Bar News

New retro-bar on edge of Deep Ellum vows to embrace vintage history

New retro-bar on edge of Deep Ellum vows to embrace vintage history

Thunderbird/Bowls & Tacos
The beautiful old gas station on the edge of Deep Ellum will see new life. Photo courtesy of Thunderbird

Another operator is taking a crack at the beautiful ex-gas station at 3400 Commerce St. in Deep Ellum: Kim Finch, owner of Double Wide/Single Wide, and manager Joel Stephenson, will open a place called Thunderbird, a full-service bar with bites.

According to a release, the duo are currently renovating the space and will open in spring 2020.

The building is on the eastern edge of Deep Ellum bordering Exposition Park. For decades, it was owned by Maynard Riegel, who operated Riegel's Gulf Service; he died in January 2016.

The space was then nabbed by Sam Wynne who, with his partners from Braindead including Jeff Fryman and Andrew Huerter, opened a trendy concept called Bowls & Tacos. That closed in February 2019.

Finch has prospered at that end of Deep Ellum with Double Wide, a fun and informal trailer park bar she opened in 2003. She's also persevered on Greenville Avenue with Single Wide, a smaller Double Wide spinoff.

According to the release, Finch's goal with Thunderbird is to retain a sense of Deep Ellum's history. Their renovation will embrace the retro-vintage aesthetic and honor Riegel by giving a nod to the original gas station in its decor, ambiance, and menu.

"We're focused on the kind of service people offered back in the days of fill-station attendants and soda jerks who always remember your name," says Finch in a statement.