First of two bars taking Hailey’s place to open


West Mulberry Street in Denton is about to have a game changer.

In about two weeks, Jennifer Gibbs and Adam Arnold will launch the first of two concepts taking over the former Hailey’s Club music venue at 122 W. Mulberry St.: Game Changers, an arcade and sports bar.

Old-school and new-school games will be delivered to the venue later this week and early next week, ranging from realistic golfing games for $4 to old-school arcade favorites for a quarter or 50 cents a play.

“I have a very long list of games I want in here for people to play, and they’ll be brought in no particular order,” Arnold said. “Then we can rotate them in and out as we need.”

There will also be sports on as many screens as possible, Arnold said. He hasn’t signed a deal for a cable package yet, but is sure he’ll get the largest sports package available.

“They’re [TVs] going to be everywhere, so people can watch all kinds of stuff from normal things you’d watch like football, but maybe some Thai fighting out of Europe,” he said.

The space is adjoined to the pair’s other project, Dusty’s Bar & Grill, and will have an entry from Dusty’s into Game Changers. The arcade bar reaches from the border with Dusty’s past the stage area in the main part of the building. Past there, where the venue turns into a back bar, the area has been walled off and will be 1933 Spirits and Small Plates.

The project to transform the beloved Hailey’s began in January, after the venue closed Dec. 31. At the time, Gibbs said the venue suffered from financial problems because of the business running a music venue.

“Hailey’s was a great place, but it was really dark and clubby, which it needed to be, but now it’s evolved to a really bright and really inviting place,” Arnold said.

Inside, it feels like decor from the 1980s, he said. Plus there have been more structural improvements: The main bar was rebuilt, and the stage was lowered to be more accommodating. For now, the stage will hold games, darts and a seating area.

Although the exact opening date for the location is not set, as soon as Game Changers is done, work on 1933 will begin. Arnold estimates this second project will take about three months.

The longtime bartender calls this portion of the project his baby. It is an idea he’s had for about 10 years and now has the opportunity to execute.

“It’s really just a bar based off and celebrating the end of Prohibition,” he said. “I’ve got some really cool concepts that Denton is ready for, and I’m really excited about it.”

He estimates the spot will hold about 50 people, and will have a covered patio section.

There will be wine, scotch and champagne menus, craft cocktails and a locally inspired menu built for pairings with alcohol.  Full Article…

Speakeasy cocktail bar coming to former Hailey’s space in Denton


New Year’s Eve is the last night Hailey’s music venue as Dentonites have known it for more than a decade will exist.

Construction starts Jan. 1 on revamping the space into two new concepts. Owner Jennifer Gibbs previously announced a portion of the space to be converted into a sports bar and arcade, and Thursday revealed plans for the second bar: a speakeasy.

The bar and restaurant will be called 1933 Spirits and Small Plates, an ode to the year an amendment was added to the constitution to repeal Prohibition. It’s expected to open in February.

The concept comes courtesy of Adam Arnold, a local bartender of more than 20 years who will be leading operations. He’s previously tended bar at Sweetwater, Hickory Street Lounge and Dusty’s Bar and Grill.

“When Jennifer took over Hailey’s, and I walked into that backbar, it felt like a speakeasy to me — it was small, at the back, had a great potential low-profile entrance,” said Arnold via social media message. “There are no bars in town that are in the style of an ‘end of Prohibition bar.’ So I decided I wanted to bring Denton this experience.”

True to the name, 1933 Spirits and Small Plates will focus heavily on classic and craft cocktails, but will also have a selection of beer, Gibbs said. The food menu will feature a “rotating selection of seasonal small plate offerings,” according to a press release.

At 1,400 square feet, 1933 Spirits and Small Plates is the smaller of the two reimagined Hailey’s spaces. Plans also include a 300-square-foot patio out front. Although it’s deemed a speakeasy, there will not be hidden entrances. Some nights, such as special events, may require a password, Gibbs said.

A door will connect the speakeasy to the sports bar/arcade, which has yet to be named. Gibbs is running a social media contest to determine the name, which she hopes to choose soon. That bar is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016 with old school and modern arcade games alongside more interactive setups such as basketball hoop games, Gibbs told GuideLive in November. It will also serve food.

Both venues will be nonsmoking.

The decision to close Hailey’s as a music venue came after several years of financial struggle. The venue opened in 2003 and Gibbs took over the place as its fifth owner in 2013. She owns the neighboring restaurant and bar Dusty’s. Hip-hop act Fab Deuce will perform the last concert at Hailey’s on New Year’s Eve.  Full Article…

Hailey’s Club to Relaunch With Sports Bar and Video Arcade Concept


Two for the price of one. Well, maybe not for the price of, but in the space of one. Two weeks ago, we reported that one of Denton’s most beloved music venues, Hailey’s Club, will be closing its doors on December 31. “But to become what?” was the unanswered question. Now we know at least half the answer to that question, with news that part one of the two-part concept may be opening its doors as soon as January 1, 2016, city permit pending.

At the time the news broke that Hailey’s was closing, owner Jennifer Gibbs did not want to say anything beyond that the bar was closing at year’s end and would cease to host live music. Gibbs has confirmed that the relaunched club will be split into two separate spaces: The back bar area has been closed off and will operate as a separate business, and the main bar and stage area will be reconstructed into a “sports barcade.”

If you’re not quite sure what that means, think a smaller scale Dave & Busters-style joint that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Gibbs says there will be sports-style arcade games (like Hoop Fever basketball and air hockey), as well as traditional arcade cabinets, big screen TVs and projectors. Plus there will be food and drinks, and it will be a non-smoking environment. However, that part of the concept will not be open until later in February or March.  Read More…