVED. Things like this make me shake my head at the Morons on Marilla (TM) for being generally incompetent while screeching that Dallas is the "City that works!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I am a supporter of Hunt and think once construction is done that this will be overwhelmingly positive for the area, including the existing bars/restaurants. If you give a shit about this place, support these businesses. Mextopia, Bottle Shop, and Libertine have all gotten my cash recently and that will continue.

"a club still jam-packed, its patrons spilling into the street, beer trucks blocking Greenville, cops all 'round."

Sounds like hell/typical shiny-shirt Dallas. 

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

A major corporation that deals with neighborhoods and zoning all over the world was not aware ? You know those SUP public notice signs get posted for a reason. I guess the owner/manager of that location didnt even bother to check

Frustrated Resident
Frustrated Resident

If Walmart goes in I'm moving...love the area, but this is getting ridiculous.  If you want to live in a suburb where there are no bars, nothing open past midnight and 5 giant box stores looming within a convenient 10 mile radius, then why not move to Frisco and get it over with...??

Rangers100
Rangers100

Yep.  They don't want the Frisco commute times, so they'll just try to force Frisco into East Dallas.  

This is what passes for a "visionary" on the Dallas city council.  

jharris214
jharris214

Look, I hate the idea of Walmart smackdab on Greenville, but a lot of the people who live in the area are folks who probably have paid the rent and salaries of many a bar and club on Greenville for years and call the place home.  Yes, what makes Greenville interesting is that it's still a bit rough around the edges, but it doesn't mean they have to accept the cadre of gang-starr knuckleheads that now infest lower Greenville.  How about those folks all piss-off back to Garland, Mesquite, Arlington, and Desoto?

Montemalone
Montemalone

This whole thing reminds me of something I once heard about a baby and bathwater.

Instead of punishing all businesses, why can't the people charged with enforcing the rules do their jobs?If a business does not have the proper permit for the type of establishment they are running, come in with a padlock and shut them down.Why do we have rules at all?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Im thinking 7-11 Corp, if they're smart, marches down to city hall today and raises hell concerning this. That's just beyond stupid...

Mark Allen
Mark Allen

Surreal. Weirdly sad. Very backwards.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

City of Dallas did this same thing to very vibrant entertainment district on NW Highway down by Bachman Lake.Roxi Ann Staff and Husband wanted it closed so other family entertainment could open.Please ride down there now,all the business that once offered jobs,paid sales and liquor tax kept their property up and paid tax are gone buildings abandoned nothing new has moved in. Dallas is killing all fun entertainment districts and again no one comes to a town that the only place you can dance and have a glass of wine or gin and tonic is hotel or Victory where a drink is $$12.00 ,parking 15.00.  A city that's broke and needing every tax dollar they can get closing places  2 hours early few places with SUP won't be able to hold on if majority of traffic moves on to Addison.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Those of us who live near NW Highway at Bachman Lake were glad to see the businesses moved further west toward Stemmons Freeway. And you should come by - the new Sam's Club opens Friday, with more development on the way.

Winston
Winston

I wasn't happy to see them go.  I'm not thrilled about the walmart either.  And I'm sad to see Al's Pizza go.

Brian
Brian

You will not be happy with Sam's and Walmart once they are open.

CherryBitch
CherryBitch

Jesus Christ... if the neighbors wanted suburbia why in the hell didn't they move to suburbia!?!? That's like buying a house next to Love Field and bitching about the noise. Or, like my neighbors, moving to country and complaining that there's nothing out here. DUH!! Don't give me crap that 'the drunks this' and 'the drunks that'... I've been on LG and LowestG  plenty and rarely have seen anything beyond the norm. And, we would have been kicked out of Lost Society had we been able to go. Damn sorry we weren't there to witness this travesty. (Enjoy Wally World, where, ya know, they make deliveries 24 HOURS A DAY. And enjoy not being able to grab a late night bite to eat, or a "nightcap" or even do average errands because ya'll have run all the businesses out of the area!) Yes, this pisses me off.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Don't forget that this was a residential neighborhood long before it became a club area.  When I moved to East Dallas in 1997, Greenville was very differnt, it was mostly shops and restaurants with a few low-key bars.  There were no rooftop venues. Many of the people who are complaining are, in fact, the people who have lived there for years and seen the character of Greenville change, mainly through the city allowing clubs to operate under restaurant licenses.

Andrewmcadoo
Andrewmcadoo

Great news!! Out with the old and in with the new. Hopefully, lower Greenville will become more attractive to college educated folks with families once these hoods are gone. After all, your options are very limited inside 635 if you don't have a 1000000$ budget.

Rangers100
Rangers100

You very clearly don't want a city. Just one giant, lifeless, sterile suburb.

Cities have bars, noise, non-white people, etc. The type of people that scare you and Angela Hunt to death.

Paul
Paul

Will you come by on sunday morning and pick up the empty beer, wine and liquor bottles along with the occasional used condom left on the street in front of my house?

Paul
Paul

I was being sarcastic though living in the city shouldn't be worse than other areas

Rangers100
Rangers100

Oh, the horrors of city life.

Frisco, dude.  Try it.  

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