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Will the Bishop Arts District Survive COVID-19?

Updated: Jan 15, 2021


The Bishop Arts District is one of the most unique neighborhoods in Dallas. Located in the center of North Oak Cliff and southwest of Downtown Dallas, the Bishop Arts District boasts:

· Dallas boutiques

· Unique Bishop Arts restaurants

· Hip Bishop Arts District bars

· Dallas coffee shops

· Cool Dallas spas

· Dallas barbers and stylists

· Fun Dallas fitness centers

· Trendy book stores

· Art Galleries

· Dallas real estate (Bishop Arts apartments, Oak Cliff homes for sale; commercial real estate)

· And more.

All have an in-fashion feel while unpretentiously offering accessible locations to eat, drink, shop, and live.

For a full list of Bishop Arts shops and services, click here.

While you can throw a stone in any direction around Dallas and hit one, if not all of the arts and leisure staples mentioned above, Bishop Arts takes you back to a time where the small business owner was king. The appeal of independently-owned shops with uniquely exclusive goods and services quells a craving in a modern society overrun by large shopping malls and chain restaurants.

It was the convenience of large shopping centers mixed with updates to modern transportation that brought on a temporary decline in the Bishop Arts District from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Since its revitalization thereafter, Bishop Arts flourished until now.

Dallas has an explosive influence on food and culture with the history of Bishop Arts dating back to the 1920s.

The Bishop Arts District has even made appearances in famous publications like USA Today and the New York Times.

Today, the Bishop Arts District represents where Dallas is going. Dallas is becoming a true metropolitan city, due in large part to the city’s vastly growing downtown neighborhoods and real estate that is shooting through the roof.

Though, what’s to come of the heavily-trafficked Bishop Arts District now that COVID-19 has become our new reality?

A Brief History of the Bishop Arts District

· 1920s: Bishop Arts is developed into shops and warehouses.

· 1930s: Davis Street was Dallas’ busiest trolley stop.

· 1960s – 1970s: Bishop Arts District sees decline.

· 1984: Developer Jim Lake Jr. begins revitalization of the Bishop Arts District.

· 2000s: Revitalization of Bishop Arts District continues.

· 2020: Bishop Arts District is impacted by COVID-19.


Lowdown On Bishop Arts Businesses During Coronavirus


Bishop Arts is home to hip restaurants, apothecary-style shops, trendy designers, artists, wine bars, unique fragrances, modern apartments, and so much more. But what is happening now that the novel coronavirus has caused not only a pandemic and historical world crisis but the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression?

Many Bishop Arts restaurants are attempting to offset COVID-19 while still adhering to social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders. Bishop Arts restaurants are offering takeout only options, including Oddfellows, a restaurant owned by Amy Cowan and Jason Roberts with a motto of ‘Food for All’ and an eclectic menu at accessible prices. Jason Roberts also co-owns another popular hangout in the Bishop Arts District, Revelers Hall, a Dallas live music venue, also serving up small bites, cocktails, and memorabilia. Oddfellows is currently serving takeout, and Revelers Hall has opened up its doors again but at limited capacity with a strict set of social distancing guidelines.

Among other Bishop Arts restaurants that are offering takeout only options are:

· Lucia (Serving innovative Italian fare since the 1920s)

· Emporium Pies (Cottage environment with tasty pies)

· Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ (Counter-serve barbeque with local beers)

· Espumoso Caffè (Latin coffee shop with fruit smoothies and empanadas)

· And many more.

Zen Sushi is offering both takeout and delivery options, and many other restaurants are following suit.

Some restaurants have opened back up in accordance with CDC guidelines, like:

· Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. (Offering creative grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as beer and cider)

· Veracruz Café (Serving modern Veracruz cuisine)

· Stock & Barrel (Hip casual space serving up cocktails and locally-sourced fire-grilled food)

· Paradiso (Beautiful courtyard restaurant serving coastal Mediterranean fare)

· And more.

However, other Bishop Arts restaurants and Bishop Arts District bars remain temporarily closed, including:

· The Local Oak (Popular neighborhood hangout with cocktails and American fare)

· Oak Cliff Social Club (Industrial bar with cocktails and pub-style food)

Like some who have shut their doors for good, including Downtown Dallas’ Reunion Tower staple Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, we hope for a different fate for these Bishop Arts favorites.

Many Bishop Arts District stores have opened back up, but at limited hours, including Bishop Arts retailers like lifestyle and clothing store, Harkensback and women’s apparel shop, Beatnik Fine Goods.

The Wild Detectives, part Bishop Arts bookstore, Bishop Arts café, Bishop Arts restaurant, Bishop Arts bar, Bishop Arts open mic, and Bishop Arts live music venue, has greeted customers on their contact page with this humorous message: “If it isn’t Monday morning and your neighbors aren’t sleeping, we’re probably open.” Cigar Art, providing Oak Cliff’s favorite stogies, is currently offering curbside pickup and delivery, while Bishop Arts beauty salon, Alchemy Salon, is temporarily closed.

Nearby Bishop Arts apartments like Alta Trinity Green and Bishop Highline Apartments are offering breaks on rent to keep business circulating. Bishop Arts and Oak Cliff home builders are following suit, doling out mortgage rates and promotions that seem too good to be true.

The Bishop Arts area has been hit hard, including the vast range of Dallas entertainment, eateries, and Dallas real estate. However, though sales have been down, restaurants and small business owners have had the support of the community, and real estate sales have not seen as drastic a downturn as initially anticipated. Life goes on, and people are still shopping!

WHY OAK CLIFF AND THE BISHOP ARTS DISTRICT?

Diversity is a special gift that illuminates unimaginable beauty. This diversity is not only reflected in the Bishop Arts District shops and Bishop Arts restaurants but the homes throughout Oak Cliff. Small Tudors, colonials, and sleek modern homes are all nicely interwoven then nestled into the rare hills of Oak Cliff. As a longtime resident, it has been amazing to see this area transform over the years and build organically from impoverished dilapidation to a sought-after hotspot.

Most buyers want options, and I mean a lot of options. Buyers want to be able to see all kinds of places before purchasing a home. What makes Oak Cliff able to do that is the reality that no two houses are the same. Texas is mostly known for its flat land, but not Oak Cliff. In Oak Cliff you will find a hilly tree-shrouded escape that seems miles away from the city. Instead, Oak Cliff sits directly atop the beautiful metropolis of Downtown Dallas, offering picturesque views of the Dallas skyline. Oak Cliff and the surrounding Bishop Arts District are areas where people from all walks of life come together to form a community willing to help one another. This neighborly way is the true beauty of Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District, and it will ultimately ensure their survival.

If you are interested in buying a commercial or residential property in Oak Cliff, the Bishop Arts District, Dallas, or surrounding Texas areas, reach out to me, Chris Owens, at haywoodrealestate@gmail.com or call 214-623-7621.

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