Weir’s Furniture, the retailer that made Dallas’ Knox Street a destination for home furnishings shoppers, is almost back. After more than two years of construction, the family-owned and -operated furniture store plans to open by the end of this month.
The entrance of the 28,000-square-foot, two-level store faces Travis Street and is part of the new $155 million Weir’s Plaza 12-story office tower.
The tower, which is fully leased to tenants including Kirkland & Ellis, Fortress Investment and Arctos Sports, increases the daytime population for the shopping and restaurant district and adds parking. There are 800 spots in the new underground, six-level parking garage.
Four restaurants are coming to the Knox Street side of the building, across from Starbucks, but they don’t have precise opening dates yet.
“We’re coming back to what was the original spot, where our grandparents started, but without what we called the bucket brigade that was needed every time it rained,” said Mark Moore, Weir’s chief executive officer and grandson of the founders.
The building that was torn down in 2019 had a chronically leaky roof that required buckets to be positioned throughout the space. The store also had a patchwork of slightly different floor levels as the business expanded over the decades.
The new space has 15-foot ceilings and is filled with furniture, mattresses, rugs and décor on the street level. The candy and gift shop, known as the Country Store, and the patio furniture department, which includes an outdoor space facing Travis, are on the second level.
“It was well worth the wait,” Moore said. “Some customers didn’t transfer to our other stores, and we’re looking forward to seeing them again and all the new people who have moved here.” Weir’s other stores are in Plano, Southlake and Farmers Branch, where its corporate office and warehouse are also located.
The Weir’s store is designed to be approachable, just like the store it replaced.
“We wanted a building that was attractive but not over the top,” Moore said. “My Paw Paw would say something was high-cotton. He wanted a nice store but not so opulent that people think they can’t afford to shop there.”
The goal was to be “timeless and tasteful,” he said, adding that he thinks his grandparents would say, “Good job.” There are nods to the old store such as the weather vane on the cupola and an old clock. They tried to save the Country Store’s original floor but it was rotted from the leaks.
Supply chain issues made filling a new store a challenge, but Moore said, “I told our buyers to buy, buy, buy.” The store will open with about 75% of its merchandise in stock.
Since Weir’s stores reopened in May 2020 after the pandemic’s forced shutdown, business has been “phenomenal,” he said.
The original store opened in 1948, and Weir’s Furniture is the longest continuously owned business on Knox. Now the family is also a major landlord in the shopping district. The garage will not have metered parking for now, Moore said.
In addition to the upper floors of office space, which have a lobby entrance on Travis, the building has four storefronts that total 12,000 square feet of restaurant space facing Knox.
The Weir family asked the construction company to preserve the corner façade of the Highland Park Soda Fountain, which closed in September 2018. “We kept the timeless beauty of the brick and window, and the old roof tiles had to be replaced,” Moore said.
That space will house a so-far unnamed concept restaurant by Duro Hospitality, the Dallas-based company behind The Charles, Bar Charles and Sister Italian restaurants.
The other corner of the building near Hari Mari will be a seafood concept restaurant from Greg Katz called Greenpoint Seafood and Oyster Bar.
Between those two will be the Los Angeles pizza concept Pizzana and Village Bakery Co., which will move from around the corner on Travis when its building and others are leveled to make room for a major new project being built across the street from Weir’s.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what’s coming from Michael Dell’s group,” Moore said.
Dell’s family investment firm and Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow Co. are working on the project, which will add three buildings to the area along the popular Katy Trail and Travis Street south of Knox. The 4-acre development will include luxury apartments, a boutique hotel, retail, offices and green space.
Weir’s Furniture is hoping for a March 30 opening but still has an air conditioning issue it’s working out.
“We’re excited about everything that’s been happening on Knox Street,” Moore said.
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