Saturday, August 20, 2011
Pearl on Commerce, blues bar in downtown Dallas, re-opens in September
It's a godsend to the local and national blues community.
DALLAS In a heroic return that's surpassed possibly only by the resurrection of Jesus, Pearl at Commerce -- the blues bar on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas -- will re-open in September, confirms Tracy Yost, who owns the bar with her husband Rick Yost, himself a blues musician.
The bar, which opened in 2006, closed in January 2011 when it became too much for the couple to operate.
"Rick got real sick and I was working full-time and we couldn't continue to do it," Tracy says. "But then my work situation changed, and I started thinking about re-opening. We talked to the landlord, but at that time he was pursuing another tenant. When that fell through, he called back to see if we were still interested, and we put together a deal."
Pearl not only resides in downtown Dallas' Central Business District, it occupies a classic old building with loads of history and personality. It was a longtime Pegasus News hangout, serving as the location for the company's first Christmas/launch party in December 2006.
It also filled a valuable niche for the local blues community, hosting local blues acts and serving as a pit-stop for touring blues musicians.
"We've had internationally traveling blues acts known worldwide, there's no place else like it," Tracy says. "Occasionally the Granada will have a blues act, and the House of Blues might have someone like Buddy Guy. But we've heard from musicians and booking agents from around the country asking where else they can play. When these guys travel around the country, they might have a show in Phoenix and Florida, and we're someplace right in the middle where they can swing through and perform. Musicians like us for that alone, but the fact that we're owner-operators brings a personal touch."
Right now, Tracy says they're in what she calls "bootstrap mode," selling vintage Pearl T-shirts to help raise funds, and throwing a couple of pre-opening shows to help them get back on their feet.
On Thursday, September 8, there's a Pre-Re-Opening Jazz Party with the Pete Weise Trio, Freddie Jones Quartet, and Buster Brown Band, and then on Sunday, September 11, there's an Pre-Re-Opening Blues Party with Holland K. Smith, Mike Morgan, and Anson Funderburgh.
"They're all donating their time," Tracy says. "Everybody who's anybody is wanting to play that show."
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