Dallas Local News

After nearly three decades, the Grapevine Bar will move from Maple Avenue to Dallas’ Medical District this summer

Dallas, Texas – An enduring emblem of the Oak Lawn district, the revered Grapevine Bar, is poised for a significant transition. After faithfully serving its loyal patrons on Maple Avenue for nearly three decades, this cherished watering hole is set to relocate to Dallas’ esteemed Medical District this forthcoming summer. The establishment will breathe new life into the premises once known as Redfield’s Neighborhood Tavern, situated just two miles distant at 2213 Butler Street.

Michelle and Ronny Honea, the proprietors of the Grapevine Bar, confided their excitement over the expanded potential of the imminent location. With an interior space that sprawls nearly eight-fold compared to the current Maple Avenue site, there will be a substantial enhancement in accommodation capacity. This surplus of space sets the stage for an array of potential indulgences; from vibrant live music performances to sprawling parties and an abundance of distinctive décor.

In addition to these enhancements, the Honeas plan to leverage the space by introducing a comprehensive food menu, made possible by the installation of a full kitchen within the premises. Patrons can anticipate a holistic dining experience, complementing the traditional bar offerings. In a nod to the origins of the Grapevine Bar, the new location is also furnished with a generous patio, harking back to the much-loved outdoor space at the Maple Avenue spot.

Ronny Honea emphasizes one more aspect which might allay the fears of their long-standing customers – the relocation site is a mere five-minute drive from the original location. With this, they intend to retain the charm and spirit of the Grapevine Bar while embracing the new opportunities that this significant relocation presents. The Honeas eagerly await to welcome their patrons, old and new, to this invigorated social hub in the heart of Dallas’ Medical District.

“This is going to be opening up a whole new world to us, which is really exciting,” he says.

Following a period of fervent speculation, stoked by cryptic Instagram posts laden with barely discernible clues, the much-awaited disclosure has finally been made. Michelle, the source of these enigmatic images, confessed they were ingeniously staged in and around Dallas in an audacious ploy to confound curious observers, a strategy befitting of the Grapevine’s elusive nature.

This famed bar finds its current address opposite Old Parkland, an elite office complex owned by real estate titan, Crow Holdings. Over the years, the firm has steadily extended its influence beyond Maple Street, acquiring a portfolio of restaurant and apartment properties to accelerate its expansion. It’s noteworthy that as of early 2022, the prized land on which the Grapevine stands came under its possession. Over recent months, the bar’s modest parking area has played host to an array of construction trailers, becoming a temporary hub of building activity.

The bar proprietors, Michelle and Ronny, are keeping the date of their final service under wraps for the moment. However, Michelle has hinted that the relocation will take place in the forthcoming summer season. The transition, she suggests, will be swift and efficient, possibly marking a mere week’s gap between the doors closing on Maple and opening anew on Butler.

The historical roots of the Maple building run deep. It first opened its doors in 1971 as Herrera’s Mexican Café, a popular Tex-Mex eatery that embarked on a transient journey along Maple Avenue before making its final stop at Sylvan Avenue. This journey came to a close in April 2022 when the establishment shuttered for the last time.

Scouring the city for a fitting location was no easy task, according to Michelle and Ronny. They devoted several months to exploring neighborhoods from East Dallas to Uptown, only to find that the available spaces were either unsuitable or would necessitate a complete rebuilding of their client base. Migrating further along their current road emerged as the most prudent choice – a decision that serendipitously coincided with the perfect timing.

“We have a landing spot, and it’s a fantastic spot,” Michelle says. “It’s going to be a great fit for us. It’s just a big weight off of our shoulders.”

In 1996, a young visionary of merely 22 years, Michelle, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey by launching The Grapevine Bar, ably supported by her then-husband, Richard Fiaschetti. A distinct division of responsibilities marked their partnership – while Fiaschetti was the public face of the establishment, Michelle expertly navigated the complexities of the business backstage. However, the sudden demise of Fiaschetti in 2003 catapulted Michelle into a year-long legal confrontation, culminating in her sole ownership of the bar. Subsequently, her second marriage to Ronny breathed new life into the operation of the Grapevine.

A decade and a half later, in 2012, Michelle and her co-owners expanded their dominion by acquiring additional property. Unfortunately, a decade later, they found themselves compelled to divest this holding in 2022. Further compounding the adversity was the ill-health of Michelle’s father, a Michigan resident, who was grappling with the lingering side effects of a COVID-19 infection contracted in March 2020. Ronny and Michelle would often undertake journeys to Michigan to be by his side.

Simultaneously, the looming presence of Crow Holdings and the Old Parkland campus began to make its weight felt. Speculations about an impending closure of the Grapevine Bar had been circulating since 2006, when Crow acquired Old Parkland. In a spirited dismissal of these rumors, Michelle, in October, lauded the Crows for their neighborly conduct and respect for the local community. She asserted that there had been no pressure from Crow Holdings to relinquish their Maple location, an act for which they remained thankful.

Upon securing the keys to their new location, Michelle and Ronny, in a demonstration of camaraderie, invited their staff to inspect the new premises. These loyal employees had weathered many a storm alongside Michelle and Ronny, including a tornado in October 2019 that devastated their home, and the tumultuous period of the pandemic. Michelle expressed her profound gratitude and admiration for their resilience and dedication amidst these tribulations.

Known for its eclectic clientele and relaxed ambience, The Grapevine Bar exudes an unmistakably quirky charm. From grape-lit baubles adorning the ceiling to thrifted glassware cradling the patrons’ beverages, every corner of the bar speaks volumes of its eccentricity. Michelle’s personally designed second-floor patio, perched atop the rugged concrete of an outdoor basketball court, is a sight to behold. Ronny gave assurances that a similar court would find a place in their new location.

From the bar top to the neon signs and possibly the wrought iron windows, every artifact of the bar that bears the unique imprint of The Grapevine will find its way into the new establishment, Ronny and Michelle declared. The expansion would provide more space for Michelle’s passion for decorating with her eclectic collection of knick-knacks. Before bidding adieu to its home of over two decades on Maple Avenue, The Grapevine Bar intends to host a series of celebrations, private gatherings, and special merchandise commemorations. More details about these events are expected in the coming weeks.

In this milieu of sweet nostalgia and anticipation for new beginnings, patrons and well-wishers alike are looking forward to raising a toast with a Pom Pom, marking the close of an era and the dawn of a fresh chapter in The Grapevine’s journey.

Lillie Fuller

Lillie's love of journalism began at a young age, when she would eagerly devour every newspaper she could get her hands on. As she grew older, her fascination with the power of the press only intensified, and she decided to pursue a career in journalism. Over the years, Lillie has honed her skills and become an expert in her field. She has worked for some of the most respected names in the business, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. Her work has been widely recognized and celebrated, earning her numerous accolades and awards.

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