For those who wanted to take one last look or picture at Lizard Lounge or The Church, there was one last opportunity to stop by. It’s the end of an era. The doors have closed for good.
“I mean it took a pandemic to take us out,” said owner Don Nedler.
The venue opened its doors to the public from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Friday. It was not open for business, but visitors were be able to go inside, have a last look, and take a photo.
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For 28 years, the space inside served not only as a nightclub, but as a haven.
“There’s no judgement. There’s no ‘you don’t belong here.’ It’s ‘you’re welcome here. Come have a good time,’” said visitor Heather McClain.
The loyalty runs deep. Dallas resident Xochitl Armendariz said she’d rarely missed a Thursday or Sunday since 1999.
“I’ve spent almost half of my life here,” she said. “It’s insane. I’ve met so many people here. So many memories.”
It’s why dozens of people lined Swiss Avenue to say their final goodbyes. Nedler said if there was any way to save the lounge, he certainly would’ve considered it.
“We’re the place where people met their wives, where people me their husbands, where people celebrated their anniversaries, their birthdays,” said Nedler.
With the economic downturn due to the coronavirus, Nedler says he simply can’t afford to keep the doors open. He said he was looking at spending some $28,000 each month just to keep the venue afloat.
The Lizard Lounge is where countless well-known bands played. It's a place that helped solidify Dallas’ spot in Gothic subculture. And it’s the place where Sunday night meetups became known as The Church.