The barriers will be lifted again on Friday and Saturday nights, closing some streets in Deep Ellum.
It is a Dallas Police response to recent violence, traffic, and visitors to the State Fair of Texas.
But some businessmen are complaining that street closures are very bad for business as they try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bucky Moonshines restaurant and bar is on a stretch of Elm Street that was closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night last weekend.
âWe will not survive and I bet there will be 10 businesses closed in six months if they continue this way,â said Ivan Pugh, owner of Bucky Moonshines.
He shut down the business an extra day last week to save money after last weekend’s losses. Pugh said more than a dozen of his employees have quit with so few customers.
âThey said we just can’t make any money. And they left. They’re going to go to a neighborhood that the police aren’t shutting down, âPugh said.
The Elm Street restaurant is very close to the spot on Malcolm X Boulevard where six people were shot on September 19. Two of the victims died. He came after other violent crimes in the area.
On September 20, Chief Eddie Garcia said Dallas police would not tolerate violence.
âWe are going to respond appropriately and make sure that we are present in this area and that customers feel safe,â Garcia said.
At an event where Dallas was this week named the âFriendly Texas Music Community,â Mayor Eric Johnson said he was alarmed by the recent crime in Deep Ellum.
“I support our chief of police in doing what he needs to do to restore order to this area and make it safe for everyone in it,” Johnson said.
City council member Jesse Moreno represents Deep Ellum. Moreno said he was working on the issues with a task force made up of businesses, residents and city officials.
âWe want to be sure that bar owners can promote their business and let customers know that they will be safe when they come to Deep Ellum,â said Moreno. âEven though the streets are closed, Deep Ellum is a welcoming place. We simply will not tolerate violence.
Moreno said the goal of the street closure is to give the neighborhood a feel of pedestrian safety like the one in Austin 6e Street.
Unlike some cities where alcohol consumption is allowed on closed streets, Dallas police were also enforcing open container laws last weekend for people walking around.
The neighborhood relies on visitors with live music seven nights a week, according to the executive director of the Deep Ellum Foundation, Stephanie Keller Hudiberg.
âDeep Ellum is a very dynamic neighborhood, so not only our traffic plan and our mobility plan, but our safety plan must also be dynamic,â she said. âThis week we had a very productive meeting. We meet monthly and have spoken with law enforcement about the closures last weekend and this weekend you’re going to see something a little different.
Instead of closing Main and Elm at 7 p.m., the streets will close at 10 p.m. after the early evening food service activities are over.
âIf it’s 10 am, we could get it back,â Pugh said.
However, it also relies on parking for the nighttime crowds and closing Elm Street will eliminate later access to its lot.
Pugh said Deep Ellum’s solution to violence shouldn’t eliminate visitors for businesses that are already in trouble.
A spokesperson said Dallas Police plan to continue to close some streets in Deep Ellum on weekends, at least during the State Fair of Texas, and then assess next steps afterward.
City Councilor Moreno said the city will work with business owners to ensure they are not caught off guard by security changes in the future.