It took a few more months than expected, but beloved hole-in-the-wall The Loon is open for business in a new Uptown location. It just has a different name: Cliff's Bar & Grill.
Named after owner Cliff Gonzales, who operated The Loon for 22 years, Cliff's Bar & Grill opened November 20 to a full house of former Loon regulars looking to sip on the strongest drinks in town. It takes over the former House 34 spot on McKinney Avenue, just north of Quarter Bar and So & So's.
The Loon's last call in its former location was back in May; it was torn down to make way for a CVS.
Though located in Uptown, the space doesn't share many of The Loon's physical qualities. For starters, the interior is well-lit, squeaky clean and snug. There's no pool table, and there are windows that actually let light in. '
One bartender said they plan to black them out as soon as possible, but she might have been joking.
The Loon was a treasure to those who like enjoying themselves in Uptown without dropping $60 a night. Its laid-back atmosphere created a family vibe that's in increasingly small supply in Uptown.
Outside, Cliff's has an expansive patio letting out onto McKinney Avenue, a legacy from the extensive remodel that House 34 undertook. The Loon was the antithesis of Dallas' patio culture, but it did always have a gaggle of smokers out front, so this might work out.
Although Cliff's doesn't look like The Loon, it still features a heavy pour that will cause a chemical flashback to its old location, and that's what it's all about. They're also serving thin-crust pizza to keep you from getting too silly from whiskey Cokes.