For 16 years, locals and vagabonds alike from Deep Ellum, Dallas and beyond have enjoyed top-tier drinks and shows at Double Wide. Every now and then, the team at Double Wide would look across the street to the historic service station nestled on Commerce Street that formerly housed a concept called Bowls and Tacos.
“For so long, we’ve been going to work, looking across the street at this cool building with its great character and history and wondering what we could do with it,” Double Wide general manager Joel Stephenson says. “Now we don’t have to wonder anymore.”
Stephenson and Double Wide/Single Wide owner Kim Finch are in the process of revitalizing that historic service station and, in spring 2020, will unveil their creation: Thunderbird, a full-service bar and bites establishment that pays homage to the aesthetics of yesteryear with a must-have menu and a focus on service. Finch’s goal, with her franchise, is to hold onto the rustic nostalgia of Deep Ellum’s history. The location originally housed the beloved family-owned and community-fed gas and service station, Riegel’s.
Finch wanted to keep the aesthetic of retro-vintage nostalgia alive and honor Riegel’s position as a community building-block by giving a nod to the original gas station in its decor and ambiance. As is her focus with Double Wide and Single Wide, Finch wants to ensure Deep Ellum dwellers have plenty of options for fun, snacks, and cold ones as they traverse Dallas’ increasingly vibrant arts hub.
“It’ll be very true to the neighborhood,” Finch says. “It’s laid back and classic.”
And the menu will reflect that, offering drinks and bites Finch calls “nostalgic” for locals to enjoy indoors or on the Thunderbird’s patio. Plenty of outdoor space will be available at the bar, which is currently under construction. When it opens its doors in the spring, Dallasites will be able to sip ice-cold beer from a frosty mug while watching the sunset over their city.
“We’re focused on the kind of service people offered back in the days of fill-station attendants and soda jerks who always remember your name,” Finch says. “We’re taking it back to the basics.”
Thunderbird Station is slated to open its doors in Spring 2020. It will be located at 3400 Commerce St., Dallas, Texas 75226.