Tuesday, September 18, 2012

RIP: Elbow Room



http://www.elbowroomdallas.com/images/img_barFront2.jpg

 CORRECTION: I clicked the wrong DCAD parcel.  Somehow my mind erased the parking lot to the southwest of the building.  Blame the alcohol or the parking.  Either applies.  The land isn't owned by Baylor College of Dentistry, but everything around it is.  Perhaps I'm doing some mental gymnastics here, but that could be more believable if the landowner is looking to cash out, rather than BUMC directly pulling the strings.  At the end of the day, it still makes sense for this block to densify in some format.  What doesn't however make sense and never will however, is the horrific intersection nearby serving the new Fair Park Link which wipes out all sorts of properties without creating realistic development parcels.
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I haven't personally verified this yet, but I have no reason not believe the text I received from a friend alerting me to the closing of the Elbow Room, with the caveat "potentially re-opening under new mgmt."  Edit: This post from Eater Dallas is where the original info came from, suggesting it may re-open this week.

It could happen, and often does, but let me posit another theory.  There are different dynamics at work here than many typical bars where turnover is the norm.  Baylor owns the land.  If I were a betting man, I'd wager a penny or two that Baylor raised the rent with the expectation it would ultimately force the Elbow Room out (or under new management willing to meet the new valuation, which is probably and intentionally doubtful).  The real reason is because it's a stand alone building within a larger parking lot immediately next to a large hospital with burgeoning expansion needs, in all directions and for a myriad of uses.

I've been going to the Elbow Room for going on ten years now, the entire time I've been on Dallas, not as much these days as there are now a few dozen bars closer to my current residence.  But, I don't feel like I will miss it.  Bars open and bars close.  Some good, some bad.  If it does mean that BUMC is densifying, ultimately that is a good thing (provided it is compatible development with surrounding area).  Denser places increase the likely of better bars in a world where the Elbow Room was a rarity.