Sunday, May 18, 2014

For 68 Years an Institution

Club Schmitz began operation in 1946, surviving a fire years later only to arise from the ashes like The Phoenix and until recently seemed indestructible.  It was, after all, one of Dallas's most recognizable watering holes with the coldest beer in town, soon complimented with a burger that would hold its on against all comers.  Club Schmitz attracted mechanics, Harley riders, bank examiners and presidents, a gaggle of giggling secretaries, celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, corporate pilots and airline hostesses headquartered at nearby Love Field, to name just a few.  The clientele seemed endless in its diversity.  But the one thread that bound this cross section of humanity was, simply put, a chilled brewsky and a decent cheeseburger, maybe with a side of chili.  And should schedules allow, there was shuffleboard to play, as well as the challenge of the not-quite-regulation pool table.  The old-fashioned jukebox helped drown many a sorrow, celebrate  countless birthdays and anniversaries or just loosen up the crowd as they started their week-end with a late Friday afternoon happy hour.   But then, most hours were "happy hours" at Club Schmitz.  Until recently.

It was probably an article in  The Dallas Morning news that reached the majority of Club Schmitz customers with the news that a gas station was to buy the property to expand its operation.  The article chronicled the more than half-century history of Club Schmitz and told how the family-run institution was handed down from one generation to another.

And it was after this article that the far-reaching clientele came flooding to Club Schmitz for one final cheeseburger and brew before that fateful final day of May, 2014 was to roll around.  This was the day that Club Schmitz would go dark  drawing to a close a rich, raucous saga.
Soon enough the game room would sit idle. Then bulldozers will arrive.
But in the interim, loyal Club "Schmitzers" will continue to flock in record numbers to this aging jewel to hoist a cold one in homage to a rich history.

Eventually, however, we'll all have to make that final trek over the patched, parched parking lot of Club Schmitz, taking with us a bellyfull of burgers and beer along with memories of  the good-times spent in this gastronomical landmark.    
 Thanks, Club Schmitz.  It's been a great ride!!!!