If you haven't been to Hailey's in a while, you aren't alone. The club on Mulberry St. has been through some tough times over the past half decade and will cease to operate as we know it at the end of this year.
Owner Jennifer Gibbs purchased Hailey's in 2013 with the hopes to turn it around. Gibbs has owned and operated neighboring bar, Dusty's, for around a decade and a half and initially reinvigorated Hailey's by instigating special weeklies and getting rid of the longtime smoke ban. Gibbs plans to shut the bar down with a blowout bash at the end of this calendar year and then split the space into two separate concepts a few months later.
Gibbs is bringing on Adam Arnold of Sweetwater and Hickory St. Lounge to help with the first concept that will be in the "back bar area." While we don't know what the actual concept will be at this point, Gibbs did tell us that music would not be the primary focus, but that the area could have music on the side because...well because it's Denton and that's just kinda what happens.
The second concept will take up the main portion of what is currently Hailey's and will open up later next year. This concept is even more mysterious, but isn't it fun to guess what it could be? Our money is on something like that weird shiny puddle at the end of the television show Lost or maybe a new Subway.
While not surprising, this news will probably sadden a good number of Dentonites. The Dallas Observer has a great piece up that hints to the reasons why Hailey's has suffered some hard times recently. Back in its heyday, Hailey's was actually quite the place to be. If you've moved to Denton within the past five years, that may sound strange. We caught plenty of great shows there in the early 2000's (the bassist of The Hold Steady once gave me a dollar there for no reason) and danced to tons of 80's music and 8-bit "chiphop" from DJ Yeahdef. Heck, We Denton Do It even used to have meetings in the bar before shows sometimes.
This is the biggest club closing in Denton since The Argo closed in the late nineties.
Let us know your best memories of Hailey's in the comments section!