Longtime Deep Ellum Club “The Door” Set to Close

Russell Hobbs can remember when Deep Ellum was still one of Dallas' hidden gems -- back when he had to convince people to come check it out.

"I always thought it's the edgiest, coolest part of Dallas," said Hobbs, who first began working in Deep Ellum during the 1980's.

Inspired by his experiences there, he decided in 1998 to open a creative space where artists, musicians, and performers could share their talents. He called this new place "The Door".

"So we just put it on the stage," said Hobbs. "We were an open door of opportunity to let people do what they did best -- and actually get really good at what they did."

For two decades now, The Door has done just that -- racking up success story after success story along the way.

Long before they became household names, bands like Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Brand New, and The Lumineers all found a place in The Door to share their music with Dallas and grow their fanbases.

And as the crowds piled into The Door to hear live music or take in new art, they began to take notice of the entire Deep Ellum area.

"We've certainly had some influence and a hand in shaping the Deep Ellum scene," said Hobbs.

Today, that scene is red hot.

 "You know, Dallas discovered Deep Ellum," said Hobbs. "Now Deep Ellum is grown up. Deep Ellum is successful."

Hobbs says that's a great thing. But with Deep Ellum's meteoric rise came a tough realization for him.

 "It's gotten expensive," said Hobbs. "So our business model, our concept, it's really hard to continue it in this place."

No longer able to afford his rising rent, he's decided to close The Door at the end of December. 

He's now looking for a new location outside of Deep Ellum.

"It's been a great ride," said Hobbs. "And it's been a great adventure. Deep Ellum is part of my soul."        

And to that end, it's not goodbye forever. He's still involved with another business there called The Prophet Bar.   

As for the future of The Door, he hopes to reopen the club at its yet-to-be-determined new home within a year.

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