Friday, January 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023
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Thinking back more than a year ago, it’s hard to remember that McKinney Avenue was little more than a strip of junk shops and gay bars, interspersed with crumbling apartment houses and neon-lit convenience stores. The fine old street had once been the only authentically bohemian area in Dallas, and its decline over the years has seemed symbolic of the deterioration of our city’s older neighborhoods.

The street is changing again. And the quiet transformation of McKinney over the last few months may again be symbolic of things to come, this time for the better.

Andy Clendenen first told me of his dream for McKinney back in 1973. The owner of Chelsea Corner, Andy talked of buying and restoring a delightful old building at the corner of McKinney and Hall and opening the finest public bar in the city. For three long years he’s struggled to make his dream come true, and I’m happy to report that the bar opened less than two weeks ago. It’s called Andrew’s (I have to admit to some pride of authorship; I was one of many who suggested the name), and it is well on its way to fulfilling his ambition for it. The interior has been constructed almost exclusively with antique wood, so it’s already among the most beautiful bars in Dallas.

I’ve taken more of a personal interest since Andy first told me of his plans because in the intervening years I met and married a young woman named Kathy McDaniel. Kathy and her partner, Charlotte Stockton, have opened two restaurants across the street from the building Andy has been restoring. (Before Kathy gets the idea that I’mplugging Andrews more than her newest place, allow me immediately to interject that it’s called Gitana, it’s open seven nights a week, and you’ll like it.) The street became even more personal to us when our old neighbors Herb and Mary Kay Storey opened S & D Oyster Company farther toward downtown.

Maybe because I know these people and have been so intensely wrapped up in their plans, frustrations and triumphs I find more to celebrate than actually exists. But I believe celebration is precisely what’s called for. This handful of people, with little more than imagination and hard work, have pumped new life into a sagging McKinney Avenue, giving it a new vitality that makes their area one of the most bustling and charming in the city. Without any official encouragement (the city bureaucracy impedes more than it helps), they’vedone more for inner city revival thanthose of us who preach it month aftermonth. I wish them all the best.Especially Kathy.

One of the pleasures of publishing this magazine is the satisfaction of working with colleagues who are among the best in the profession. And that satisfaction becomes tinged with pride when others give our writers and journalists the recognition I believe they richly deserve. On two occasions recently D Magazine has been so honored, and it wouldn’t do to let a month go by without telling you about it.

Senior editor John Merwin is the recent recipient of the John G. Flowers Memorial Award, presented annually by the Texas Society of Architects for excellence in architectural and environmental criticism. Merwin’s article in last year’s January issue entitled “Town Lake: Why We Need It” was described by a judge as “an excellent piece of urban design advocacy” in which Merwin “shows an unusually informed concern for the face of his city.”

Contributing editor Joe Holley did equally as well by winning the Dallas Press Club’s annual award for best magazine feature of the year. Holley’s award-winning article, “Hunger in Dallas “(September issue), was cited for its sensitivity in exploring a facet of city life too many of us would rather ignore.

Our circulation gains show that wehaven’t gone unrecognized by ourreaders, either. Your support and interest means much more to us than awardsand prizes. We intend in 1977 to continuebringing you the best magazine we can,with the finest local reporting in Dallas-Fort Worth. Happy New Year.