The Brick/Joe’s saying farewell after 25 years


3 Greg Christi Howard Greg BRICK IMG_1647

Brick owners Howard Okon, second from right, and Greg Parrish, right, pictured here with friends at the Brick, announced this week they are closing the bar July 24 and retiring.

Howard Okon and Greg Parrish announced this week that, after 25 years, they are closing The Brick/Joe’s and retiring from the bar business.

The popular Wycliff Avenue bar’s final day will be Sunday, July 24. Watch for Dallas Voice’s profile of the bar and its owners during the month of July, before the final day.

Here is the full text of Okon and Parrish’s announcement:

The Brick Dallas would like to thank the community and our patrons for 25 wonderful years in Oak Lawn. We have seen many changes in the last 25 years in the LGBT community and the bar industry, made many new friends over this time, and lost some along the way. The Brick has an amazing staff that has been loyal and now are some of our closest friends. This includes DJs, promoters and entertainers. We have strived to provide a fun, entertaining and safe environment for everyone.

It is now time for us to start a new chapter in our lives. Over the years we have watched many young men and women go from kids into productive members of the community. We started here when our community had few places to go. Times are changing, and we are hopeful that progress continues for the LGBT community and Oak Lawn.

July will be our last month in business and our final day will be Sunday, July 24.

We hope you will come by in the following days and say goodbye to us as we prepare to say goodbye to Dallas.  We have a full calendar of events in July and hope to see all of our customers before we close our doors July 24th with our “Farewell” Party.

As one of the last founding members of The Dallas Tavern Guild remaining, I want to say thank you to all the members and bars who have been a part of this group. Michael Doughman has been a great leader and we wish many more years of events and strength for The Tavern Guild and all the bars.

We could not have been in business for 25 years without teaming up with these great agencies: Resource Center, AIDS Arms, LifeWalk, AIDS Services of Dallas, GDMAF, Legacy Counseling Center, The Red Foundation, The Purple Party and many more.

Thank you to our softball (Titans, Hashtags, Synergy), volleyball (DIVAS) and rugby teams that have been very supportive to us for many years.

Thank you to our loyal poker players who come out week after week to play poker and eat pizza.

Thank you to Greg Turner (Camille), Bob Wright, Dan Lambert, Betty Neal, Gaylan Zant and Adam Metts for your years of service to The Brick.

A very special thank you to Mikey Howard, and Dannee Phann for being the most amazing managers we could have asked for.

Thank you to our staff and friends: Jimmy, Laurie, Shawn, Dwayne, Mickey, Charles (DJ Unique), Ivan (Ida Mae), Netta, Michael, Brittanie, Larry, Jason, DJ Rudeboy, Stanley, Chris, Andy, Brandon, Jennifer, Shy T, Jay, Blake, Pay, CJ, Cooper, K, Baby, Lukas, Skylar, Aubrey, Kingston, Travis.

Orlando Strong!

Howard Okon and

Greg Parrish

—  Tammye Nash

Follow the yellow brick road at Rice Cinema

Wizard of OzThere’s Wicked and The Wiz, there’s the classic Frank L. Baum books and Tinman, but nothing can touch the 1939 Victor Fleming classic The Wizard of Oz, for pure transcendent delight. See it for free on the big screen as Rice Cinema (6100 Main room MS-549) presents the tale of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Dorothy (and her little dog too) Friday and Saturday, January 13 & 14, at 7 pm.

—  admin

Troy Sands Remembrance Party at Dallas Eagle with Tony Moran

And the beat goes on

Earlier this year, DJ Troy Sands passed away due to cancer. Through the years, he made both an impact and an impression with his music and DJ skills at The Brick in its former location on Maple. He grew his name by being one of the first DJs to headline parties and events outside of Dallas. DJs such as Blaine Soileau and Chris Cox have seen him as their inspiration for their musical perspectives. Before passing on, Sands deejay-ed at the Dallas Eagle. In honor of his life and his musical gifts to the club scene, the Eagle  hosts the DJ Troy Sands Remembrance Party which also benefits some of his favorite organizations. DJ Tony Moran steps in to headline the night, but this is truly Sands’ night.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 10 p.m. $10.

—  Rich Lopez

Chick Happy Hour at the Brick tonight

Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night

Each week, the Brick gives it up to the women with Chick Happy Hour every Tuesday. OK, it’s a little later than your usual happy, but DJ C Wade makes you forget that it’s a school night. So have a cocktail or two before heading back to the grind on Wednesday. You’ll feel so much more relaxed.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff. 9 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Eagle DJ Troy Sands passes away

DJ Troy Sands

We were sad to learn that Troy Sands passed away Sunday morning. He was a resident DJ at the Dallas Eagle. Sands built his reputation playing the old Brick on Maple Avenue and made a name for himself as a headlining DJ not only in Dallas, but throughout the country. I had the pleasure of writing this story on him as he made his return to the scene after a tough struggle with cancer.

This was posted by two of the Dallas Eagle’s managers on Facebook on Sunday:

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that a very beloved member of our family has left us today. DJ Troy Sands passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Troy’s family and loved ones. The DJ booth at the Dallas Eagle will never be the same without his smile and laugh. You will be missed greatly Troy. We will post additional information concerning any service or memorial as we receive it.

Mark [Frazier] and Cully [Johnson]

Upon the news, people began posting their condolences on Sands’ Facebook page.

—  Rich Lopez

GDMAF fundraiser brings Sweet Savage back to Dallas


David Hearn doesn’t come off like your usual party promoter. He has a little bit of Texas twang mixed with some quiet reserve. You might never believe Hearn is the guy behind the annual Metro Ball and Friday’s Gaga-a-Gogo party at the Brick.

“Well, I hosted what had always been known as the Virgo Party and that started 22 years ago,” he says. “It got too big for my small Plano house so I moved it to Dallas.”

But Hearn isn’t just a guy throwing parties — at least not anymore. Now, both annual events are for a reason and that’s the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, named after his partner, whom he lost to the disease in 1994. Two years later, the fund was created and over time, the fund has helped those with unique needs.

“We step in and help with issues that are a bit different,” he explains. “We helped replace one person’s tires so he could travel to his doctor. We worked to get one man a refrigerator because he had medicine that needed to kept cool. Where agencies can’t quite help, we can.”

But with funding cutbacks and a troubled economy, GDMAF works to keep up through  special events. Friday’s Gaga-A-Gogo party fulfills that, but also brings back the iconic Dallas drag queen Sweet Savage as Lady Gaga, pictured.

“We’re glad she’s coming to do this,”  Hearn says. “I know many of the people will remember her from days before.”

Dressing up in costume was a big part of Hearn’s old parties and with a nod to that, he encourages those to partake in the Gaga “hat and hair” contest. While Savage goes all out with her look, guests can get their own bad romance on with a Gaga-esque hat or ’do.

“We tried to make this event a little smaller, but with plenty of fun things to do,” he says. “We know its hard to continue to give, but we just hope to up the level of donations and continue to help relieve some of the stress people inevitably face.”

— Rich Lopez

The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave.
7 p.m. $20.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Mr. & Miss Big D Continental at the Brick

Pageant with a heart

This year’s Mr. and Miss Big D Continental isn’t just a pageant. The event will also offers proceeds from the night to the Resource Center of Dallas. Of course, it’s big bang for your buck. Check out the entertainment on hand for Sunday night. Impressive, huh? It’s gonna be like Draga-palooza up in the Brick house tonight.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 8 p.m. $15.

—  Rich Lopez

Final bets at the finale of Team DV’s P-P-P-Poker Tourney

Ante up to the table

Team Dallas Voice and Pocket Rockets Dallas are raising money for the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS by holding a P-P-P-Poker Tournament at clubs across town. After three weeks, the event has come to the grand prize final.

Because this is Dallas, not Vegas, the game play is free, so if you want to contribute to the LSR cause, bring cash to enter the raffle. Among the prizes available or that have been won are tickets to see Dolly Parton (we’ll resist the urge to call this one a “booby prize”), Ke$ha and Chelsea Handler,  tickets to the Texas Rangers and Lone Star Park horse races, Starbucks coffee, a set of poker chips, books, grooming supplies and much more … and the final grand prize: Two tickets on American Airlines anywhere in the contiguous U.S.

DEETS: Check out the Facebook event page here for details.

—  Rich Lopez

Bump & Grind it at the Brick

Sometimes you just need a stripper

—  Rich Lopez

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas Watch Party tonight

Get your Obama on

The Stonewall Democrats of Dallas are hosting a watch party this evening so all can catch President Obama’s State of the Union. This might be the only time you can gather for the President’s speech and take advantage of drink specials. However, just don’t make a drinking game out of everytime he says “economy.” Could be totally awkward.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 7 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez