Lower Greenville Fire: A Great Loss to East Dallas

As many of you have heard by now, yesterday morning at around 5:30 a.m., a four-alarm fire broke out on Lower Greenville, gutting the building that houses Terrili’s, Hurricane Grill, Mick’s Bar, and Greenville Bar and Grill. 

This is a great loss to Lower Greenville on so many levels.  These are some of the businesses that have defined Lower Greenville for years.  They’ve been assets to the surrounding neighborhoods, good community parters, and represent the antithesis of the problem bars we see south of Belmont.  They’ve provided jobs for business owners and their employees.  The building itself represented some of Dallas’ best 1920s commercial architecture.

Now we’re left with a shell of a building, business owners and employees who’ve lost their livelihood, and the loss of some our most significant Lower Greenville restaurants and pubs.

Yesterday morning, I spent about an hour at the scene as firefighters continued to extinguish the fire and secure the site.  (Photos.)  When I talked with Deputy Fire Chief Stuart Grant, who was overseeing the fire department’s response, he said he wanted to try to keep as much of the façade as possible (especially the corner front facades at Terrili’s and Hurricane).  He told me the rear wall was cracked and too damaged to save, but that he was instructing the city’s demolition crew (which had to remove the debris for safety reasons) to keep the front corner façades.  

My heart goes out to the employees and business owners who lost their jobs overnight.  It is such a tough time to be out of work, and I hope they are able to find other opportunities as soon as possible.  I’m also hopeful that the building owner will rebuild using the remaining facade as a starting point and that Terrili’s and others will be able to move back in after reconstruction.  

The building itself is such a great piece of architecture and an important part of our history.  I’ve received many emails from concerned residents who want to see the building saved.  I agree, and will do all that I can to preserve this structure.  There’s unfortunately a legal limit as to what the city can do to protect the building since it’s not currently an historically-designated structure.  However, I’m finding out what our options are and will push as hard as I can to preserve what’s left of the building.  I’m also trying to get in touch with the property owners to discuss their plans.