Pawn Shop Bar

Whimsical bar Uptown Pawn takes on one of Dallas' most turnstiled locations

Whimsical bar Uptown Pawn takes on turnstiled McKinney Ave location

Interior of Belly & Trumpet restaurant in Dallas
Belly & Trumpet, now gone. Photo by Joy Zhang

Give it up to Uptown Pawn, a new bar-restaurant bravely open in a space on McKinney Avenue that many would deem jinxed.

Since 2012, the address at 3407 McKinney Ave. has been home to Lumi Empanada, a sweet mom-and pop; followed by the Bowery, a hot-dog place; and Belly & Trumpet, a fine-dining lounge from the owners of Oak. That's a lot of turnover in three years.

Uptown Pawn is part of the portfolio of District Entertainment Group, which only days ago opened TBD, in the old Republic space at the corner of Hall Street and McKinney Avenue. A release describes this opening as giving DEG "two bars on the hottest nightlife strip in the city."

Uptown Pawn's concept will fuse the "fun, whimsical nature of a pawn shop with the hospitality of a bar and restaurant." Oh, that does sound fun. Pawn shops, where you can often find stolen bicycles and jewelry sold for a percentage of their real value by people facing hard times, are definitely fun and whimsical.

The space features comfortable seating — the best kind — and a mix of high-top and low-top tables, with a section dedicated to bottle service for those patrons who desire something a bit more exclusive. Pawn shop plus bottle service? That is like the cherry on the sundae.

The menu features classic bar food like burgers and wings. Drinks will include beer, wine, Champagne and cocktails, including the signature Lunch Box drink, which is beer topped with orange juice and accented by a shot of Amaretto dropped into the glass.

As required by any McKinney establishment, there is a patio. Local musicians will perform on weeknights, and weekends, there'll be DJs.

In keeping with the pawn shop theme, items throughout the space will be available for purchase, including art, guitars and other instruments and furniture like couches and coffee tables.

"Uptown Dallas and especially McKinney Avenue is a fun and vibrant piece of our city, and we feel so privileged to bring two new concepts to this neighborhood," says co-owner Alex Marko in a release. "With Uptown Pawn, we're establishing an entertaining, laid-back space where our guests can spend their evenings enjoying some good drinks in a decidedly unique setting."