Editor's note: This story has been updated after an interview with owner Gene Street.
Snookie's Bar & Grill on Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas will close just a few days after its 26th birthday. It was one of five Snookie's around D-FW over the years and the only one left standing.
"It's emotional," says owner Gene Street. "I spent half my life there." Technically, he spent longer, if he counts the 10 years before Snookie's was open, when his family owned a place called Balboa Cafe at the same address.
The last day open will be May 31, Street confirms. The restaurant will host going-away events May 29 and 30.
Snookie's is one of the few low-key, come-as-you-are restaurants remaining on a rapidly changing strip of Oak Lawn. It serves a regular gay community and is especially beloved for its burgers and chicken fried steak.
Street says he wasn't able to renew his lease at the original Snookie's. For now, he doesn't have plans to open the restaurant somewhere else.
"I don't want to say never, but there's not any immediate plans," he says. "But you never know." He's keeping the old Snookie's signs just in case.
Street will continue working on a new-to-the-family restaurant called Rebel Rooster, which will be located in the Oak Lawn neighborhood and is slated to open late this year or early next.
But no: Rebel Rooster will not be "anything like Snookie's, other than good food and service and a Street family touch," Gene Street says.