A longtime Irish pub that opened long before Uptown Dallas became Uptown Dallas is closing. After 13 years, The Idle Rich Pub will close in January 2018, giving pub fans two months to attend the wake.
Owner Feargal McKinney posted a note on Facebook reflecting on the pub's long lifespan in a neighborhood that's been swept by change.
"Hard to believe but it is almost 14 years since I signed the lease at the former O'Dowd's space on McKinney Ave and got to work on opening The Idle Rich Pub," McKinney writes. "Uptown was downright sleepy back then, we had no idea what was ahead. I have had 14 great years and met many new friends and invaluable employees. Several still-current employees started there opening night. Unfortunately, our lease expires at the end of January 2018, and our final day of business will be sometime in January."
A high-rise development is being plotted for the property on which the pub sits.
The Idle Rich has been home to many traditions, including memorable St. Patrick's Days, Texas-OU weekends, and New Year's Eve celebrations. It's always been a convenient and welcoming refuge, with good beer and food to match, all McKinney trademarks.
"But most of all, I will miss the day-to-day regulars who have been supporting us for years," McKinney says. Those regulars include a group who came for lunch every Friday. "They have told me they are sadly counting down how many Friday lunches are left," he says.
McKinney says he's had many calls seeking reassurance that the pub will keep its regular hours and observe its annual Christmas beer tasting.
"Uber posted a list of 'best places in town for Thanksgiving Eve' just today and Idle is on there," McKinney says. "For today, I just want to assure you it will be the Idle you love up to the last day."
CultureMap's former bar critic Jonathan Rienstra and quintessential Uptown gadfly once confessed to having a "borderline unhealthy obsession" with the Idle Rich, calling it the bar "that turned me into a man," stating that "it was where I first figured out what McKinney Avenue was like at night, for better or for worse. And it was home base on too many summer nights back from college, fighting against the waves and waves of other drinkers."
McKinney intends to place the crew at one of his other pubs, which include Old Monk and the Blackfriar (which, oddly, sports a for-sale sign).
"So, not a time for sadness, maybe a little nostalgia and holiday cheer," he writes. "Hopefully, I will catch many of you at The Idle over the next weeks!"