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City of Dallas Targets Three Ross Avenue Bars With Lawsuit Alleging Illegal Operation

A lawsuit describes Pilikia, Republic Ranch, and The Pretty Diver as neighborhood nuisances, and their permits may not be in order

Tiki club Pilikia is one of the bars targeted for closure
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Aruging that patrons in the area are causing serious problems for local residents, the City of Dallas has filed a lawsuit aimed at shuttering three Ross Avenue bars.

The watering holes — Pilikia, The Pretty Diver, and Republic Ranch — are in the city’s sights because they’re “pretending to be restaurants,” according to the Dallas Morning News, and operating in an area that isn’t zoned for a booze-focused bar. It’s also possible that the bars are operating with inappropriate permits — as the Morning News notes, The Pretty Diver’s certificate of occupancy describes the clubby bar as a “restaurant without drive-thru service,” even though it’s really more known for its cheap mimosas and cocktails.

At Pilikia, city officials claim that it has been home to “sordid activities,” but doesn’t elaborate on what exactly those are. Republic Ranch, opened by State Fair of Texas fried food king Abel Gonzalez, is ostensibly the most restaurant-like of the three with a menu that offers steak and brisket tacos, but the food is allegedly just a cover for the giant pool parties hosted at the bar. There’s also the issue of nearby neighbors, who claim that the bars’ drunken patrons wreak havoc in the area.

As anyone who has consumed alcohol in the City of Dallas knows, restaurants and bars (or nightclubs) are typically divided into two categories — spots that serve mostly food, and spots that serve mostly booze. Restaurants and nightclubs are zoned differently, and primarily party-focused spots are only allowed to operate in certain areas. Apparently, the Bryan Place neighborhood that surrounds the strip of Ross Avenue where these bars are located is not one of those areas.

No word yet on when the City of Dallas will head to court in an effort to shutter these three bars. Stay tuned for more details.