Thursday, September 21, 2023 Sep 21, 2023
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Food & Drink

The Grapevine Bar is Moving to the Medical District

The Grapevine Bar will move from its spot on Maple Avenue later this summer after 27 years to the building that previously held Redfield’s Neighborhood Tavern.
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The new Grapevine promises to replicate what made the old Grapevine such a special place. Bret Redman

The Grapevine Bar has finally found a new home. The beloved dive, which has been a staple on Maple Avenue in Oak Lawn for the last 27 years, will move to Dallas’ Medical District this summer in the building formerly occupied by Redfield’s Neighborhood Tavern. (The new address will be 2213 Butler St., just two miles away.)

Owners Michelle and Ronny Honea told D Magazine that the interior of the new space is almost eight times larger than its present spot on Maple Avenue. There will be more room for live music, parties, and plenty of decorations. A full kitchen will allow a full food menu. (And, yes, the new location also has a sizable patio.) Ronny says the best part is that it’s only a five-minute drive from their original.

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

The announcement comes after months of anticipation and a week and a half of mysterious posts on Instagram with nearly imperceptible hints about the new spot. (Michelle admits that those photos were taken around Dallas and in cities outside of Dallas to trick eagle-eyed lurkers, which is very Grapevine.)

The bar is presently across from Old Parkland, the upscale office development owned by the real estate company Crow Holdings. In recent years, the company has jumped Maple and acquired restaurant and apartment spaces to expand. In early 2022, it acquired the land that holds the Grapevine. For the last few months, the bar’s small parking lot has been a staging area for construction trailers.

The owners aren’t ready to announce a final day of service at the location, but Michelle says the move will happen this summer. It will be quick: she says there may be about a week between the closing on Maple and the opening on Butler. The Maple building was the original location of Herrera’s Mexican Café, a Tex-Mex restaurant that opened in 1971 before hopping around Maple Avenue, and then to Sylvan Avenue, before closing for good in April 2022.

Michelle and Ronny say they looked all over the city for months to find where they wanted to settle. They scoured neighborhoods like East Dallas and Uptown, but the spaces either weren’t the right fit or they’d have to build back their customer base “from scratch,” Ronny says. Moving up the road seemed like the right move, and it came at the perfect time.

“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.”

Michelle opened The Grapevine Bar in 1996 when she was 22 years old with her first husband, Richard Fiaschetti. Fiaschetti was the face of the bar while she managed most of the business matters. When he suddenly died in 2003, Michelle went through a year-long legal battle but ended up keeping the bar. Michelle later married Ronny, and they have run it together ever since.

Michelle and her co-owners purchased part of the property in 2012, but they had to sell it in 2022. Another reason for the temporary closure was Michelle’s father’s health—he lives in Michigan and is dealing with lingering side effects after a COVID-19 diagnosis in March 2020. Ronny and Michelle say they often travel to see him.

What crept up on them, slowly but surely, was the growing presence of Crow Holdings and the Old Parkland campus. Rumors had swirled about a possible closure of the bar since 2006, when Crow bought Old Parkland. Honea dismissed those rumors—she said in October that the Crows were good neighbors and treated the neighborhood with respect. There’s been no pressure from the company to move out of the Maple location, they say, and they’re grateful.

As soon as they found the new spot and got the keys, Ronny and Michelle took their staff over to check out the new digs. Michelle says the employees have been with them through a lot over the last few years, especially after their house was hit by the October 2019 tornado. They stayed through the ups and downs of the pandemic, and have remained during the move to the new location. It’s all been “really unbelievable and humbling,” she says.

The Grapevine is known for its laid-back vibe and crowd, which is—to its core—a come one, come all, group of customers. Every part of the bar is eccentric: baubles of grape lights hang from the ceiling, drinks are served in thrifted glassware, and a second-floor patio was designed by Michelle and overlooks the cracked concrete of the outdoor basketball court. That basketball court, by the way, will reappear in some form at the new location, according to Ronny.

“We’ve been asked so many times,” Ronny says. “It might not be the exact one, but we will have a basketball court.”

Ronny and Michelle plan to take whatever they can to the new location. That includes the bar top, every neon sign, and potentially the wrought iron windows. The bar is packed with quirks and knick-knacks that fit perfectly together in a way only the Grapevine could, thanks to Michelle’s collecting habit. With this new location, there will be more room to decorate. That tradition will continue no matter where the Grapevine is.

Before it closes, the Grapevine Bar will have several celebrations, private parties, and commemorative merch to honor more than two decades on Maple Avenue. Expect more details to come in the next few weeks.

It’ll also be a chance to celebrate the end of an era and look to new beginnings. And we’ll cheers a Pom Pom to that.

The Grapevine Bar will move to 2213 Butler St. summer 2023. This story will be updated when there is information on the closing date of the original location at 3902 Maple Ave., and the opening date of the new location.


Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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