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After Months of Being Shuttered, DFW Gay Bars Are Slowly Making a Comeback

Both Round-Up Saloon in Dallas and Fort Worth’s Urban Cowboy have announced plans to return

The Round-Up Saloon
Round-Up Saloon/Facebook
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

As with most of the city’s beloved drinking establishments, Dallas-Fort Worth’s gay bars have seriously struggled since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, thanks to new guidelines from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive order, some are reopening.

Dallas stalwart Round-Up Saloon has teamed up with a food truck to reopen its doors in the coming days, shortly after filing an application for a new food and beverage certificate with the TABC. According to Spectrum News, the bar obtained the new permit in early October, and is planning an imminent reopening. Round-Up was one of only a few Dallas gay bars that decided to reopen for a few weeks back in June, when Abbott allowed bars to resume service before quickly walking back that plan as COVID-19 cases spiked around the state.

When Abbott announced that bars could reopen, the decision came with one major caveat: judges in each county would have to file an application with the state that would allow bars to actually start serving patrons again. In Dallas County, judge Clay Jenkins declined to submit that application, which means that the county’s bars will stay shuttered for the foreseeable future. That is, of course, unless these establishments do what Round-Up is doing, and convert into a “restaurant” for permitting purposes.

Round-Up is only one of a few Dallas LGBT bars that have announced plans for a comeback. Drag show destination Station 4 will remain closed, as will TMC and Sue Ellen’s. The situation is different in Tarrant County, where county judge Glen Whitley has decided to let the bars reopen. As such, popular nightlife spot Urban Cowboy is planning to make a comeback on October 22, according to the Dallas Voice.