Yarbrough Recalls Clearview Days

by Jeffrey Yarbrough

Yesterday we posted a story about the Club Clearview reunion that was held this past weekend at Lee Harvey’s, and we received plenty of emails with stories about the event and past recollections. Jeffrey Yarbrough was also kind enough to send his regards and his view of the night. Jeffrey was one of the Clearview owners, and now owns BigInk, a PR firm in Dallas.

This was not your ordinary class reunion. Clearview staff from 1985 – 2007 came out full throttle. Original staffers like Todd Eckardt who started as a door guy and ended up CFO was there. Clay Austin the grandfather of Deep Ellum graffiti who was the creative director closed down the bar with us after painting a black light mural on the back fence and 3 dancers. Jeff Swaney, the founder, came in from Bend OR, other staffers flew from Portland, Las Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and in Texas as far as El Paso over 250 in all attended.  

It was great to here so many stories about not only the wild time they experienced watching shows like Skinny Puppy, working the door at Blind Lemon or the Art Bar and hosting events for Pink Floyd, but how working at Clearview helped them in their business lives today. Many own their own companies, corporate executives or stay at home moms and have great memories of their time under that 4 clubs in one roof.

One gentleman told me the last time he saw me was when we fired him. I asked if it was for a good reason and he went on to tell me how that moment lead him to a life change that probably saved his life. There was another young lady who helped Todd Eckardt count money one night that is now the head of accounting for a large privately owned hotel company and said if it were not for her getting that opportunity she would not had gone down that path.

Reid Robison who put together the entertainment for the night at Lee Harvey’s said Clearview was like his church, always a place where he could go and get inspiration and connect with a creative community. Reid ask one of the past General Mangers David Nelson to host the event under his stage name Chez David who introduced the bands Blue Flames and Johnny Hoot rock (incarnation of ‘The Flametrick Subs’).

How does something like this happen? Greg Watson and two of his lead staff members Mandy(cashier/shot-girl) and Tia (bartender) organized the event through Facebook. Tia had randomly posted some old pictures on Facebook and stirred up some friend and fans from the old days.

We had the Nichols gang of 5 brothers who had all bartended at one time or another over the past 20 years attend.

There are far too many Alumni to mention by name. But what I can say is they all made an impact on my life regardless of their length of employment, position, or even being fired. What I do know is we all need to watch what we are doing in business today because it just might make an impact on what happens tomorrow. I was blessed to have such a great night of reflection, that what we were doing in the hospitality business at that time, had a long lasting effect on so many people.

This night was a night that celebrated a unique institution made up of two decades of men and women that believed in a couple of crazy entrepreneurs vision, corporate culture, strategies and dreams and Dallas called it Clearview.


Filed under Arts, beer, Crave, Deep Ellum, Jeffrey Yarbrough, Music, Night Clubs

5 responses to “Yarbrough Recalls Clearview Days

  1. edward harvey

    I had many a memorable nights closing down the place w/ Todd and Jeffrey. I had the great fortune of playing on the stage, working behind the bar(s), and enjoying nights off at the complex. What history and memories!! Thanks Jeffrey!! Edward H.

  2. i was a patron during the original “scary deep ellum days” of clearview, and many years later was able to be a dj in a couple of rooms. it was a wonderful, full-circle experience for me. much love clearview!

  3. Rebecca Campbell

    Clearview helped shape my youth, I loved working there and loved those I worked with. Good times! With Love from Becca Campbell

  4. checkurself

    good story but for someone who is supposedly running a big company in the communications world, he should have checked his spelling and grammar before sending this to be posted. i’m just sayin…

  5. Randy Pool

    Jeffrey and Todd were/and probably still are two of the nicest guys ever. I worked at Clearview for 10 of those years and am forever changed, in a positive way, by the relationships and generosity of the people I associate with that special, crazy place. Thanks for the opportunity guys, and much gratitude to my coworkers that allowed me to call them my friends!

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