DALLAS — Over the last few years, the area west of the Trinity River in Dallas has grown into a hip and modern neighborhood of restaurants and shops.
But it wasn’t always that way.
“It was pretty lawless at the time back in the 20s and 30s,” said Jay Valley, co-owner and chef at Saint Rocco’s Italian Restaurant.
Valley says, 100 years ago, criminals came to the area to hideout, most notably Bonnie and Clyde.
The notorious outlaws not only lived in the neighborhood, it was their escape route.
To get away from police, Bonnie and Clyde crossed an old bridge over the Trinity River into a dusty and destitute part of Dallas called the Devil’s Back Porch.
The area is known today as Trinity Groves and it’s there, on the second floor of Saint Rocco’s, that Valley opened a new prohibition-era speakeasy called Devil’s Back Porch.
The bar offers drinks—its signature is called The Godfather— bar food and incredible views. The walls are lined with old photos of Bonnie and Clyde, and other depression-era gangsters.
The place is a fitting tribute to two of Dallas’ most infamous criminals.
“People are really interested in the history of what went on back then in this part of Dallas, what went on here,” Valley said.
However, that dark history is fading.
The original bridge Bonnie and Clyde used to escape to the Devil’s Back Porch is gone and the house where Clyde lived was torn down last year.
But the Devil’s Back Porch, the speakeasy version, is a glimpse into what the neighborhood once was.
“It’s kind of like, not a hideout, but just a way to go back in time,” said Valley.
Devil’s Back Porch opens May 25 coinciding with the week Bonnie and Clyde were killed in a shootout with police in 1934.
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