Bar Louie coming to Arlington

11 Oct

So maybe I am late to the party, but driving through (sigh…seriously?…we are still calling it this?…) “The Highlands” I notice BLACKFINN is gone and BAR LOUIE is unloading new furniture and remodeling the old location.    As I snap this pic I am filled with several thoughts.

FIRST:  I check out the BAR LOUIE website and see they have a cool look to their bar and an awesome looking menu.   I wish them success.   I look forward to trying them out.    It’d be nice to have a new cool place to hang out with the fellas.  Even if it means visiting the Highlands.

“THE HIGHLANDS”.   If you aren’t familiar, it’s an outside shopping center in south Arlington.   I don’t understand this concept of the “inside-out mall”   Parking is miserable and you have to go in and out of each store —then drive to the next area and repark— or walk from cluster to cluster in the elements.    That’s fine to walk around on a nice day but …HELLO this is TEXAS.   It can get over 100 degrees here in the summer.   Walking from cluster to cluster in heat is NOT attractive.    Oh yeah… it also rains and we get horrible, hardcore winter ice storms.      So who wants to shop in that?   At least in a mall it’s covered and I can shop no matter what is going on outside.   I also try and frequent douchebag-free zones which brings me to….

BLACKFINN.   Known in Addison for awhile as a great little place…. in Arlington … any coolness was squeezed out of any hope of it being cool by the sheer number of douchebag guys that frequented the place.    Seriously.  It wasn’t even fun to go to that place.   From day one it was drama.

But drama is typical in The Highlands but what developers, investors, and some businesses seemingly DO NOT understand is that ARLINGTON is a blue-collar town.  One of it’s largest employers is a GM plant.  It’s the home of the International Bowling Hall of Fame for God’s sake.    The city is trying hard to improve the image and class-up the joint – but look-it…. it is what it is.    Trying to turn it into ALLEN or SOUTHLAKE is just a case of too little…too late.

The Highlands shopping area houses several higher-end shopping boutiques and restaurants.  Unfortunately several of them have already come-and-gone in the last few years.

BLACK FINN.  HOFFBRAU STEAKS.  BOUDREAUX’s CAJUN KITCHEN.  MANDOLA’s ITALIAN KITCHEN (miss this one terribly)  the dueling piano bar that is now gone-and-I-cant-remember-the-name-of…   and the best example being SPLITSVILLE.    A slick and classy bowling alley that was so busy enforcing the dress code that the actual bar inside stayed EMPTY.    No…seriously.

Arlington has an average median income of 50 grand – so all the high-end steak and martini-bars are cool but you aren’t going to win their weeknight loyalty.    They might check you out but they ain’t paying 10 bucks a beer and 12.50 for “small plates”.   It’s why you saw nobody at BlackFinn after the shine wore off and still see a line outside Olive Garden every Thursday-Sunday nights.   They stick to things they know and want some sort of value or experience for their dollar.

It’s not like Dallas where the 30 thousand dollar millionaire is rampant.   Arlington just doesn’t support it long-term.  This is not to bag on Arlington.  I like Aggtown.   But I know it.  I know the people.   They don’t spend money like that.   They are fickle.   You can get them to spend 300 on a day at the Cowboy game – but those same people will tell you a 10 cocktail is just too damn expensive and will not frequent a place that plays to that.

just sayin’.


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