Deep Ellum wanes, Fort Worth soars

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    The live music scene in Dallas might be struggling, but business has never been better in Fort Worth. “Business is fantastic and booming,” said Wesley Hathaway, co-owner of the Fort Worth venue the Ridglea Theater.

    Trees, located in Dallas’ Deep Ellum, is the most recent club to close its’ doors – part of trend in the city.

    Other clubs in the area may be closing as well, including the Gypsy Tea Room, the Green Room and Jeroboam all of which have already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    Hathaway speculates that Deep Ellum’s decline is caused by the dangerous neighborhood it is in.

    “People automatically assume that because there are people [in Deep Ellum] with piercings and tattoos that they are bad people,” Hathaway said, “but they aren’t, they just look different.”

    Robert Miguel, marketing promoter for Scream For Me Dallas productions, said it is not uncommon for the Metroplex music scene to cycle between the two cities.

    “The scene works in phases, and things come and go, and right now it is in a going stage,” Miguel said.

    The Ridglea will not be closing anytime soon, Hathaway said.

    “I think the main reason we are so successful is that we have a likeable audience, a good location, and we are easily accessible,” Hathaway said.

    Although it is a smaller club than the Ridglea, the Aardvard shares similar success, said an employee of the Aardvark who calls himself “Steedo.”

    “It benefits the Fort Worth clubs that the Dallas ones are closing,” he said. “But it hurts the musicians.”

    Miguel believes the scene will improve in the future.

    “It works like a roller coaster, [Dallas is] going down the hill now, but it’ll go back up,” Miguel said.

    – Bobby Ensminger