Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Deep Ellum is an arts and entertainment district in Dallas, Texas. It became distinguished during the 1920s and 1930s as a prime jazz and blues hotspot in the south. "Ellum" is a corruption of "Elm Street", one of the three main streets, along with Main and Commerce, that run east-west through Deep Ellum and toward downtown to the west. Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in Deep Ellum clubs like The Harlem and The Palace.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Deep Ellum was largely a warehouse and industrial district which started to attract artists to the cheap loft space that was available. In the early 1980s, a nightclub called Studio D opened on Main Street and featured punk bands like Stick Men With Ray Guns . Another milestone was when some guys started having regular parties with DJs at the old Clearview Louver Window building. The multi room environment with different DJs and bands was very successful. Clearview later moved to another location in Deep Ellum but they kept the sign and they are still in business today. Other early 1980s nightspots were The Video Bar, Club Dada, and Russell Hobbs' Theater Gallery and The Prophet Bar.
The 1990s were a high point for Deep Ellum as Dallas' coolest entertainment district. By 1991 Deep Ellum had 57 bars and nightclubs. There were restaurants, diverse retail shops, and increasingly high-rent residential loft space. Notable places of the 1990s include Trees (still in business), 2826, Club One, Angry Dog restaurant (still in business), Looker Hair Group salon, and the Galaxy Club.
One interesting story involves the owner of the infamous Prophet Bar who later found religion and opened The Door which remains popular with Christian teenages and touring Christian bands.
Today, Deep Ellum is struggling because of the economic downturn since 2001 and now has a growing crime problem, but remains a major attraction for the City of Dallas, as evidenced by an increase in chain stores and restaurants.
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