The King Bucks' Danny Balis and Slobberbone's Jess Barr To Open New Deep Ellum Spot.
While it's often hard to resist writing the annual “Deep Ellum is back!” narrative after catching wind of a new venue opening up down in that part of town, we'll try to temper our enthusiasm a bit — if only so as not to put any unnecessary pressure on the backs of the neighborhood's youngest businesses.
Still, despite La Grange's closing this past November, Deep Ellum has experienced some recent growth of late.
For instance? The same month that La Grange closed, Wit's End took over the old space once occupied by The Bone and Anvil Pub began construction on its plans for expansion. (We've even heard a few rumors of some principles that could potentially play a part in reopening La Grange. For now, though, those are just rumors.)
The newest bit of venue news, though? There's a new spot coming to 2640 Elm Street, right next to Anvil Pub, set to be called The Twilite Lounge — assuming the spot's SUP to serve booze in the space once occupied by Insomnia Coffee Bar is approved by the City Plan Commission next week.
But what makes the news of Twilite Lounge's opening really interesting is the list of names set to co-own the bar: Danny Balis, who splits time producing for 1310 The Ticket's afternoon drivetime show The Hardline and playing bass for Calhoun and The King Bucks, and Slobberbone guitarist and longtime Barley House barkeep Jess Barr.
While it's true that a third of the properties in Deep Ellum still remain vacant — most on Main Street, as Elm and Commerce have long started to fill up — one has to admit that the string of recent openings on Elm Street, paired with the fact that city is also set to rebuild Elm Street and improve its sidewalks, surely aren't a bad sign of things to come down there.
Update at 3:12 p.m. on Thursday, January 24: Balis checks in today to let us know that all systems are go for the Twilite Lounge. The city just approved the space's Specific Use Permit application. We should have more details on Balis' plans for the space next week. — Pete Freedman
Speaking of improvements, as we noted in another recent post, Lower Greenville pub The Crown and Harp has seen a major uptick in worthwhile bands popping up on their bills of late. We're not the only ones who've noticed, either. Credit the recent addition of former Bryan Street Tavern general manager Moody Fuqua to the pub's staff for that much; he recently began taking over booking duties for the venue.
“The Artist Collective has most of February booked, so my stuff won't be coming in full force until March,” Fuqua says. “I'm trying to work on consistency with the DJ weeklies at the moment, and possibly some Sunday matinee-type local shows downstairs. I'm confident we've got great things in store for this year.”
When asked if this means we could expect the venue to start returning to its Cavern-era glory days Fuqua responded like so: “That's the plan.”
We also recently learned that the once-great Curtain Club will be hosting the vinyl release party for Mothership's debut LP on February 8. Aside from the fact that this is the same night as Mothership bassist Kyle Juett's 30th birthday, the bill will also feature the first show from heavy Denton rockers Mescalero since 2011. In the meantime, it seems, the band has recruited former Dixie Witch guitarist Clayton Mills into their ranks.
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