Hidden Door Dallas has announced via social media that the bar is set to re-open Wednesday, June 16, on the birthday of the late Tony Bobrow, who owned the club from the late 1980s until his death in February 2018.

The Hidden Door is now owned by The Anthony Bobrow Trust which is overseen by Harvey Meissner and a second trustee. Beginning in 2019, the Bobrow Trust began making regular grants to LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations.

Meissner is president and general manager of the Hidden Door, and after Texas bars were shut down by order of the governor and, in Dallas County, County Judge Clay Jenkins, Meissner has chosen to keep the bar closed until Jenkins and county health department officials said it was really safe to re-open (despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to allow bars and restaurants to re-open earlier this year at full capacity).

Meissner and the bar’s management have taken advantage of the down time over the last 12-plus months to remodel the bar’s interior and patio,

According to what Meissner told Dallas Voice in a December 2019 interview, when the Hidden Door was celebrating its 40th anniversary, prior to the 2020 shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, in its entire 40-year history, the bar had only ever been closed for a day and a half. The half day, Meissner said, was in 1988 for founder Jim Roberts’ funeral. The full day closure happened, he added, when someone filled out the bar’s TABC liquor license renewal form but then went on vacation without mailing it in. Bobrow refused to open without his liquor license and closed the bar for a day until the renewal was in place.

Over the last two weeks, the Anthony Bobrow Trust has, in its second round of donations this year, donated a total of $250,000 to four separate community organizations, according to co-trustee Harvey Meissner.

Harvey Meissner and Evie Scrivner from Dallas Hope Charities

The trust has already made smaller donations this year totalling about $10,000.

Beneficiary organizations in this round of donations are Legacy Counseling Center, AIDS Services of Dallas, Dallas Hope Charities and AIN.

Each agency received a check for $62,500.

The Anthony Bobrow Trust owns and is funded in part by proceeds from The Hidden Door, of which Meissner is president and general manager. Jim “Polock” Roberts opened the bar in 1979 and owned it until his death in 1988. Anthony “Tony” Bobrow, a longtime employee, took over as owner of the bar then and as manager of the Jim Roberts Trust. When Bobrow died in February 2018, the bar and the rest of his estate went to the Bobrow Trust, with Meissner as president and general manager of The Hidden Door and as co-trustee of the Bobrow Trust.

Following Bobrow’s wishes, Meissner and his co-trustee then closed out the Jim Roberts Trust by donating its assets and developed a plan to make ongoing donations to LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community organizations from the assets of the Bobrow Trust.

Harvey Meissner, left, and Christopher Turman from AIDS Services Of Dallas

Although the Hidden Door has been shuttered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Meissner said this week that the bar and the trust are “legally separate entities,” and that the trust is “well-funded and able to continue its donations without Hidden Door revenues.”

That does not mean, however, that Meissner and Hidden Door staff are not working toward re-opening the bar. They just intend to do so in the safest possible manner.

“Dallas is still recording 200-plus new [COVID-19] cases and 20 or so deaths each day,” Meissner said in a statement. “Hidden Door doesn’t think it’s safe to re-open, even with precautions, until those numbers go down and more of our community is vaccinated.”He said the bar does have a target date for re-opening in mind, but that date is dependent on “the rate of new infections and deaths continuing to drop.” And even after the bar re-opens, “The policy of being open every legal hour will probably be curbed for the time-being.”

Meissner said he hopes to announce specifics soon.

Apr 05, 2021

The Hidden Door store is open for friends to get their gear and be ready for our reopening.