DALLAS - Ending its 19-year run in a building that dates back to 1933, the Elbow Room bar and pizza joint will close its doors Saturday.
Located just southeast of downtown Dallas, the Elbow Room's demise proves that many other buildings with its same vintage won’t automatically be protected from demolition either.
"Well, you know what, it's like bittersweet,” said Dionne Haggerty, a customer, as she finished a Wednesday lunch with her co-worker, Carolyn Coleman.
It’s bittersweet for them because their favorite lunch spot will be demolished to make way for an expansion of the Texas A&M Baylor Dental School, the place where they both work as dental assistants.
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"Yes, it's bittersweet,” Haggerty said. “But it's something that has to happen because it's growth."
Jim Rogers, with the Deep Ellum Community Association, agrees. The Elbow Room, located outside the northern boundary of Deep Ellum, is no different than buildings located in that area. Without a historic landmark designation, their futures aren't automatically guaranteed.
"If you own the property you can do what you want with it,” Rogers said. "Most of the people think that those one and two-story red brick buildings are protected. That is not correct.”
“They would like to see that preserved," he said. "They would like to see that here a 100 years from now like it was 100 years ago. But if you own the property, you can do what you want to it as long as you don't go over 200-feet in height."
So 18-story buildings are always possible in the heart of Deep Ellum and just outside of it. Even if it's your go-to place.
"It was the go-to place,” Haggerty said with a laugh. “And now it's the no-go place no more.
The laughter unfortunately ends this Saturday at the Elbow Room, with the owners and customers planning to go out in style. Meanwhile they hope the bar’s trademark neon sign, its chicken winds and beer can, find a new modern Dallas corner to call home.
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