Static: Wednesday, November 07, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
No Love-In

Buying a Stockyards institution is like tattooing a bull’s-eye on your forehead — every old-timer wearing shitkickers and a Hoss hat feels obliged to take a potshot.

Tim and Emilie Love introduced exotic Western cuisine to the Stockyards in 2000 with The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. On Oct. 31, the Loves bought the famous White Elephant Saloon with the idea of creating an entertainment complex featuring the restaurant, the saloon, a renovated beer garden, and a new courtyard.

Love met with the saloon’s 27 staff members and revealed his vision, which included new rules for employees long accustomed to doing as they pleased. Dress nicely, and no more smoking on duty, Love told them. Employees were underwhelmed, including bartender Mary Crabb, who has popped tops for 26 years. “She called me an asshole,” Love said. Nonetheless, despite rumors, she wasn’t fired, he said. Employees were required to re-apply for their jobs, however. Only four of 27 stayed.

For White Elephant regulars, change is about as welcome as phlegm in the flan. Several yanked their hats off the wall/ceiling of honor, then went to an adjacent bar to lament the “snooty” new owners and the loss of Crabb (named “Best Wait Staffer” in Fort Worth Weekly’s 2001 Best Of edition).

Some claimed Love plans to turn the cherished saloon into a restaurant-bar with all the character of a Denny’s. At the risk of getting tobaccy juice spit in our face, Static thinks the planned renovations sound great. The beer garden will be changed to a taqueria but remain open-air. Bands on the beer garden stage will face south instead of north, and play to a courtyard that takes advantage of the under-utilized creek behind the building.

Meanwhile, saloon changes are minimal. Televisions will be added for sports watching and hip, young Western bands will be integrated among veteran performers. “We’re going to attract a little younger crowd in addition to the crowds we have,” Love said. “We want to keep the diversity of the crowd and try to bring in the new generation.” This geriatric saloon needs a shot of energy. Hey, how did this bulls-eye get on Static’s forehead?

No Rest, Nowhere

Weekly editor Gayle Reaves was pleased that she won a Katie in the recent Press Club of Dallas journalism awards (and bummed that the paper was otherwise shut out). The award was for a story about nursing home abuses called “No Rest for the Weary.” The plaque on the Golden Girl, however, reads “No Rest for the Weekly.” Well, that’s true, too. Your tireless scribes trudge ever onward.


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