Anthony “Tony” Bobrow, 78, owner of The Hidden Door Inc., of Dallas, TX was born on June 16, 1939, in The Bronx, N.Y., and passed away at home in Dallas on Feb. 6 after a long battle with cancer.
Tony moved to Teague, Texas at the age of 7 to live with his grandparents, Fenton and Mattie Smith. He delivered the Dallas Morning News while in high school until he graduated in 1957. He moved to Dallas to work for the Dallas Morning News, then worked for Red Ball Motor Co. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1964, serving on the USS Shangri-La until 1968 when he returned to his job at Red Ball Motor Co. where he worked until 1987.
Tony then assumed ownership of The Hidden Door Bar in Dallas, now in its 39th year. He is a longtime member of Dallas Tavern Guild and supported many charitable organizations in the LGBT community, often opening his business for fundraisers.
Howard Okon, who owned several gay bars in Dallas through the years and who worked in the Tavern Guild with Bobrow, called Tony “a class act.”
“He was as down to earth as anyone I’ve ever met,” Okon said, noting that Tony took a small neighborhood bar and turned it into a powerhouse but always remembered to give back to the community with fundraisers and donations.
“He’ll be deeply missed,” Okon said.
Hidden Door General Manager Harvey Messiner said that while the bar’s staff mourns the owner, they know that he had planned for the bar’s future and for theirs.
“Tony Bobrow planned for a time when he wouldn’t be here to supervise, and has left explicit instructions,” Messiner said. “The Hidden Door will remain open and continue its existing operations with its current personnel. It is not for sale, and neither is the property it occupies. It will not be for sale in the future.
“The community has joined with us in creating an atmosphere of fun and friendship that is too important to lose,” he continued.
“We offer a legendary gathering place that’s unequaled, and we intend to keep doing that. No changes are anticipated. This is what the founder of the Hidden Door, Jim Roberts, also expected [when he handed the bar over to Bobrow]. We’ve done it before.”
Tony was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents Eli and Eva Bobrow, and sister, Gloria Bobrow Lopez.
Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at First United Methodist Church, 420 Walnut St. in Teague, with the Rev. Steven Diaz, officiating. Friends will gather at the church at 12:30 p.m. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Teague.
A memorial service will be held in Dallas on a later date for all friends to attend. The details will be announced when the memorial is set. A list of charitable organizations for memorials to be made in Tony’s name will be posted soon.
For information on flowers for the funeral in Teague, please contact Freeman Flowers at 903-389-5887.