Construction begins on ilume park

The Crosland Group broke ground earlier this month on ilume park on Cedar Springs Road at Douglas Avenue. Site excavation began this week.

Ilume park will be a four-story 240-unit apartment complex built in a style similar to the original ilume.

Developer Luke Crosland said he expected leasing to begin in about 13 months. He said the property will not have the retail that ilume has across the street, but will have more amenities than the original property.

The new property continues the “green built” philosophy of the first and Crosland said he has met with the city to ensure better sidewalks and lighting.

More on the project in next week’s Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

MAP: Crime in Oak Lawn


Oak Lawn crime watch leader Nancy Weinberger sent out the above map Monday showing where offenses occurred in Oak Lawn during the month of July. The Oak Lawn Apartment Managers and Stakeholders Crime Watch Group holds its monthly meeting at noon Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Oak Lawn Library Branch.

—  John Wright

Police seek suspects in robberies of 2 Cedar Springs club-goers this weekend

Two club-goers were robbed near Dallas’ gay entertainment district over the weekend.

The first robbery occurred at midnight on Saturday when a 30-year-old woman was punched in the back and in the right hand in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs Road.

The woman was leaving Sue Ellen’s and was walking down the sidewalk when the attack happened, according to the address listed in the Dallas police incident report. She was “alone in a partially lit area,” the report states.

The suspect took her purse and fled in a white SUV. He is described as a black male in his late 20s and about 6 feet tall.

The woman waited until she reached a friend’s house before calling 911. She was not injured.

The second robbery occurred in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street around 11:20 p.m. Sunday.

A 36-year-old woman was walking to Station 4 with a friend when a Hispanic male in his 20s pointed a gun at them and took their property, Dallas police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey told Instant Tea. The man got away with $600 in cash, according to the report. He is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a medium build.

Anyone with information about these robberies should contact Dallas police at 314-671-3001. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477 or through the department’s iWatch smartphone app.

—  Anna Waugh

Weigh in: What do you consider “the gayborhood?”

A straight friend of mine asked me what the actual geographic boundaries of what we call “the gayborhood” are. It’s easy to say, “near the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton,” but that’s a locus, not a boundary. It can extend in all directions for large portions, and even spike down residential streets and cross highways, depending on how you define it.

So how do you define it? Is it a two-block radius around The Crossroads? The better part of Dallas County? Your bedroom on a Saturday night?

We’d like to hear you weigh in with what you consider Dallas’ gayborhood (or gayborhoods) in the comments. There is no winner, it’s just for fun … ah, hell, let’s pick a winner or two. We have some swag to hand out to some who contribute to the conversation  — we’re looking right now through our stuff to see what we have (hmmm…Adam Lambert CDs, an American Translation DVD, some books, OK, we’re good). Why not — it’s almost the weekend.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DART police accused of harassing homeless gay men at bus stop on Cedar Springs

DART police insisted that a man sitting on a DART bench put on a shirt, witnesses said.

Some patrons of JR.’s Bar & Grill are accusing DART police of harassing homeless gay men, but merchants and a DART spokesman said the police were probably just answering 911 calls.

On Monday, July 2, three men were seen being taken in handcuffs to a DART police car from the DART bench on Cedar Springs Road at Throckmorton Street. The next night, another man who was sitting shirtless on the bench was approached by two DART officers and told to put a shirt on, according to JR.’s patrons who witnessed the incidents.

DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said police would only have been at the location responding to a 911 call. DART police regularly patrol train stations. They are also responsible for bus stops, but normally would be at those stops only if called, Lyons said.

Cedar Springs Merchants Association Executive Director Scott Whittall said he knew nothing about the incidents. But he said merchants and the street’s security guard have called 911 for incidents of panhandling and people bothering patrons of shops, bars and restaurants.

Whittall said the security guard can remove someone from one of the benches that the CSMA placed on the street, but not from DART benches. He said those benches are DART property and under its jurisdiction.

Lyons said DART has a no-loitering policy.

“The facilities are there for transit purposes,” he said.

He said if someone is asleep on a bench, DART police first check to see if the person is OK. But if someone is sitting on a DART bench and a bus passes, DART police ask the person to leave and can arrest them for loitering.

Matthew Austin, who witnessed the incidents, said it’s strange that it happened two nights in a row. He said the incident with the shirtless man involved three police cars. He thought that was overkill for shirtlessness, which he said is certainly legal, and loitering. But the Monday event upset him more. He said one of the three men who were removed Monday is well known on the street and is mentally disabled.

“On Monday, they were doing absolutely nothing [wrong],” Austin said.

—  David Taffet

DPD seeks help identifying robbery suspects who held up woman leaving bar near Cedar Springs

Suspect 1

Dallas police are asking for help identifying four people who beat up and robbed a 24-year-old woman walking home from a nearby bar on June 17.

The woman was walking home after leaving a bar around 5:15 a.m. when two men “jumped her from behind striking her in the face and throwing her to the ground,” according to the incident report.

Police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey told Instant Tea she didn’t know which

Suspect 2

bar the woman was leaving but that it was located near Cedar Springs Road and Reagan Street. The woman was treated for an injury to her thumb after the men took off with her purse.

Police captured surveillance footage of four people in a gray Nissan Altima at a Jack in the Box on Illinois Avenue and later using her credit card at a nearby 7-11.

The four suspects are described as:

Suspect 1 – B/M/25 white tank top, “bump” haircut, goatee, tattoos on right shoulder.

Suspect 2 – L/M/20s white shirt, sunglasses on forehead.

Suspect 3 – B/M/25 wearing dark colored shirt with white diamond pattern and black do-rag.

Suspect 4 – Black Female wearing green striped shirt.

More photos and videos are below.

—  Anna Waugh

EXCLUSIVE: Thairrific remains open but with major drama behind the scenes

The enigmatic postings on Thairriffic’s website don’t help much to explain why Chef Kyla is no longer on staff at the restaurant near the Cedar Springs strip. The messages began appearing earlier this week and today it reads:

For our loyal customers, Chef Kyla (myself) and Family (Original owners that started and built Thairrific 10 years ago) would like to thank you for coming to Thairrific.
However, due to changes internally … My Family, Wonderful Wait Staff, and my loyal Cooks will no longer be present at Cedars Springs.

So what the heck is going on at the restaurant? Owner Daniel Sikora and Chef Kyla Phomsavanh both have their sides of the story. Throughout this week, I spoke with both parties and let’s just say they’re both unhappy with each other and willing to talk at length about it. I’ll try to keep it to the basics.

—  Rich Lopez

Razzle Dazzle Dallas booth space available

Razzle Dazzle Dallas 2011 main stage

Booth space is available for the day and night Razzle Dazzle Dallas events on Cedar Springs Road on June 9. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 30.

Businesses, sports teams, faith groups, jewelers, clothiers, nonprofits, corporate affinity organizations and community groups are welcome to market themselves to the more than 30,000 expected buyers and Razzle Dazzle attendees.

A vendor application is available online.

The festival hours on June 9 are from 10 a.m. to midnight.

One Nonprofit Booth Space — $100
One For-Profit Booth Space — $150

One Nonprofit Booth Space — $150
One For-Profit Booth Space — $200

One Nonprofit Booth Space — $200
One For-Profit Booth Space — $275

(1) Electrical Outlet — $25
(1) 10’x10’ Tent, (1) Table, (2) Chairs — $125

Contact Dave Berryman at Bravo Event Groups with any questions.

—  David Taffet

DPD writes 39 tickets in 3 days at Cedar Springs and Reagan, where left turns are now prohibited

As you can see in the photo above — and in case you hadn’t already noticed — left turns are now prohibited from eastbound Reagan Street onto northbound Cedar Springs Road.

The change is part of the Cedar Springs traffic safety plan unveiled in January in response to two pedestrian fatalities last year.

I snapped the photo this morning after Oak Lawn crime watch leader Nancy Weinberger reported the following in an email Wednesday:

“In response to complaints about traffic offenses in Cedar Springs/Reagan area, DPD conducted traffic enforcement for three days (4/28-4/30). They issued 23 illegal turn citations and 16 other regulatory citations at that intersection.”

Sounds like a lot of cocktails.

—  John Wright

Italia Express to take over Macho Nacho spot

On my way to lunch, I drove past the not-really-that-old Macho Nacho spot to see a “coming soon” sign posted. As you can see in this photo, Italia Express will be moving in to the former Hunky’s space on the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs. Macho Nacho did not have a longstanding presence on the Strip. Restaurateur Scott Jones opened the Tex-Mex eatery last spring but closed its doors due to a contentious lockout between the building landlord and Jones.

Coincidentally, Jones used to own and operate Cafe Italia on Lovers Lane which closed its doors in 2009. So it was natural to think that Jones may still be involved with the location.

“No, that’s not me,” he said. “I can see how people would think that, but I’m not involved in that location anymore.”

I put a call into Eloy Construction (the number on the sign) but they would not reveal who the owners are. I called the Italia Express on Continental Avenue but was unable to reach a manager or owner. The man who answered was unaware of any new location and so details on this location remain a mystery.


—  Rich Lopez