Archive for April, 2011

Inspired by Oak Cliff, Tulsa launches its first Better Block

Posted by    |    April 20th, 2011 at 5:10 am

Shortly after we completed our first Better Block project, we started receiving calls from around the country from other community organizers interested in putting together their own street repair project. Jonathan Bolzle, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was one of the first people to contact us for advice on getting started. A year later, Bolzle and his team completed their project dubbed “Polishing the Pearl”. I just got back from visiting Tulsa, and was blown away at what they’ve accomplished. Typros pulled out all of the stops and were able to clean out several historic buildings, while thinning 6th Street into a more walkable district. By mid-day Saturday, hundreds had already come out and were happily enjoying the day and the revived block. Merchants of all flavors setup a series of pop-up shops including handmade jewelers, coffee shops, kids art studios, grocers, bakers, gelato shops, florists, and more. A lady and her daughter were making fresh Vietnamese egg rolls and pho in one of the spaces, the heavenly smell of which wafted throughout the corner. (more…)

Adios Gloria’s #1

Posted by    |    April 12th, 2011 at 5:10 am

Twenty-five years ago this week the first Gloria’s restaurant opened at the corner of Davis and Llewellyn, and so it is fitting that tonight will be the last night in this location as they prepare to re-open in the recently renovated (and significantly larger) new location in the old fire station at the corner of Bishop and Davis.

So tonight the locals and old-timers can mourn the end of an era, with one last tasty margarita and bowl of the best black bean dip in the world at 600 West Davis. It will be a time to say good bye to the old and to get excited about the new location.

And Thursday you can celebrate the opening of the new location and the 25th Anniversary of Gloria’s restaurants (now 10 locations around the city). And if checking out the renovated space isn’t reason enough to visit the new space,  Gloria’s will be serving 25 cent margaritas on Thursday… yes, you read that right… 25 cent margaritas at the new Gloria’s location on Thursday, April 14.

Where You Should Be Tonight

Posted by    |    April 8th, 2011 at 5:10 am

Alas, if you are reading this and it’s the first you’ve heard of Supper Club at The Kessler, then you are out of luck for tonight. But for those lucky folks who have already purchased their tickets, you’ve got the best seat in Oak Cliff tonight. And those of you who missed out – mark your calendar for May 5 and June 9 for the next opportunity to enjoy a night of music and amazing food.

So what is the Supper Club at The Kessler? It an intimate evening at the city’s best music venue, our very own Kessler Theater, and a marriage of great chefs and great musicians. Tonight’s event features jazz vocalist Damon K. Clark on the stage and well known Chef Mark Cassel in the kitchen.

For just $60 per guest you get dinner, wine and a live musical performance, and the chefs for the upcoming performances are two of Oak Cliff’s finest. May 5th will feature Chef Kelly Hightower (from Nova) and June 9th features Chef Tim Byres (from Smoke). Chef Hightower will prepare a Latin fusion inspired meal, appropriate for Cinco de Mayo and a great pairing with the Brazillian Jazz stylings of Nina Katrina. And Chef Byres will bring his award winning Southern comfort touch in perfect compliment with the bluegrass tunes of Austin’s Milk Drive.

So if you’re lucky enough to be inside The Kessler tonight, enjoy yourself. And if you’re not – then keep your eyes peeled and be sure to grab a few tickets for the next Kessler Supper Club.

Cliffdweller and BFOC co-Founder, Zac Lytle, bringing homes to South Dallas

Posted by    |    April 2nd, 2011 at 5:10 am

Co-founder of BFOC, Zac Lytle, left Oak Cliff in 2009 and began working with North Carolina based non-profit, Builders of Hope (unrelated to Dallas based BoH). In 2010, Zac returned and began setting up a local branch of the NC office with the help of builder-philanthropist, Bennett Miller. The organization’s mission is to “Increase the availability of high-quality, safe, Affordable and Workforce housing options.” and to date, they’ve begun two projects in the region.

In South Dallas, Zac and his team are taking DISD portable buildings that were set to be discarded, and using them to infill blighted neighborhoods around Bexar Street with new housing stock. Once they’ve acquired the buildings, they’re completely stripping the insides and installing new floors, walls, bathrooms, roofs, adding front porches and more to give the structures a new lease on life. The ultimate in recycling!

The public will get a chance to walk-through the first home at the official ribbon cutting on April 7th at 10AM on Starks Avenue and Bexer. Stay tuned for more details!