The Brick/Joe’s saying farewell after 25 years


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

Best Bets • 01.13.12

Saturday 01.14Lorrie-Morgan

Know when to hold ‘em
Poker tourney host Pocket Rockets celebrates one year with its Gala Event and Awards honoring the year’s top players. But don’t think this means no playing time. Right after the awards, they turn around to start a $500 tournament sponsored by AIDS Interfaith Network. Rumor has it that some of the A-List cast will be there.

The Brick
2525 Wycliff Ave.,Ste. 120.

3 p.m.


Saturday 01.14

Country divas live
We’re trying to figure out  if we even deserve a night of such fabulosity. Lorrie Morgan comes to town with her sass and glam country that paved the way for the likes of Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood. Pam Tillis was a pioneer in country music as one of the first female producers of her own work. They bring us the Grits and Glamour tour and we’re thanking the country music gods.

Eisemann Center
2351 Performance Drive, Richardson.
8 p.m. $44–$62.


Sunday 01.15

Loving on Gervais’ Globes
Everyone was in a tizzy last year when Ricky Gervais ripped so many new ones into Hollywood at the Golden Globes. Surprise! He’s back. And with good reason — he’s the best part.

Watch party at Texas Theatre

231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 7 p.m. Free.

—  Kevin Thomas

Jurni Rayne Karaoke tonight at the Brick

This is a Jurni…into sound

For us non-singers, it’s daunting to partake in karaoke. A few drinks are necessary to take on Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” That’s where the host comes in, because they usually have the better voice. And in this case, Jurni Rayne has a phenomenal one. She hosts The Brick’s Tuesday night karaoke, but really, you just may want to hear her belt out a few ones.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 9 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Local briefs • 11.25.11

Blanket collection drive set

As part of the weekly Breakfast at Cathedral of Hope — called BACH — program that provides a meal for homeless people, Denise Shoemaker is spearheading a drive, in honor of the late Windy Churitch, to collect blankets to be distributed to the homeless as colder weather approaches.

Shoemaker said this week that blanket donations will be collected during the December Chick Happy Hour on Thursday, Dec. 1, beginning at 6 p.m. at Kinki Lounge, 3606 Greenville Ave.

Blankets can also be delivered to The Brick/Joe’s, 2525 Wycliff Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Shoemaker explained that BACH volunteers last year began a program to provide “something extra, besides the breakfast” for homeless people during the holiday season. She said the blanket drive is being held in honor of Churitch, a longtime Dallas-area resident who died unexpectedly in October.

“Windy was a really good person and a good friend, and we thought that this would be a great way to honor her memory,” Shoemaker said.

O&E elects officers

Jeffrey Gorczynski with Citi was chosen as affiliate chair of the Out and Equal DFW Regional Affiliate on Saturday, Nov. 19, when the organization elected its officers for 2012.

Other officers are Chair Emeritus Paul von Wupperfield with Texas Instruments, Community Outreach Chair Ted Vantrabert, Secretary Samantha Seelbach with American Airlines and Treasurer Brandon Aldrich with KPMG.

Gorczynski is a vice president at Citi and has been an active leader and officer of the Out & Equal DFW Regional Affiliate for several years. He played a major role in planning for the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, held in Dallas in October.

Gorczynski said the organization plans to “leverage the success of the summit to start some new initiatives right here in Dallas/Fort Worth. Our ultimate goal is to make the workplace a better place for everyone.”

Von Wupperfeld, who was the first chair of the Out & Equal DFW Regional Affiliate when it was formed five years ago, said he was “particularly pleased we were able to engage so much of our community in those events [during the summit] and show the summit attendees what an exciting place Dallas can be to live and work.”

Out & Equal is a national, non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco that champions safe and equitable workplaces for LGBT people. In addition to holding its annual workplace summit, the organization has a “Building Bridges” program offering LGBT diversity training for all workplace settings.

For more information, go online to

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Thanksgiving Eve Dance with DJ Tristan Jaxx

Pre-dinner workout

DJ Tristan Jaxx will dole out the tunes for tonight’s Thanksgiving Eve Party. This is the perfect way to burn off some calories to make room for tomorrow’s big meal. That’ll be something to be thankful for in hindsight.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. Doors at 9 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

‘The Dallas Life’ premieres tonight at the Brick

Dallas gets another dose of reality

Brent Paxton has long been at work on his new reality show The Dallas Life and it comes to life tonight. What happens when 12 strangers live under one roof? Obviously lots if you take in any kind of reality TV. With people from all backgrounds, Paxton shows all the drama that goes down Dallas-style. It’s kinda like The Real World but by the sounds of it, only one can make it to the end.

The event is also a food drive for the North Texas Food Bank and people are encouraged to bring a food item.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 8 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Planning Black Pride

Spotlighting events this weekend from seminars to sexiness


YOU ROCK | Adult film actor and entrepreneur Rock Rockafella is one of several African-American porn stars who will appear at Dallas Black Pride events.


Two organizations have made Dallas Black Pride into an enhanced experience for the local queer community. DFW Pride Movement puts emphasis on education while Dallas Southern Pride celebrates with several parties.
Here are some of the highlights both have planned for Dallas Black Pride Weekend.

— Rich Lopez


Third Annual Black LGBT Community Summit
with speakers Cleo Manago and Steve Wakefield. Marriott City Center, 650 N. Pearl St. 1 p.m.

Queerly Speaking:
Black Pride Edition with special guests Kerin Rodriguez and Uriah Bell. Marriott City Center Cambridge Ballroom. 7 p.m. $5.

Cirque du Freak party
with DJs C. Wade and Unique and adult film star Ty Lattimore. The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 10 pm.
Sponsored by 7Connection.

The Dom: A Night of Dominance
with DJ Laid Back. Victory Tavern City Grille, 2501 N. Houston St. 10 p.m. $15.

Him4Him All-Star Friday Pride Boyzz Night Out
with Sex Siren competition. Club Elm and Pearl, 2204 Elm St. 10 p.m.


HisStory/HerStory: Telling Our Story intergenerational discussion.
Marriott City Center, Plaza A. Noon.

The Ex-Factor.
Q-Roc Ragsdale talks about ex-partners and living in the same community. Presented by Q-Roc.TV. Marriott City Center,  Nice Room. 2 p.m.

Valerie Spencer discusses trans topics within the black community. Marriott City Center, Champagne Room. 3:15 p.m.

HIV through the Looking Glass.
Adult stars Ty Lattimore, Rock Rockafella and Remy Mars discuss HIV in the adult film industry. Marriott City Center, Normandy Room AB. 3:15 p.m.

That’s Not Love, That’s Stupid
is designed to educate participants on relationship issues. Marriott City Center, Nice Room. 3:15 p.m.
Official Dallas Black Pride Tweet and Greet. Marriott City Center Plaza C. 3–7 p.m.

Uncut (Sex and the Modern Man).
GLO TV live taping with Maurice Jamal. Marriott City Center, Plaza A. 3-5 p.m.

Full Throttle Fashion Explosion hosted by Midweek Meltdown. Marriott City Center, Plaza AB. 8–10 p.m.

Her4Her’s Seductive Saturday Femme Figure and Stud Realness Show
featuring guest dancers. Club Elm and Pearl, 2204 Elm St. 10 p.m.

Cirque du Male party
with all-male circus. Presented by 7Connection. J. Pepe’s, 2720 N. Stemmons Freeway.


Living Faith Covenant Church
worship service featuring the DFW Pride Movement Gospel Choir. Marriott City Center, Normandy Room AB. Noon.

Family Affair Carnival
is a family-friendly event featuring bounce houses, petting zoo and games. Club Elm and Pearl, 2204 Elm St. 4 p.m.

Black Pride Dinner
at Catfish Blues, 1011 Corinth St. from 2–5 p.m.

Whip My Hair
inaugural gay Pride hair show with DJ Black Cat and MC Sister Ida Mae Watergate. Presented by 7Connection and Tysin and Starr Entertainment. The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 7 p.m.

The Lipstick Ball 2011
is the official after party with local performer Shemar Collins Dupree. Radisson Hotel, 2204 Elm St. in the grand ballroom. Midnight.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

GDMAF fundraiser brings Sweet Savage back to Dallas


David Hearn doesn’t come off like your usual party promoter. He has a little bit of Texas twang mixed with some quiet reserve. You might never believe Hearn is the guy behind the annual Metro Ball and Friday’s Gaga-a-Gogo party at the Brick.

“Well, I hosted what had always been known as the Virgo Party and that started 22 years ago,” he says. “It got too big for my small Plano house so I moved it to Dallas.”

But Hearn isn’t just a guy throwing parties — at least not anymore. Now, both annual events are for a reason and that’s the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, named after his partner, whom he lost to the disease in 1994. Two years later, the fund was created and over time, the fund has helped those with unique needs.

“We step in and help with issues that are a bit different,” he explains. “We helped replace one person’s tires so he could travel to his doctor. We worked to get one man a refrigerator because he had medicine that needed to kept cool. Where agencies can’t quite help, we can.”

But with funding cutbacks and a troubled economy, GDMAF works to keep up through  special events. Friday’s Gaga-A-Gogo party fulfills that, but also brings back the iconic Dallas drag queen Sweet Savage as Lady Gaga, pictured.

“We’re glad she’s coming to do this,”  Hearn says. “I know many of the people will remember her from days before.”

Dressing up in costume was a big part of Hearn’s old parties and with a nod to that, he encourages those to partake in the Gaga “hat and hair” contest. While Savage goes all out with her look, guests can get their own bad romance on with a Gaga-esque hat or ’do.

“We tried to make this event a little smaller, but with plenty of fun things to do,” he says. “We know its hard to continue to give, but we just hope to up the level of donations and continue to help relieve some of the stress people inevitably face.”

— Rich Lopez

The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave.
7 p.m. $20.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Mr. & Miss Big D Continental at the Brick

Pageant with a heart

This year’s Mr. and Miss Big D Continental isn’t just a pageant. The event will also offers proceeds from the night to the Resource Center of Dallas. Of course, it’s big bang for your buck. Check out the entertainment on hand for Sunday night. Impressive, huh? It’s gonna be like Draga-palooza up in the Brick house tonight.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 8 p.m. $15.

—  Rich Lopez

ilume for sale — presumably to raise equity for second phase of Cedar Springs development

An artist’s rendering of ilume when it was in the planning stages

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the ilume building on Cedar Springs Road is for sale. A brief story in the newspaper mentioned this fact without much supporting information, merely that another company had it listed for sale.

This would be surprising, though there may be an explanation. On Wednesday night, I spoke with Luke Crosland, owner of the property. Crosland has long promised Phase II of the ilume development, slotted to go up on the lot catty corner from the current building (across Wycliff from the Kroger).

Crosland told me that they would be breaking ground “soon” on the new development. I had previously heard as early as May. Crosland said he was in the process of arranging the equity financing — in the more than $100 million range — for a series of ilume developments across the country. Perhaps sale of the building is part of the package raising that equity?

We have left messages with Crosland seeking more info and will update this post as soon as we have more information.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones