In Uptown, Residents Square Off Against Restaurants and Saloons Over Parking

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Thomas Ave Beverage Co.jpg
There's trouble brewing in the land of lofts, bros and trolleys. Owners of Uptown spots such as Thomas Ave. Beverage Company, The Nodding Donkey and Si Tapas say they're getting squeezed by irascible homeowners who've had whole swaths of Thomas Avenue and Allen Street designated for residents only, leaving patrons with nowhere nearby to park. And they're afraid it's going to get worse.

"This thing is going to spread all around Uptown, which is gonna be terrible for business," says TABC owner Russell Hayward. "We've been trying to be cooperative and conciliatory, but they're just trying to shut us down."

McKinney Avenue-area establishments like TABC don't have big asphalt lots to accommodate patrons, so they're zoned for street parking. "The intent of that is to rely on the neighborhood for street parking," Hayward says. "The reason they did that was to entice people like me to open businesses where there is no parking. That was fine for 17 years.

"Now the new residents don't like that anymore and have basically choked us off on parking."

It may have started with something as small as a red Solo cup, left like breadcrumbs by Uptown-dwelling pre-gamers who stroll to the bars and ditch the remains of that Jack and Coke along the way. At closing times, the same Uptowners hoof it back home, lubricated and vocal. Obnoxious, sure, but it's the price of living in Uptown, he says.

"This is an urban environment, and you live on a retail street. There's a good chance there will be noise when people leave those bars," Hayward says. "When these people did move in and buy homes, it was quieter. There weren't as many apartments around. McKinney wasn't as busy."

But it became a youthful part of town with a vibrant nightlife, where twenty-somethings hold it down till closing time. We've left messages all over Dallas City Hall, including for Angela Hunt, who bar owners say they've reached out to in an attempt to solve the problem. When we hear back we'll update accordingly.

When the Nodding Donkey moved in across the street, Hayward says traffic doubled. Residents began complaining to the police. "They take a corporal off his desk to drive up here to give a ticket to one truck when there's 12 other spots open," The Nodding Donkey co-owner Tony Winkler says.

Only those 12 other spots were now resident-only parking from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- his busiest hours.

"Right in front of my restaurant, the whole street of Allen ... nobody can park there," says Alfonso Jimenez, owner of Si Tapas.

"It's already rumored that it's hard enough to find parking here," Winkler adds. "Now my valet becomes more crowded, or I gotta push people out further, two or three blocks. My employees park two to three blocks away minimum."

Winkler says the resident-only spots aren't even being used, and that they amount to little more than scorched earth. "They all have two-car parking garages!"

"There's plenty of room, so now it's vindictive."

Winkler says business was down 50 percent in December. Hayward says the lack of parking is killing his weekday happy hour crowd. If residents keep consuming the streets, they both worry about the future of business in the area.

Says Hayward: "They're going to push restaurant operations off of McKinney."

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SlimJim
SlimJim

Good riddance to TABC.  That part of Uptown has become too crowded and too noisy.  Let the lot be cleared of the building etc. and leave it as a vacant lot with greenery.  That will improve uptown.

Not that bad
Not that bad

By the way i won't ever drive/park in uptown again.. While I worked in the area my car was hit numerous times and while on break at 1am I would see some drunk idiot trying to squeeze out of a tight spot and hit both cars (behind and in front) without even flinching.. They didn't stop or look around just kept going..

Not that bad
Not that bad

Speaking of tight spots WTF was the City of Dallas thinking turning the off street parking on Greenville Ave into parallel spots? Dumbest move is to create tight spots for sober people to park in who will then be drunk by the time they leave..

Not that bad
Not that bad

I used to work in that area not to long ago and parking was never an issue.. (after the ROP started in December). I had to walk a few blocks a few times but it's uptown who cares.. There is plenty of parking.. Before I worked in the area I went to TABC on New Years Eve at 11pm and found a spot after about 5-10 minutes.

Jay
Jay

I love how property owners in these neighborhoods act as if they're getting nothing out of the crowds. In fact, you're getting higher property values. A little beer can nearby (Uptown is mostly extremely clean the vast majority of the time) does not put a dent in the extra 50k minimum that your property is worth BECAUSE Uptown is popular.

Uptowner
Uptowner

Except, Jay, for the little detail that what you're saying is just a glittering generality which is easily proved false.  Values tend to run 20-26% lower with immediate exposure to intense traffic/use conditions, versus the values on comparables just a couple of blocks removed.

The secondary consideration is that you NEED PARKING RESTRICTIONS to keep otherwise cool developments (like West Village) from becoming douchepots (like West Village).  This happens any time balance of retail to restaurant/bar tips sufficiently that douchebags and the women who allow them to penetrate their vaginas are concentrated in the outdoor patio breeding grounds.

Joe L
Joe L

Is there any way citizens can start a petition to completely ban "resident only" parking on public streets?  If this practice is allowed to proliferate, people will stop using their private parking and these vibrant new urban neighborhoods will decline.  Businesses will close, lay off employees and stop paying badly needed tax to the city.

The City should be very strict about forcing developers to provide parking for housing units.  The housing in these neighborhoods is upscale and expensive. They can pay for their private parking like every one else and leaving public parking for the public.

D Wilson
D Wilson

Your arguments are based on a bunch of weak false assumptions

All streets are for the benefit of the business in the area, not the residents.

If the residents have guests who are not eating at that bar, screw them.

If the resident is having a party on SuperBowl Sunday, screw them. Have the party at the bar.

If the resident is having a private St. Patrick's Day party, they can't serve booze. They have to drink at the bar.

Like I said, false assumptions based on thinking you and your business are so goddamn superior to everyone else.

In two words - Fuck you.

Joe L
Joe L

They really should completely ban "residents parking only".  Each dwelling unit is supposed to have adequate off-street parking built with it.  People should be forced to use their authorized parking, not public streets which are for public parking.

B.S. Filter
B.S. Filter

Boo hoo.  You'd think the entire city of Dallas was dying of thirst.  If you had one drink at every Uptown bar you saw, you'd be dead of alcohol poisoning in the space of one-half block.  Real cities protect their residents first, then look to the needs of entertainment, and things work fine.  Ever been to Amsterdam?  Some of the most restrictive zoning in the world, and obviously plenty of places to party.  Dallas bar owners whine at the drop of a hat, and need to get over it. Pony up and get some parking or don't open a bar there.  Pretty simple.

Dallas Business Guy
Dallas Business Guy

I would suggest for all the businesses to save their money and make the move. I have gone through this headache with residents and the City of Dallas Nazis. You will never win, no matter how much money you through at them.

I lost 250k in sales and legal fees. Leave while you can afford it.

Jeaniesl
Jeaniesl

If these bar owners would realize that we enjoy restaurants in the area, but do not want the remains ( beer bottles, cans, cups, urine, and barf ) of overserved patrons in our residential neighbors, they could hone in on THE TRUE PROBLEMS resulting from their venues and work on being better neighbors. They could control noise levels of entertainment, the amount of patrons they cram into and around their establishment, and not overserve patrons into the wee hours of the morning. They could have a clean-up crew to go through the neighborhood in the early morning hours to pick up the messes their patrons leave behind. Why should we homeowners have to pick up their litter on a regular basis? 

 Who wants to be repeatedly awakened between 12 and 2 a.m. to loud disturbances by drunk, obnoxious, and inconsiderate bar patrons. Why should we tolerate this juvenile behavior at the expense of their businesses? The prior restaurants housed in their buildings sold liquor ( the 1900 restaurant & bistro 88) , but did not have any of the associated problems listed above, as they attracted people who wanted to eat a nice meal out while having a few drinks. These places are catering to the bar scene and their patrons have a "frat house attitude."

If anyone should have a sense of entitlement it should be those who live in the area 24/ 7 and would like to use the space in front of their home to park one of their vehicles or that of one of their guests. 

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Then the homeowners would complain about undocumented laborers walking in their yard. Just wait and see. I mean, we all know undocumented workers are all criminals, just like patrons of those restaurants.

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

They won't listen.  Maybe you should get Avi to move to your neighborhood for a while and rabblerouse over there to get some traction.

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

Good idea.  If fact, they should get him to move to Uptown and leave Lower Greenville alone.

Paul
Paul

Gee ... sounds just like the debate on lower Greenville ...

Wasupguy2009
Wasupguy2009

Its a neighborhood for residential living not a bar or restaurant district.  There is plenty of space on McKinney avenue available.  If the bars and restaurants feel like they are superior to the residents who own homes in the neighborhood, then they should come up with a parking solution outside the neighborhood or move.  Take responsibility for your establishment.  Use common sense.  If you have an occupancy standard by the city allow enough parking for that many people.  Its hilarious that the bar and restaurant owners are whining.  Zero sympathy.  Make the entire neighborhood resident permit parking.  

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

you havent lived here long or been familiar with that area long, have you?

Dave
Dave

Because THAT would be a good idea. Then the residents would complain that there's no parking for their guests.  And then they'd complain when State and Allen shuts down and they can't walk over to get some pizza and a beer.  And then they'd complain when they can't sell their condo at a profit because the property values have plummeted following the downturn of the businesses that created the rising demand for real estate in the area in the first place.

That's wasup.

FlowerBarbie
FlowerBarbie

No, Wasupguy, it's a MIXED-USE community.  It ALWAYS has been!  ALWAYS!

Montemalone
Montemalone

The bars and restaurants were there looong before the condos and townhouses. Why do you think they built the condos and townhouses?

Guest
Guest

Not true! Uptown was strictly a residential area made up of minorities until the early 1980's. A co-worker of mine lives on Thomas Ave after inheriting it from her family who purchased their house in 1945. Developers came in and started buying up old homes and demolishing them or converting them into commercial property.

RSF
RSF

Huh? That was State-Thomas - part of State-Thomas - over by Hall and Central, which was demolished decades ago.  Uptown was mostly known as Oak Lawn - and it was pretty trendy even in the 60s and 70s with antique shops and The Quadrangle.

FlowerBarbie
FlowerBarbie

The "working-class" history of what is now know as Uptown was actually destroyed by the construction of Central Expressway & Woodall Rogers Freeway back in the early 50's, NOT by commercial developers in the 80's; the face of the "minority" community was long gone by then.....  

cockadoodledoooo
cockadoodledoooo

You have to speak in "Uptowners" lingo to get thru to these jack-offs. You've gotta be like: yo brah, not cool brah....and also say things like: brah, dude, like can you park your beemer someplace else??? cool brah(slapping and shaking of hands in some type of frat boy,"we're cool, bro", way, will further show that you mean no harm and a popping of the collars helps, too). p.s don't forget to compliment them on their Affliction T-shirt and bitchin' spray-on-tan and the minor altercation you have with the brain dead, self centered twat will go much smoother! PEACE OUT

Willie
Willie

Yep, the $30,000 millionaires.

FlowerBarbie
FlowerBarbie

Actually, the AGI in this zipcode, 75204, is $75K....  And we DON'T wear Affliction, and we don't say 'Bro"....  those things are actually the image of the suburbanites that THINK they know what our community is about & attempt to act like they are hip & trendy.....  I promise you the only people wearing Affliction in the last 3 years all live in small towns & burbs and watch too much Jerry Springer....  

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

1) sorry honey2) can you provide the linnk to your statistic? It'll back up your claim better. People love lists and links.

FlowerBarbie
FlowerBarbie

1)  I'm not your babe2)  Yes, the AGI is based on filed tax returns; even renters file taxes!

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I'm not sure, but do they track AGI for apartment dwellers? Not usually. The property owners, yes. Your 30k millis live in the apartments, babe.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Parking will forever be a problem in Uptown/Oaklawn.  But I suggest that's a good thing, not a bad thing.  State Thomas was designed for on-street business parking.  Solving the problems created by irresponsible bar owners -- trash tossed in front yards, too much noise, too loud music, stumbling drunk patrons -- by varying from the original plan is not the answer.  Homeowners are worried about property values, but if the retail element of State Thomas fails their property values fall as well.  Bar owners need to confess that retail parking was never designed nor intended to handle maximum occupancy at 2 am and they need to focus on alternatives. The stakeholders need to start talking to each other pronto. The number of people wandering into State Thomas once the Park is open is only going to increase, not decrease.  Maybe Mr. Hayward should talk to Caven Enterprises.  Cedar Springs retail district has lots of experience working with lack of parking adjacent to residential.

matt
matt

the solution is no residential parking.  look at sf.  if you have a garage use it, but your curb will be used for parking.  sardine theory wins out.  residents that want no one to park by their apartment should move to gated communities in carrollton or somesuch.  this is a city and curbs are for parking

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

San Fran is full of resident parking spots.  Hung out with a friend in Nob Hill last month and he parks on the same hill his townhome is on, perpendicular to the curb.  Kind of scary, actually.  Thought we were going to roll down the hill.

Montemalone
Montemalone

"Now the new residents don't like that anymore and have basically choked us off on parking."

They move to the trendy hip happenin' area bringin' their suburban mentality to slowly turn the city into Plano.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

So, they bring the crime rate down, improve the streets and the median income level goes up?

I don't see the problem.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Plano has plenty of parking though.

Montemalone
Montemalone

All the more reason for them to stay there and use it.

G_David
G_David

Appreciate it, pal.  We need fewer people down here in Dallas that use the world "cool".

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

We have our own Breadwinners and Albertson's, we don't need to go to Uptown for them.

I know it hurts and you die a little inside, but you're dealing with Dallas douches there. We suburbanites either will valet cause we're scared of the big ole city or walk because we're so damn excited we get to be visiting that magical world-class place where the special people live.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I have eyes.I make no claims to being an authority, but I've lived in a big city up north. It's the same there, too.Car people will sit on McKinney in front of Breadwinners waiting (and blocking traffic) for one of the 3 spaces out front to open up, rather than pull into the lot across the street.And when I walk to Albertson's, I'm generally the only one on foot outside the parking lot.The inner city is different from the outer burbs. People can't expect to move in and things be the same as they are in Frisco.

RSF.
RSF.

Enjoy the chain restaurants in suburb-friendly Sundance Square.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How are you such an expert on suburbanite behavior if you're also the leading Dallas authority?

Collin County residents have no problem walking quite a distance in the Stonebriar lots, smartass.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

We don't "venture down to the city".  At least not Dallas.  With 121 complete, we go to Fort Worth and enjoy a city that is actually cool and comparatively douche-free.

Montemalone
Montemalone

It's like going to Europe and eating every meal at McD's.We need to be more like "When in Rome..."The people form the burbs that move to the city don't want to give up the car for every little trip.The people from the burbs visiting the city can't bear the thought of walking more than half a block.I agree that parking is not always easy or convenient, but that's the deal. The issues with unruly patrons and trash is a whole other issue that shouldn't be conflated with parking.Instead of Parking Police, how about some Beat Cops that come round in the late night hours when these patrons are causing problems. A few D&Ds might edumacate folks on how to behave.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Just propose your wall to a JWP cronie contractor and get it over with.

cockadoodledoooo
cockadoodledoooo

How do you ever expect to give off the illusion that Dallas is urban and dense unless these Plano-ites venture down to the City???

jfpo
jfpo

I've never understood that mentality myself. There are plenty of bland suburbs, and neighborhoods within Dallas for that matter, where cars rule, parking is plentiful and no one has any fun.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Can't a ferris wheel/parking structure combination solve the problem and make us more world-class all at once? You can alternate London Eye-style cabins with car-holding cabins. And then we can get Mission: Impossible 5 or 6 taped here.

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