Bishop Arts

Exciting and Eclectic

The City of Dallas has many different neighborhoods with their own unique flair and history, but one of the most exciting and eclectic is the Bishop Arts District in North Oak Cliff. The area that today makes up the Bishop Arts District was first developed in the 1920’s. Back in those days, the neighborhood primarily consisted of factories and warehouses that served the nearby downtown core, and it was a gritty, working-class region. In the 1930’s Bishop had the busiest trolley stop in the entire city. During the 1960’s Bishop began a long slow decline with the rise of car culture and a growing movement out to ever more distant suburbs. The growth of shopping malls and the loss of major tenants such as the Astor Theater and Goodier Cosmetics also played a role in the loss of trolley service. By the 1980’s much of the neighborhood had become characterized by a degree of crime and urban blight, with many boarded up and abandoned shops and buildings.

During this period, a local businessman and entrepreneur named Jim Lake saw an opportunity and felt the area was ripe for revitalization. Lake began to buy up many of the decaying buildings and provided free rent to get a police storefront in the area to deter crime and ensure a feeling of safety for visitors. Over time things improved, and the two-block area has developed into a walkable urban environment. Murals, brick pavers, and public art elements have enhanced the rough look of many of the older buildings and created a popular leisure and dining destination. Bishop has continued to mature over time and plays host to the growing Oak Cliff Film Festival. Parts of the District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For those theater buffs, the Kessler Theater is a great spot to check out. Located on West Davis Street, the theater originally opened its doors in 1942. The theater is rich in history and retains much of its art deco appeal, not to mention the community history it shares. Once a single-screen movie theater, it is now a multi-use performing arts venue and a spot you will want to check out when visiting the Bishop Arts District.

In addition to its architecture and diverse population, one of the features that make the Bishop Arts District unique is the fact that all the 60 or so businesses are locally and individually owned. Many proprietors also live nearby and are part of the local community. BAD has a diverse array of shopping and dining options ranging from pizza and BBQ to vintage clothing, arts and crafts, and more. For those looking for a more eclectic night of frolic and fun, there is the Texas Theater; Historically significant as the location where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested after the death of President John Kennedy and also boasting past ownership by Howard Hughes, the theater is now owned and operated by a group of film makers who love to share indie films and cult classics. The prohibition-style bar is a great place to meet friends before catching a showing of Godzilla vs. Mothra.

After watching a show at the theater, you might want to get something sweet; then, if so, you won’t want to miss out on a unique experience at Dude, Sweet Chocolate. An epicurean delight, Dude blends the savory goodness of porcini mushrooms or blue cheese with the creamy goodness of chocolate fudge or caramel. You can also try Dudes flower-scented truffles and chocolate-covered nuts. How can you go wrong with chocolate?

Introverts rejoice; the Bishop Art District has many things for your enjoyment. The Wild Detective is another unique experience that the Bishop has to offer. A bibliophiles dream when looking for those elusive titles. This bookstore is more than just books with unique titles; it is a 1940’s bungalow that is cozy and inviting for those looking for a quiet place to enjoy a book and a great cup of coffee. The Wild has a wide array of programs, from poetry readings to backyard concerts; there is always something to experience. Living in or around the Bishop Art District is where you want to be, and Uptown Apartment Locators are here to assist you with all your housing needs.

Perhaps you are a lover of seafood? Zen Sushi has you covered. A part of the BAD community since 2007, Zen Sushi offers contemporary Japanese cuisine in a relaxed setting accessible to all. A chef-driven, female-owned business, Zen Sushi’s staff has a combined 95 years of experience in preparing Japanese food. They have an extensive vegetarian menu and something to please every palate. So, if you are interested in a fine dining experience without all the stress and hassle, Zen Sushi might be the right choice for you.

The Bishop has been described as charming, eclectic, and diverse; it is well worth the time to explore one of the hidden gems of Dallas!

Due to its location southwest of downtown, the Bishop Arts District is easy to access from across the city. From downtown hotels and the Convention Center, there are many options. The Oakenwald trolley stop is just a few minutes’ walk away, as are nearby light rail stations. A number of DART bus lines also serve Bishop. In addition, rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available and usually relatively inexpensive compared to other major metro areas. Parking can be a bit challenging, especially on weekends or during festivals, so if you plan on driving, you may want to arrive early, and you’ll probably need to pay for a place to park. Once you arrive, you can expect a warm and hospitable greeting with a southern vibe, so come on down to the Bishop Arts District and explore all it has to offer!

Have you decided that the Bishop Arts District is where you want to be? We agree that this is a great and thriving neighborhood, and Uptown Apartment Locators has just the right place for you to call home. Contact us today and let us help you find your next dream home in the Bishop Arts District.