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Dallas' Gas Monkey Live fronted by Fast N' Loud's Richard Rawlings closes

Gas Monkey Live fronted by Fast N' Loud's Richard Rawlings closes

Gas Monkey Live
Bands liked playing at the well-appointed venue. Courtesy photo

The live music spot Gas Monkey Live in Northwest Dallas is closing, but the live music — and scheduled shows — will live on.

A spokesperson did not respond to inquiries, but present and former employees confirmed that the venue will merge with its nearby sibling Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, located just a few doors away. The two Facebook pages have become one, the phone number is disconnected, and the Gas Monkey Live website has been abandoned and is for sale on GoDaddy.com.

Gas Monkey Live initially closed in late March due to COVID-19. At the time, they called it a temporary gesture.

While the virus is the obvious suspect for their final demise, one employee said that it was not the only factor, stating that the closure was planned before COVID. "The closure had more to do with landlord issues, the situation just accelerated the timeline," he said.

The company is currently renovating Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, which opened in 2013. Plans include an expansion of the stage from its previous capacity of 1,000 to accommodate larger crowds. Gas Monkey Live held 3,000.

Gas Monkey Live opened 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 Richard Rawlings, Fort Worth native and co-star of the Discovery channel TV show Fast N' Loud, along with partner Aaron Kaufmann. The show documents their activities as they renovate old cars at Gas Monkey Garage, their hot rod and merchandise shop.

Although Rawlings was the front man for GML, the venue was run by Alex Mendonsa, who ran 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.

Bands loved playing at the venue because it was a fun stage that was spacious and well laid out, with great production and staff. They hosted a variety of genres, including many great hard rock and metal acts such as Mastodon and Helmet who played there.

The management also framed it as a perfect location for events, from convention groups to upscale corporate and social gatherings, with its three satellite bars, guitar-shaped main bar, private VIP area, in-house furnishings, concert quality stage, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

A number of shows on the books were canceled due to the virus, including the high-profile Ministry tour which got bumped to 2021. (All tickets for the canceled show had to be refunded and the show has been rescheduled to April 24.)

Fans liked seeing bands there because it was roomy — although a case could be made that, for the venue to prosper, it needed a packed house.