Over the last five years, Lower Greenville has transformed from a rough-around-the-edges bar district to a desolate stretch of vacant storefronts to a trendy foodie district. The most recent growth spurt welcomed buzzy restaurants such as Remedy and Rapscallion but saw closures of a few favorites.
There's good news for longtime residents and patrons of the area. Soon, three businesses -- dive bar Ships, craft beer restaurant Dallas Beer Kitchen and specialty grocery store Green Grocer -- are reopening.
Ships has been under a microscope since closing last July, as rumors of the dive bar's restoration were allegedly on again then off again. This time, the new owners mean business. Partners Naser Nayeb and Matt Pikar, who also own Nora Restaurant and Bar, have a certificate of occupancy and a liquor license to prove it.
The open date is currently under wraps, but Nayeb says bar flies can expect the same lovable Ships with a few "minor enhancements."
'We'd like to keep it as is, preserve the old Ships,' he says. 'That was the whole point.'
Dallas Beer Kitchen
Hopheads can thank Nayeb and Pikar for saving Dallas Beer Kitchen, too.
As recently as last week, the bar and restaurant announced it was closing because of financial struggles. Owner Bryan Kaeser blamed construction on Greenville Avenue in front of the spot for slowed business. During its final weekend, Dallas Beer Kitchen did as much business in three days as it did the entire month of December, Kaeser says, as devout followers came to bid their final farewell.
That's also when Nayeb and Pikar stopped by and asked the owners to reopen the following week.
Dallas Beer Kitchen reopens Friday, Jan. 29. It will continue to offer $3 beers and $5 bites for the indefinite future, at least until construction ceases. At first, the kitchen will crank out a limited menu, but Nayeb and Pikar are helping revamp the offerings. The duo owns La Guadalupana butcher shops in Oak Cliff and Irving, so patrons can expect to find more meats such as hand-made sausages on the menu.
Nayeb says Dallas Beer Kitchen is too great a concept to let leave the area. Although Nora has experienced about a 20 percent decrease in sales since construction started, he's willing to ride it out.
"We have high hopes for the area. That's why we're investing more and more," he says.
Green Grocer's re-debut comes almost as quickly as Dallas Beer Kitchen's.
The mini market, which specialized in non-GMO and organic foods, closed Jan. 18 after failing to sustain profitability. The store had struggled for a while, even reaching out to residents for help last summer.
However, couple Cassie Green and Gary Stephens, who own the business, went back on their decision. Since they own the lease for another year, they decided to continue doing what they do best -- coffee, juice and smoothies -- and nix the rest. Now open as of Jan. 26, Green Grocer also sells select products such as its uber-popular bone broth, gluten-free bread, eggs and some meats.
What will happen when the lease runs out?
'If this goes well over the next few months, we'll see if we can find a pared down space in the area we can move in to,' Stephens says.