Before she became a notorious outlaw making worldwide headlines as one half of the crime couple Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker was a lonely young waitress from West Dallas.
She worked as a waitress at Hargraves Cafe, at 3302 Swiss Circle in East Dallas, from about January 1928-spring 1929. That cafe, built around 1920, was a streetcar stop, and it’s one of a few examples of old retail buildings designed as trolley stops that still exist in Dallas.
A group of investors has renovated the building with plans for a restaurant concept.
Broker Michael Turner of J. Elmer Turner Realtors Inc. says they currently are negotiating a lease for the 4,605-square-foot building.
The investors, Bonnie’s Legacy Properties, also bought the adjacent Floyd’s Jewelry building, fronting Hall Street, and demolished it for parking to serve the planned restaurant.
Over the years, the building has housed a TV/stereo store, a tire shop, Evans Grinding, a bus drivers club and Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous offices.
It somehow avoided encroachment from Baylor hospital and the Dallas Theological Seminary over the years. Walter Beaty, who owned and operated Evans Grinding, told the Dallas Morning News in 2008, that he had little hope for future of the building, which at the time was in pretty bad shape.
“It’s an absolute miracle that they haven’t torn it down and put up a 10-story building, but that’s what’s going to happen one day,” Beaty told the News. “You’ve got to wonder 50 years from now what’s going to be left around here.”
Chalk this one up as a win for preservation.