Hideaway decision expected in Feb.

Paulette Hershner, left, and her son Lonzie listen during Friday’s hearing on a challenge to their application for a TABC license for the Hideaway.

A state administrative law judge could decide by the end of February whether to allow a liquor license for Marty’s Hideaway, according to an attorney for the bar’s owners.

A marathon hearing on the Hershners’ liquor license for the Hideaway took place in a standing-room-only courtroom in downtown Dallas on Friday.

Neighborhood groups are opposing a liquor license for Lonzie Hersher or Paulette Hershner, who have been renovating the Hideaway property on Buena Vista Street for about two years. The Hershners also operate the Tin Room on Hudnall Street, Chesterfield’s on Inwood Road and the recently closed Drama Room on Cedar Springs.

“It went as well as I thought it could have gone for us,” the Hershners’ attorney Tim Griffith said Tuesday of the hearing at the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building on Jan. 18.

—  David Taffet

The Drama Room is closed

Lonzie Hershner, owner of the Drama Room, confirmed Thursday that the Cedar Springs bar is closed.

“We sat and decided it’s not worth pursuing,” he said. “We shut it down yesterday.”

The Hershners had been haggling with the property owner over the renewal of their lease.

Meanwhile, Arthur Hood sent Dallas Voice a copy of a lawsuit he filed in September against the Hershners for breach of contract.

Hershner said there were no grounds for the suit. He called Hood a disgruntled former employee who was relieved of his duties.

Hood said the closing of Drama Room does not affect his lawsuit. In the suit he said he entered into a sale agreement with the Hershners and put money into the bar to bring it current. He said the Hershners canceled the sale.

Hood said he plans to amend the suit next week and is trying to force the Hershners into arbitration.

Meanwhile, on Friday, an administrative law court will hear a challenge to the issuance of a liquor license for the Hideaway, the Hershner’s proposed reopening of a bar on Buena Vista Street in the Cole Park area of Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

Proprietor of Tin Room, Drama Room says he hopes to reopen Bill’s Hideaway in March

The proprietor of the Tin Room and the Drama Room says he’s signed a lease on the building that housed Bill’s Hideaway and hopes to reopen the legendary gay piano bar by the end of March.

The Hideaway, on Buena Vista Street near Fitzhugh Avenue, has been sitting vacant since mid-2009, when it shut down after 26 years.

Lonzie Hershner, who took over management of the Tin Room and the Drama Room after his brother Marty died last year, said he signed a lease on the Hideaway building last month.

Lonzie Hershner said he plans to call the new bar Marty’s Hideaway as a tribute to his brother. Crews have already gutted the building and begun landscaping the trademark patio, he said.

“We’re going to start actual construction on it in two weeks,” Hershner said. “We’re fixin’ to completely restore it. It’s taken forever and a day, but we finally got the lease signed on it. … I want to get it back to what it used to be, because everybody loved it.”

—  John Wright