The West End will lose a little bit of East Coast glam as longtime downtown Dallas steakhouse The Palm has decided to shut down on June 30. Owners Wally Ganzi and Bruce Bozzi Jr. announced the closure in an email to customers, which was also posted on its website, stating that safety had become a concern.
"Unfortunately, we've come to the decision that it is no longer viable for us to operate a restaurant at this location," the email said. "This is a decision that was very difficult for us. Recent events, however, have left us concerned for the safety and welfare of our valued customers and staff."
Company spokesperson Karen Lukanic said that safety was something that played into their decision.
"We can't point to exactly one reason, but certainly the safety of our team and our guests was a factor, following the events of last summer," she says.
Last summer was July 7, 2016, when Micah Xavier Johnson fired upon a group of police officers in downtown Dallas. He killed five officers and injured nine others.
The Palm was in the center of that storm. The staff brought a wounded police officer into the restaurant, called an ambulance, and then locked its doors.
"We started looking for a new location at that time," Lukanic says. "We thought we were close on a lease, and hopefully we'll find something else in Dallas."
The owners' statement says that The Palm Dallas "has been like a second home" to many loyal customers, dedicated staff, residents, and visitors to Dallas.
"Whether it was celebrating a milestone, a first date, closing an important deal or just enjoying Sunday supper, The Palm Dallas was special to so many, including us."
Aside from its thick steaks and doting service, The Palm is also noted for its caricature-covered walls. It was founded in 1926, and there are 24 other locations including San Antonio and Houston.
"We are sorry to say goodbye and remain hopeful that we can find a new home here in the great city of Dallas," the owners' statement says. "While we have offered all our members the opportunity to transfer to other Palm locations, we realize that asking people to leave their home is not always a practical option. Therefore, our final wish is for our remaining staff — that they are able to quickly find safe, satisfying employment with respectable companies that value them as much as we do."