The Idle Rich Pub in Uptown.

The Idle Rich Pub in Uptown.

2012 File Photo/Special Contributor

There's a new high-rise development coming to McKinney Avenue in Dallas' Uptown district, and if you're a local drinker who read the story on Tuesday, you likely had a brief panic attack. That's because the aforementioned apartment tower is said to be built where the Idle Rich Pub, a staple for beer-swilling residents, currently resides.

Take a deep breath: The bar isn't closing. At least not yet, according to owner Feargal McKinney.

"The Idle Rich is going absolutely nowhere immediately," he said by phone Wednesday.

McKinney, who opened Idle Rich in 2004, says the landowner approached him about applying for the rights to develop the property several months ago with the footnote that "these things take a very long time." The Dallas Morning News reports construction on the site is expected to begin next year; however, McKinney is under the impression development will take longer than that.

"The earliest would be early 2018," he says, citing conversations with the landowner. "We may get the opportunity to stay well beyond that."

When the Idle Rich Pub opened in Uptown 12 years ago, the neighborhood looked vastly different. McKinney remembers his only neighbors being the Hard Rock Cafe, which has since relocated to Victory Park, and Uptown Bar and Grill. He views the area's growth as "exciting," despite the uncertain future of Idle Rich.

"It's just been really fun to watch the development," McKinney said. "Of course, that is going to nudge out and make some changes. That can lead to a little sadness, a little nostalgia ... but it's impossible to keep things exactly as they are."

McKinney also owns the Blackfriar Pub in Uptown, as well as The Old Monk and The Skellig on Henderson Avenue. Those, he assures, aren't going anywhere, primarily because he owns the properties where Blackfriar and Old Monk sit. If push does come to shove at the Idle Rich location, all the staff would move over to another one of his bars, perhaps a new one he'll open in the coming years, McKinney mused hypothetically.

"As we go through this and we get more definitive answers, I'll decide what to do," he said. "It may not need to move any time soon and we're very happy in that location."

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