If you think the West 7th corridor is nothing but a warren of Uptown-aping, high-end mixed retail and over-priced eateries, you’re probably not going to like the news that Velvet Taco, the Dallas-based purveyor of fancified Mexican food, has its eyes on The Gold Standard building (2700 W. 7th St.). Has the Standard’s minotaur mascot started packing his proverbial bags? “Not quite,” said co-owner Brad Hensarling. The building “is under contract to [the Velvet Taco folks], and they’ve had architects, engineers, and the asbestos-abatement people out, all that kind of stuff over the past couple weeks … standard bank stuff for property buys.”

Hensarling says that while Velvet is waiting for the appraisal value and going through other banking hurdles, the Gold Standard will be around ’til at least Halloween of 2013, when the bar’s lease is up. “As long as we keep up with our end of the lease, which is basically maintaining the property taxes, which we’ve done, and paying rent, which [co-owner] Jimmy [Moore] prepays in the first place, we’re still open,” he said. “They told our landlord, the seller, that they want to wait us out.”

So the Gold Standard’s days are indeed numbered, but there’s still plenty of time (almost a year, yo) to get a Bucking Bison or a Boy Named Sue or any other creative cocktail invented by Hensarling and his team. And, anyway, his whole idea behind The Gold Standard was to be “the dive bar’s last stand on 7th Street,” a scruffy holdout against the encroachment of the upscale (which tends to be, for better or worse, synonymous with “soulless,” “plastic,” and “Dallas” around these parts). At least this kind of last stand doesn’t end in a hail of bullets. Probably just shots. Possibly of Bulleit.


  1. Magnolia Motor Lounge is kind of nice inside, but you can still pay dive bar prices, at least for the PBR. And Fred’s isn’t going anywhere.