Hearing on Hideaway postponed after bar’s neighbors accuse judge of bias

A hearing scheduled for Friday on a liquor license for The Hideaway has been postponed.

The neighborhood group opposed to the bar reopening filed a motion last Friday to have the judge in the case recused.

According to a spokesperson for the Administrative Law Court that was set to hear the case, it has been reassigned and the new judge was looking for available dates in January.

Hideaway owner Lonzie Hershner said someone from the neighborhood group opposing the bar reopening charged the judge with possible bias.

“They’re just trying to push it out as far as possible,” he said.

But he said this was the last possible protest.

“That was their last straw,” he said.

Homeowner groups filed objections to the bar reopening based on concerns about parking, late night noise, drugs, sex and prostitution in the area.

Hershner also said lease negotiations on the Drama Room are almost complete. The landlord posted a “for lease” sign as a threat during the negotiations, he said.

—  David Taffet

Gay Dallas pianist Buddy Shanahan found dead from apparent heart attack

Buddy Shanahan

Gay local pianist Buddy Shanahan, 50, died suddenly Sunday night.

Shanahan was scheduled to play for singer Denise Lee at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar on Sunday evening but did not show up. Lee posted on her Facebook page, “due to circumstances beyond my control I won’t be playing at Woody’s tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

When Norman Williams stepped in to perform with Lee, singers Anton Shaw and Paul Allen went to Shanahan’s house, where they found him deceased. The cause of death was believed to be cardiac arrest.

Shanahan has accompanied many singers at Dallas gay clubs. For years he was a regular at Bill’s Hideaway. More recently, he performed often at Alexandre’s and Woody’s.

He also played regularly for Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas.

Shanahan was also known for performing at charity events in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS community. On Oct. 20, he accompanied Lee and other singers at a fundraiser for Legacy Counseling Center at The Brick.

For a full story on Shanahan, see Friday’s Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

Owner sets date for Hideaway reopening

The view of the Hideaway from Dallas Voice offices.

I spoke with Hideaway owner Lonzie Hershner earlier this week to get the latest update on the club’s status. The Hershner family, which also owns the Tin Room and the Drama Room, bought the Hideaway after the bar closed in 2009 after more than 25 years. Lonzie Hershner’s brother, Marty, passed away in 2010.

From Dallas Voice’s offices, we can look to see that construction at the Hideaway — 4144 Buena Vista St. —  has really ramped up over the last couple of weeks, and Hershner confirms that the end of the tunnel is in sight.

“We finally got all the permits and all wheels are turning now,” he said. “We’ll be actually open for business in three weeks.”

This was a pleasant shock to hear. As neighbors to the club, construction seemed to slow down toward the end of 2011, but then picked up in January. With both interior and exterior upgrades, the club is finally taking its shape again after being gutted.

“The building had to be broken down to the frame and we had to start from scratch. The majority of the flooring had to be replaced, support beams, extra touches. This was a lot more work than we thought it was gonna be,” Hershner said.

—  Rich Lopez