Karlo X Ramos

Food & Drink

The Places—and Patios—that Make Dallas Happen

The April cover story is online today.

Downtown Dallas Inc. is a fine organization that works to promote and improve the city’s core. At its annual meeting this year, held online in early March, DDI spent a good while talking up huge new projects either just completed or soon to open: the JW Marriott, SoGood, the East Quarter, NewPark, The National, AMLI Fountain Place, and others. More than once I heard a developer use the phrase “organic collisions.” As in: “We are tremendously excited about this very unique live-work-play innovation incubator where users will experience organic collisions.” Words to that effect. Did I mention that DDI is a fine organization? The city is a better place as a result of the hard work of its staff. But jargon has a soporific effect on me, and at one point during the meeting, I woke up with an AirPod lodged in my larynx.

Kim Finch, owner of Thunderbird
Kim Finch owns three bars and works her butt off.
Tim Rogers

I want to tell you about a tiny project that DDI didn’t mention, the one you see on our cover. Thunderbird Station is a bar (that also serves great food) on the edge of Deep Ellum, where it starts to bleed into Exposition Park. Its owner is a woman named Kim Finch. “Like the bird,” she said when I met her. “Not like Atticus?” I replied. She laughed politely.

Kim has owned a great bar called Double Wide, a block from Thunderbird, for 17 years. She also owns Single Wide, on Lower Greenville. To open Thunderbird, she took on debt for the first time in her bar-running career. They were scheduled to open in February 2020. The pandemic hit. They opened in September. Kim is not shy about sharing her story: business has been rough. Like, the sort of stressful that would drive lesser women to walk away. She cares too much about her employees and the promises she’s made.

I met Kim on the evening of our cover shoot. I was there to make a nuisance of myself, but I wound up running into a developer I know. He was meeting a politician. Who knows what they were up to. They wouldn’t let me eavesdrop. But you can bet I’ll circle back and figure it out.

Dear reader, that is an organic collision.

Here’s to all the people in our town like Kim Finch, who is like the bird. She has colorful plumage and is hearty. She’s going to make it because we’re all going to get out there and see each other again on patios that provide plenty of space and do things right. Hang in there, Dallas. Keep your masks on just a bit longer. Better times are only a few months away.   

For the April issue of our magazine, we honored our favorite patios in town. The ones that got us through this, that let us support these businesses and visit with friends and family and strangers alike. They’ll be there when this is over, too. So click over to the cover story and give it a read. It’s online today. Get your vaccine and then go visit these businesses that bring so much to the city of Dallas.

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