Downtown Dallas businesses continuing to bounce back from COVID-19 pandemic

After the COVID-19 pandemic caused a number of business closures and took away business traffic in Downtown Dallas, things are starting to turn back around.

Downtown Dallas fared much better than other markets its size.

Still, some 20 businesses permanently closed during the pandemic.

The good news is that more have opened.

More residents are choosing to live in Downtown Dallas, and there's plenty of new bars and restaurants that want their business.

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The iconic Rodeo Bar has reopened inside the Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas after undergoing a complete renovation.

The bar originally opened in 1981 and served as a popular watering hole until it closed in 2018.

Last year, the owners thought it was time to bring it back, even expanding the footprint.

"We added this fantastic game room downstairs to make Rodeo 2.0 something special," said Sam Tucker, area director of sales and marketing for Adolphus Hotel.

The hope was the pandemic would be winding down by the grand re-opening.

Despite the challenges, including supply chain shortages, business is booming.

Josh Scott, general manager of restaurants and bars for Adolphus Hotel, said it’s about being flexible.

"It's reprinting the menus whenever we get a chance and being upfront with the guests," he said.

There are 15 fulltime employees and two part-time.

Scott said incentives attracted the right talent.

"We're making sure the team is compensated very well guaranteed for the first 30 days, and we'll continue to do that to make sure they get the right pay if we're lacking in business, but that has not been an issue yet," he added.

The Rodeo Bar is just one example of a gradual economic rebound happening in Downtown Dallas.

"We opened a lot of restaurants and bars," said Dustin Bullard, with Downtown Dallas Inc.

Bullard said approximately 20 businesses have permanently closed since 2020, but another 25 have opened.

"Think that many businesses, operators, and owners realize that now is the time to strike. Now is the time to pick up some maybe vacant second-generation restaurant or bar space and really create that concept that maybe they were holding on to," he explained.

AT&T Discovery District is a shining example, complete with several new bars and restaurants.

Dakota Steakhouse has reopened under new ownership.

Bullard expects the rebound to continue as more people return to work downtown.

Businesses, like the Rodeo Bar, are banking on it.

The Rodeo Bar is having free live music some nights to help attract guests, along with a great happy hour.