Thousands of people live here. Hundreds of thousands more drive through this section of North Dallas every year. Greenville Avenue has gone through many transitions over the past 150 years. From a small community called Vickery, which encompassed four square miles of rolling terrain centered on what is now the busy intersection of Greenville and Park Lane. Vickery was a place for farms, dairies and horse stables after it was founded in the 1850s.
Fifty years later, Vickery had grown into a center of commerce. Farmers traveled from miles around to do their banking, get their groceries, find hardware items and feed their livestock.
Although Dallas’ thirst for expansion led to the annexation of Vickery in 1945, the area managed to retain its rural flavor until an explosion of development in the 1970s. Apartments and businesses replaced most of the community’s original buildings as well as the remaining stables and farmland.
After World War II and into the1950’s Greenville Avenue south of Park Lane begin to grow into a shopping, restaurant and entertainment center on the outskirts of Dallas. The late sixties and early seventies were a time for rapid residential expansion to the area which included a new concept to apartment living with the opening of a variety of connected properties called “The Village”. This in addition to the growth of high profile homes in University Park and Highland Park brought in a lucrative customer base to the merchants on Greenville.
In 1970 the popular “Old Town” shopping center opened, offering a variety of boutique and specialty shops, clubs and more restaurants. It even included an upscale Tom Thumb grocery store designed for singles. The advent of Disco clubs, trendy bars and upscale restaurants provided a wide variety of entertainment venues and the most popular nightspots in Dallas. This scene also attracted the college crowd from SMU, just a couple of miles from the heart of the Greenville hot spots.
Now, famous Dallas restaurants like Desperados Mexican Restaurant, Campisi’s, Snuffers, Kirby’s Steakhouse and Humperdinks have over 20 years of tradition on Greenville. Popular neighborhood bars like Milo Butterfingers and the Greenville Bar & Grill, which both opened in the late 70’s kept the tradition alive. All of these establishments and several more are pillars of this community and serve as Dallas landmark food and entertainment locations.
During the eighties and nineties the area reinvented itself by adding new and updated retail stores, business services and health and fitness companies. Old Town and Tom Thumb are thriving and now Central Market is across the street. “Lower” Greenville has become the place to be for the young adult crowd, gathering at San-Francisco Rose, Terilli’s, The Blue Goose, The Dubliner and others.
Greenville Avenue remains unique as a close knit family of merchants and business owners that pride themselves with their place in this historic part of the Dallas landscape. Now its up you to “Revisit your Favorite Places and Experience the New Greenville Avenue.”
In the fall of 1987, many merchants had came together and formed the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (G.A.A.B.A.). This organization was formed to help unify area business and promote the Greenville Avenue area.
Its first objective is and always will be the presentation of the Annual Greenville Ave. St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This parade is over three decades old in its existence. It is considered a Dallas tradition and is the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in the South.
In 2009 G.A.A.B.A. set up its DISD College Scholarship Program. G.A.A.B.A. provides three scholarships, each totaling $2,500.00 and presents them to DISD students in the Greenville Ave. area who show scholastic promise but are otherwise financially challenged. The students are chosen by their teachers and the monies given are generated, in large part, by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. G.A.A.B.A. is pleased to have contributed to the pursuit of higher education and it is making efforts to grow the dollar amount of each scholarship as well as the number of students aided.
In addition to the scholarship program G.A.A.B.A. is also helping provide Christmas Dinner to deserving families in the Dallas area. Over the past two years G.A.A.B.A. has worked with the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe to feed over two dozen families during the holidays.
The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association is an organization based on close ties to their community and its future leaders.
Jorge Levy – Desperados Mexican Restaurant – President – 214-363-1850
Tommy Donahue – General Mgr, Milo Butterfingers – Vice President – 214-368-9212
Hector Rodriquez - BB&T – 214-874-7500
Jake Levy – Desperados Mexican Restaurant – 214-363-1850
Donnell Toler – Emergency Ice – 972-988-0577
Eric C. Hill – Law Offices of Eric C. Hill P.C. – 214-329-0430
Kevin Vela – Vela/Keller P.C. – 214-821-2300