One of Uptown Dallas' oldest watering holes is moving to a sweet new location. The Loon, which has been hanging around McKinney Avenue for more than 25 years, will move from its current address at 3403 McKinney Ave. to a larger space.
Fortunately, the new space is hardly a block away: It'll open in a building at 3028 N. Hall St., just behind Breadwinners, that was most recently occupied by Mimi's Pizza.
Linda Criswell, who has owned the bar since 2017, says she hopes to have it open in December.
"The building we were is an old house built in the 1920s, but we got an opportunity for a larger space with cheaper rent, and great parking that includes 40 spots in the garage," Criswell says. "To have that much parking is a big deal in that neighborhood."
The location was previously broken into three separate storefronts and has been home to numerous businesses in the past decade.
"The space will now be more cohesive," she says. "We're taking down a wall and they're letting us put tables outside, and there are trees there which make it shady and pleasant."
"We'll have our Italian food for sure, and our strong drinks, which is what we're known for," she says. "We're adding beer on tap. That's a big thing, we never had that at the old space. That's what people ask when they come in: 'What do you have on tap?'"
The Loon has had an eventful history. Cliff Gonzalez bought the bar from a widow who passed away in 1992 and changed the name to The Loon. It was a treasure in Uptown with cheap drinks, a laid-back atmosphere, and a family vibe with regulars that's rare in the gentrified neighborhood.
In 2014, it was shuttered when the strip mall it had been in was razed to build a CVS, but then re-opened, initially under the name Cliff's Bar & Grill before re-adopting the Loon as the name.
Criswell, who has an entrepreneurial background and also worked in real estate, bought the bar from Gonzalez after he retired.
"I was a regular," she says. "I always liked what it is, and what it stands for, with all of the regulars that give it that neighborhood feel. I bought it because I wanted to carry the name on."