More robberies on the Katy Trail

Screen shot 2016-01-15 at 9.54.33 AMThe spate of violent robberies and attacks in the Oak Lawn area seems to have died down over the last month or so. But don’t be lulled into complacency.

Dallas police are investigating two robberies that happened in the last week along the Katy Trail, which is, if not actually in the gayborhood, is at least gayborhood-adjacent.

Police say the two offenses — one on Jan. 9 in Reverchon Park and the other on Jan. 13 near the American Airlines Center — do not appear to be related. But for those who have been paying attention to the attacks in Oak Lawn, one of the two sounds eerily familiar.

The first attack happened about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, as a 31-year-old female jogger left the trail and entered Reverchon Park. Police say a black male stepped in front of her and began yelling at her, “Give me all your money!”

Police say the way threw a $5 bill at the man, sprayed him with mace and ran away. The suspect did not follow her. He is described as about 23 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was wearing a gray goodie, gray beanie and black headphones.

Because the suspect didn’t threaten the woman and did not display a weapon, police are investigating the incident as a third degree felony.

The second attack happened Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 4:24 p.m. in the 1600 block of Lyte Street. The victim, this time a man, had just come of Katy Trail near the AAC when he was approached by two black men who “engaged him in conversation,” according to police. The victim kept walking but one of the men attacked, hitting him in the head with “an unknown object,” knocking him to the ground.

The victim managed to get up and begin running, but the suspects chased and caught him. They slammed him to the ground and stole his cell phone, but then ran off when witnesses intervened, police said.

The first suspect in this attack was described as about 19 years old and 6 feet tall with short hair. He was wearing all black. The second suspect is described as a black man, 16 to 19 years old, and about 5-feet-8. He weighed about 150 pounds and had lighter-toned skin.

Detectives investigating the incidents have asked that anyone with information on either offense call 214-671-3584.

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE: Tap House employee attacked

Geoffrey Hubbard

Geoffrey Hubbard

Another person has been injured in an attack in the gayborhood, according to posts on Facebook overnight.

Geoffrey Hubbard, a server at Cedar Springs Tap House, is in Baylor Hospital in Dallas after being beaten during an attempted robbery at the intersection of Knight and Rawlins streets.

“Just a casual stroll a few blocks over to a friend’s house and I get smacked in the head by some guy attempting to mug me,” Hubbard said on Facebook, posting a photo of himself with a bloody face and bandages wrapped around his head.

Hubbard said he was able to crawl under a nearby car to prevent his assailants from taking his money.

This attack mimics one that occurred on Nov. 1. Tito Gonzalez was walking home from his job at Quesa when he noticed a man following him. He tried to cross the street, but someone approached from that side. The two men trapped him and brutally attacked.

In this attack, one man approached from in front of him while another attacked him on the head from behind.

This is at least the 12th reported attack on a gay man in Oak Lawn since Sept. 20. At least three other attacks have taken place that Dallas Voice has heard of that may not have been reported to police.

—  Tammye Nash

Tacos y Mas readying to open at the ilume

tacosymasWe’ve known that Tacos y Mas was taking over the space at ilume vacated by the ill-fated Xamach for a while, but it looks like the doors are about to open (they tell us a mid-September launch date it planned — just in time for Dallas Pride). Not only is the signage up, but so is the menu of $2 Mexican street tacos and $3 specialty tacos, plus combo plates, burritos and more. And everything is under $10. It looks like a good fit for the gayborhood, especially if the hours are late enough for the impulse buy for clubgoers.

Tacos y Mas is a Dallas institution, having started nearly 20 years ago in a tent, and for a long time being simply a small taco stand at the corner of Lower Greenville and Ross avenues. But in recent years, the company has expanded — up the street on Greenville to the old Quesa-D-Ya’s space, as well as North Dallas and Plano. Bring on the tacos! And check out of Food Issue this Friday, in print newsstands and online!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tallywackers set to open in old Lolita’s space

TallyKids today grow up in a more sophisticated time. When I was a lad, we used lot of euphemisms to describe body parts. One I learned at a young age, but have rarely heard used since I was 8, is “tallywacker,” meaning penis. I’m not sure of the etymology, but it seems to me “tallywacker” sounds like something much, much worse than penis.

So the addition to the gayborhood of a new restaurant called Tallywackers conjures up all sorts of memories from childhood. Innocence. Shame. Infantilization of genitalia. And wieners.

Well, the wieners in a bun is what the owners of Tallywackers probably want you to think about. It’s being called the male equivalent of Hooters, which famously serves wings (hooters … owls … wings … get it?), though the wording is far less subtle. The servers — who were being recruited over the weekend — will be hot young men clad in towels, undies, etc.

It shouldn’t be surprising, or even that offensive. I mean, how many times have you bought a glowing vial of alcohol from a bikini-wearing go-go boy at a nightclub, or a drink from a leatherman in a jockstrap? Does it make a difference that someone wants to sell fries with that shake?

The restaurant is scheduled to begin service in May. Here’s to hoping they have a big opening.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Daily Juice closes while Quesa readies to open

quesaDaily Juice, which opened last summer on Cedar Springs Road in the old Buli space, closed this week. The owners are revamping the format rather than abandoning the space. Two doors down, Quesa is set to open.

According to a sign in the Daily Juice window, the shop will reopen in early February as Winslow’s, “a new restaurant featuring wine, craft cocktails and eats.”

No word on how the space will get its liquor license so quickly. That process takes months or longer.

Quesa, a new Mexican restaurant on the corner of Reagan Street and Cedar Springs Road, is readying to open. That space, empty since Nuvo moved to Oak Lawn Avenue, has had zoning and parking problems to overcome before receiving its building permits.

Restaurants must provide twice as many parking spaces as retail stores and the space was zoned for offices rather than restaurant and retail. When Nuvo opened in the early 1980s, no one in the city cared what the zoning was on Cedar Springs Road, so stores were allowed to open despite the zoning.

—  David Taffet

Beck’s Prime, Good Eats closing

logo2CORRECTION: Due to an error on my part, the Beck’s Prime closing this week is not the only on Oak Lawn, but the one on Greenville Avenue. LaDuni on Oak Lawn did announce last week, though, that it will be closing soon.

Friday is Dallas Voice’s annual Food Issue, so it makes sense to start off the week with a little food news … too bad it’s not good news, though.

Beck’s Prime, the high-end fast-casual burger joint on Greenville Avenue, will close at the end of service today, the company announced. Two other Dallas locations,  including one at the intersection of Oak Lawn and Wycliff, will remain open. Apparently, it wasn’t a good fit traffic-flow-wise, though the burgers were very nice.

GoodEatsThis comes on the heels of news this weekend that an Oak Lawn institution for 22 years, Good Eats, will shutter on July 17. This is sad but not unexpected news. The owners of the property have been driving away tenants for years (Ciudad was one of the first to go, as was Zeus Comics) and the landlord just didn’t want to deal on the lease renewal. That doesn’t mean you can’t get the food you came to love there in the gayborhood anymore, however. Some menu items will migrate to Lucky’s (owned by the same company), and the owners are looking to open another location in Oak Lawn … if they figure out where people will be able to park.

What are you memories of Good Eats? Tell us about your favorite dish, memory, server or experience in the comments.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Open carry group will be on Cedar Springs looking for allies

Martin.Laura

LGBT liaison police Laura Martin

LGBT police liaison Laura Martin called to give the community a heads up about a group planning to be out on Cedar Springs Road on Sunday afternoon looking for allies.

The folks supporting the right to carry guns in public openly plan to gather at Walgreens at about 2 p.m. and walk the streets in the neighborhood for an hour or two. Martin assures they will be there only to hand out literature, talk to people and educate.

She said 15 to 30 people usually participate in these events, but there may be fewer because they have several planned rallies this weekend. Many carry long guns openly, which is already legal.

She also wanted everyone to understand the group is there to enlist support for their cause. They are looking for allies in the community and assured us there’s nothing hostile intended. Two plain clothes officers will be with them.

They’ve been doing this in other areas of the city including Downtown and Bishop Arts.

—  David Taffet

Historic Oak Lawn building torn down

Before:

before

After:

after

In a series on the changing face of Oak Lawn, we followed the story of a 1924 apartment building on Knight Street that was sold and longtime tenants evicted. On Wednesday morning, the building was torn down.

—  David Taffet

FIRST LOOK: Kroger’s new Fresh Fare Cityplace store opens today

Let’s go Krogering.

It’s easy to do in the gayboorhood. The Cedar Springs store of the grocery chain has become as much a fixture in the gay community as the bars down the street. Earlier this summer, Kroger opened a new Fresh Fare store on Maple in the old Elliott’s Hardware spot.

And just in time for the holidays, another one opens on the other side of North Central.

The new Cityplace shop officially opened this morning in the space once occupied by the Loew’s cinema, but has been barren for a long time. Not anymore.

“There’s a nice apartment complex next door, and a Lifetime Fitness [around the corner],” notes Gary Huddleston, the director of consumer affairs for Kroger. The “Uptown East” area is coming along.

Certainly the Kroger story might actually help usher that. Maybe I’m strange, but I always love visiting new grocery stores — they are oddly beautiful, and this one is no exception. The 60,000 square foot store (which employs about 260 folks) is another of their Fresh Fare concepts, focusing on organic, natural and (as often as possible) locally-sourced perishables — produce, deli and meats, baked goods, sushi. The Cityplace Kroger is indicative of another step in the continuing evolution of the grocery world.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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