Bill Munoz (pictured above), the longtime owner of the gay bar Billâ€™s Hideaway on Buena Vista Street in Dallas, contacted me Thursday afternoon after my story about the barâ€™s closure had already gone to press. Munoz was responding to a phone message Iâ€™d left for him on Wednesday.
In the story, I reported that one of Munozâ€™s family members said Munoz planned to try to reopen the Hideaway. But according to Munoz, thatâ€™s not the case.
Munoz said itâ€™s true that he was in an auto accident about three months ago and is still recovering, and he said a doctorâ€™s appointment prevented him from getting back to me right away.
Munoz, 60, said heâ€™s in his native Oklahoma with his family, helping his elderly father after his mother recently passed away. Munoz also said heâ€™s retired from the bar business and has no plans to return as the owner of Billâ€™s Hideaway, which he started in 1983.
â€œIâ€™ve wanted out of it or a long time. Iâ€™ve been there 26 years, and thatâ€™s too long in the bar business,â€ Munoz said.
â€œI took my [liquor] license off the wall and turned it into TABC and walked away and said Iâ€™m through,â€ he said. â€œI lost my mom, and my dadâ€™s 85, and I wanted to take a break and get away from all the gossip and all the questions and everything that goes on when you close a business after that many years.â€
Munoz didnâ€™t have anything nice to say about his business partner of the last few years, Paul Minze. Then again, Minze didnâ€™t have anything nice to say about Munoz when I talked to him the other day, either.
Munoz and Minze also offered differing accounts of the circumstances that led to the barâ€™s closure.
In any case, Minze said heâ€™s reopened the bar with limited hours and is the process of trying to obtain a new liquor license. But currently heâ€™s unable to serve beer, wine or liquor.
Munoz, meanwhile, said he eventually plans to come back to Dallas, where he still has a residence. He also said if it doesnâ€™t work out for Minze, he may be willing to assist someone else with the bar.
â€œThere are a couple people interested, and if they want to pursue it, I told them I would help them, and maybe have my thumb in the pie, but thatâ€™s nothing definite at all,â€ Munoz said. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of people [customers] who love the Hideaway who would definitely come back. Itâ€™s known all over the world.”
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