The Brick/Joe’s saying farewell after 25 years

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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

The Brick reopens for New Year’s Eve after fire causes damage to strip center

Recovery trucks are parked outside Sal’s Pizza Restaurant, which is hoping to reopen Friday after a fire at Oishii caused damage. The Brick was closed Sunday but reopened for New Year’s Eve. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Wycliff Avenue gay bar The Brick reopened for New Year’s Eve after a fire caused major damage to nearby Oishii Sushi on Dec. 30, according to Brick spokesman Jimmy Bartlett.

Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender said the cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no injuries.

Sal’s Pizza Restaurant and a dental office, which are next to Oishii, suffered water and smoke damage. Sal’s representatives said they are hoping to reopen Friday.

Bartlett said the Brick had only minor smoke damage. Electricity was restored to the bar on Monday morning but as of this morning, the office, situated between the bar and a bank, was still without power.

“Somehow they skipped us when they turned the power back on,” Bartlett said, adding that the gas also was still off.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 6:37 a.m. About 40 firefighters responded.

“Our biggest concern was extension of the fire,” Lavender said.

The Hondo Park apartments are directly behind the shopping center and firefighters were concerned the fire might spread to the residential units.

—  David Taffet

Things look official at The Brick and Joe’s now

The club just posted this pic of their new sign going up. Perfect timing for tonight’s Voice of Pride qualifier contest.

—  Rich Lopez

A friend in need: Roast at The Brick/Joe’s to benefit longtime bartender Peggy Drury


Benefit Sunday at Joe's/The BRick
Peggy Drury

There are a lot of things to like about the LGBT community in North Texas. But the one thing I love the most is the way this community is always willing to step up and help when somebody needs it.

That’s what is happening Sunday afternoon, June 27, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Brick/Joe’s: Friends are coming together to stage a “roast”  benefiting longtime Joe’s bartender Peggy Drury.

Peg collapsed while working the bar earlier this month and had to be taken to the hospital. She’s home now, but she does have some ongoing health problems and her friends want to raise some money to help pay her medical bills and help her buy groceries and so on until she is back on her feet.

Organizers of the event say they are looking for donations of cash, gift cards and food. You can read about it here on Facebook.

On a personal note, I have known Peg for years and years, and oh, the stories I could tell. Like the one about the Saturday afternoon when she was driving from Dallas to her home out near Lake Tawakoni and suddenly discovered she had become an entry in the Christmas parade in one of the small towns between here and there. Or the time she was trying to impress her (at that time) future wife and ended up super-gluing her upper lip to the tip of her nose. Or the time …. Well, I could go on and on.

But the most important story to remember about Peggy Drury is that anytime a friend needed her, she has always been there. Even if it meant getting dressed up in “drag” to do the “If you’re good to Mama” song from “Chicago” in a benefit show.

And now, it’s definitely time to “be good to Mama” who has always been good to us. So head on over to The Brick/Joe’s on Sunday and be a friend indeed.

—  Dallasvoice