Venue News

Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Dallas rebrands, farewell Richard Rawlings

Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Dallas rebrands, farewell Richard Rawlings

Amplified gas monkey grill
The venue overlooks its own body of water. Courtesy photo

The restaurant and live music spot formerly known as Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Northwest Dallas is rebranding. New name: Amplified, and former co-founder Richard Rawlings is no longer involved.

It'll occupy the same space at 10261 Technology Blvd., but with a renovated interior, improved audio system, and new menu.

According to a release, Amplified will celebrate a grand opening on October 5 with Atlanta rock band Manchester Orchestra, plus tattoo artist Bob Kakaha (aka Bob Zilla), who will be doing Amplified lightning bolt tattoos and other designs to commemorate the occasion.

Additional shows already booked include Matisyahu, Bad Religion, and Alkaline Trio.

This represents the next chapter for what was originally a two-pronged concept, with a bar & grill on one side, and a live music venue, Gas Monkey Live, on the other. Gas Monkey Live closed in 2020; the space has since been acquired by a new owner although it remains empty.

Managing partner Alex Mendonsa says that they'll keep hosting live music at Amplified, which has both an indoor stage and an epic outdoor space.

"The Grill has always had a wonderful outdoor stage right on a park, overlooking a neat waterway," Mendonsa says. "We'll still have the live music, great food, and cold drinks we're known for, just a different name."

Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill opened in 2013, followed by Gas Monkey Live in 2014 in the space formerly occupied by Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Northwest Dallas. It was part of the empire fronted by Richard Rawlings, Fort Worth native and co-star of the Discovery channel TV show Fast N' Loud.

Rawlings was the front man — but the venue was always run by Mendonsa, who came to Dallas from the House of Blues Las Vegas; talent buyer Peter Ore, formerly of Talent Live Nation Denver; and brothers Mike and Dan Flaherty of United Commercial Realty.

"Richard is taking the name, and it gives us the freedom to move forward and focus on what we've been doing for the past eight years — providing the best entertainment we can get our hands on, with the best food and service," Mendonsa says. "We don't have security guards, we have security hosts. When people come to the venue, they're pleasantly surprised."

Food & drink
The menu will still feature Gas Monkey favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, and smoked meats, but also new dishes such as chicken Marsala, shrimp-chicken-sausage étouffée, chicken-fried steak sandwich, al pastor tacos, and birria-style brisket.

The drinks menu has also received an update, with new cocktails and shots, plus local and national beer.

Renovation of the space
Amplified's interior was given an overhaul, with new floors, a wraparound bar near the stage, new seating and upholstery, paint, and new décor.

Gear-wise, they did a big upgrade:

  • The interior stage now houses a DAS Vantec Series PA system with eight speakers and 15,000 watts of total power.
  • Extensive lighting features 24 fixtures, including eight moving fixtures, and a 176-inch HD LED video wall.
  • The outdoor stage received its own update, with a DAS Aero Series PA system with 30 speakers and 40,000 watts of total power.
  • A state-of-the-art lighting system features 54 fixtures, including 24 moving fixtures, and another 176-inch HD LED video wall.

They feel confident that, with its updates, Amplified is the best place in Dallas to see a show, whether indoors or out.

"We're off the beaten path, but that becomes an advantage," Mendonsa says. "Having an outdoor stage is obviously a big plus right now, but we're also not subject to ordinances for sound or having to be done by a certain time. We have plenty of parking, and we don't charge for parking. We end up being a destination."