Bankhead Brewing Co. Stirs Community Pride as the Cheers of Rowlett


Homebrewer, Ryan Pyle (left), and Zanata restaurant owner, Kevin Lefere (right), co-founded the new Bankhead Brewing Co. in downtown Rowlett. The brewpub spurs community pride and is an example of new developments near DART stations that continue to add revenue to North Texas’ economy.

At the heart of downtown Rowlett, a new brewpub combines food, history and local beer to bring you a taste of community pride that’s just a short walk away from DART’s Downtown Rowlett Station.

You can experience more than a happy hour as you take the Blue Line to Bankhead Brewing Co., where salt and pepper calamari, brown sugar pizza, American Brown Ale and Munich Helles Lager entice visitors to stick around for a while.

In September 2016, award-winning homebrewer, Ryan Pyle, and Zanata restaurant owner, Kevin Lefere, co-founded the brewery, which stands on Main Street in downtown Rowlett, the old route of the Bankhead highway.

“We wanted to offer people a place where they can bring their friends and family and be proud,” Lefere said. “It’s kind of that cheers mentality. That sense of community is very important.”

On a nice day, you can sit outside the restaurant’s patio, which offers seating for 150 people, and have a direct view of DART’s Downtown Rowlett Station. Having the restaurant located near DART rail “was certainly part of the business plan,” Pyle said.

New developments near DART stations, such as Bankhead Brewing Co. in Rowlett, continue to add billions of dollars to North Texas’ economy and have put more than 43,000 people to work in the past two years.

A recent study from the Economics Research Group at the University of North Texas reflects this data and had North Texas leaders, such as Rowlett Mayor Todd Gottel, praising DART’s economic impact.

Locating the brewery next to DART’s rail station has opened doors for the brewpub. As some restaurants find the early evening window to be a hit or miss for bringing people in, the case is different at Bankhead Brewing Co., Lefere said.

“We have noticed a huge influx of people from 4-6 p.m.,” he said. “We can look at the numbers and tell they’re directly from DART.”

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DART to Adventure at the DMA: Canada


[OBJECT IMAGE 1979.28] [IMAGE CREDIT] Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt, 1979.28

For the final installment of our DMA adventure around the world, we’ll be visiting the northern most part of Canada, Labrador.

Frederic Edwin Church was an artist who embarked on far-flung adventures in search of inspiration for his paintings. In preparation for The Icebergs, he commissioned an expedition to Labrador during which he sketched countless studies of icebergs from the deck of a schooner under treacherous conditions. Upon his return to New York, he completed this grand painting which promptly took audiences by storm—they had never seen anything like it!

We hope to have inspired the student artists out there to create their own astounding masterpieces! DART to your next visit at the DMA and don’t forget to submit your entries to the DART Student Art Contest by February 28!

Post by Sarah Coffey, Education Coordinator at the DMA.

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DART to Adventure at the DMA: India


Shiva Nataraja, India, Chola dynasty, 11th century, bronze, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, 2000.377

We’re back for the next installment of our DMA adventure around the world to inspire young artists for the DART Student Art Contest. Today we’ll be travelling to India with a visit to Shiva Nataraja.

Shiva is the Hindu god of creation, destruction and rebirth. He is represented here as Shiva Nataraja, the lord of the dance. He dances in a circle of fire while holding the flame of death in one hand and the drum that beats the rhythm of creation in another. His right foot crushes a figure representing ignorance, while his outstretched left foot symbolizes salvation and release from the cycle of rebirth.

DART to your next visit at the DMA and get inspired on your own adventure through our permanent collection – all for FREE!

Post by Sarah Coffey, Education Coordinator at the DMA.

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Local Coffee with a Cop Event Connects Citizens with DART Police


If you’re a morning regular at the McDonald’s on Royal Lane in Dallas, you probably noticed a few welcoming men and women in uniform as you grabbed your coffee.

DART Police offered greetings, smiles and conversations over coffee with locals visiting the McDonald’s on Royal Lane during a Coffee with a Cop event this morning from 7-9 a.m.

Coffee with a Cop aims to spur communication between police officers and the citizens they serve by removing agendas and creating opportunities for locals to ask questions, voice concerns and know the officers in their neighborhood.

“This is a way for us to reach out to the community and make ourselves available,” DART Lieutenant J. Rivera said. “They understand our job and that we’re working together. At DART, we’re all about Five Star. This is part of that. This is how people see we’re with them.”

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DART to Adventure at the DMA: Africa


Sword Ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2010.2.McD

At the DMA, we’re excited to partner with DART for the fifth consecutive year on the annual DART Student Art Contest. This year’s theme is “The adventure starts here,” and what better place for students to embark on their own artful adventure than at the DMA!

So we’ve put together a mini journey around the world for those budding artists out there, to help ignite their creativity and inspire their contest submissions. Our first stop is the country of Ghana on the west coast of Africa, with our sword ornament in the form of a lion.

This golden lion would have adorned the state sword of a chief, symbolizing bravery. But don’t let his apparent smile fool you—an Asante proverb warns that lions who bare their teeth are ready to attack. His toothy grin is really meant to advise us to heed the words of the chief.

DART to your next visit at the DMA and get inspired on your own adventure through our permanent collection—all for FREE!

Post by Sarah Coffey, Education Coordinator at the DMA.

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Designing D2: What Lies Beneath, Part 2

DART is continuing to work through the design of a new Downtown Dallas subway. There’s lots to consider. In a previous post we looked at geology. In this post we’ll consider some of the man-made elements. 

  • Existing Structures 

DART considers existing structures when we evaluate the route for D2. By tunneling underground, DART will have to gain a thorough understanding of the foundations of buildings along the route whether it’s a large modern skyscraper or a historic building.  These large structures are similar to icebergs.  Many times a large portion of the building foundations are underground in order to support the weight and functionality of the larger structure we see above the surface.  Making sure that our underground tunneling efforts do not damage or disturb these building’s foundations will be another priority DART will consider as we assess D2’s future route.   

  • Utilities and Underground Obstacles 

Out of sight-out of mind. That’s how most of us probably feel about utilities and sources of power that flow to us every day. However, there is a buzzing infrastructure of pipes, wires and duct work, giving us the connections we need to connect us to the power we use in our daily lives. Competing for space underground are infrastructure for services like telecommunication, cable, natural gas, fiber optics, sewage system, and traffic light cables. D2 will have to make sure these elements are properly moved or relocated so that these services remain uninterrupted as construction of D2 begins.

How Does That Affect Where the Route Will Go?

Every route D2 could take has pros and cons. First, we have to consider the boundaries of where D2 can go as a Core Capacity Project. DART is competing for funding for D2 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Core Capacity Program. While DART believes that D2 has a strong chance to win these funds, D2 must adhere to Core Capacity Program requirements, some of which require the project must:

After taking these requirements into consideration, we then can determine some initial limitations for the location and extent that D2 will run through downtown Dallas.

DART has begun narrowing down the route to approximately six or seven options, moving onto refining and evaluating these potential designs. DART is assessing each option, determining feasibility and cost, based on the factors we discussed above like soil, existing structures and utilities and underground obstacles. Additional considerations include how well the options serve existing riders while meeting future growth needs.

Making sure we consider every option and gain input from others before settling on a route is critical. Information from stakeholders, agency staff, public officials, and the public combined with DART’s technical expertise, we know that we will find the best route for D2 that is the most feasible, affordable, and reasonable.

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DARTable DMA: Your Local Adventure Around the World

DART and the Dallas Museum of Art want to inspire young artists for DART’s 2017 Student Art Contest with a local adventure across the globe.

That’s right. Whether it’s by bus or train, your trip to the Dallas Museum of Art can land you in places like Africa, Asia and Europe.

This week and next week on DART Daily, the Dallas Museum of Art will invite you on a miniseries around the world. Stay tuned to see where your next adventure takes you.

DART continues to accept entries for its 2017 Student Art Contest where K-12 students can depict how riding DART begins an adventure.

For more information about the contest, visit or contact Jessica D. Lennon, DART Education Outreach Manager, at or call 214-749-2582.

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Designing D2: What Lies Beneath, Part 1

Journeying through D2’s project development process a few months ago, DART heard from the public that the mostly aboveground light rail route laid out in the original Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) was not the best fit for Dallas or the region.  DART listened, and now we will be building the new route as a subway. 

But what does it take to design one? Building a subway is no easy feat. Subways can offer benefits including: longevity (it’s a system that will last for 100 years), non-interference with traffic patterns above-ground, and less of a visual disturbance. However, there are significant challenges. Here are some of the elements that are out-of-sight but not out of mind to DART engineers as they think about the feasibility and design of a subway.

  • Soil and Natural Elements 

Texas is big, with beautiful plains, mountains, and coastal areas, and four physical geographic areas. We are home to the North Central Plains. Our geology is different from other regions in Texas, composed of clay soils and bedrock. The top layer of clay is made up of silt, sand and organic material. This layer tends to be weak and creates construction challenges when building a tunnel. The next layer is a bedrock layer, Austin Chalk (limestone). This limestone formation is generally about 25-40 feet thick and is ideal for tunnel construction. It’s easier to mine. The next layer of bedrock is Eagle Ford shale. This layer of bedrock is very weak and is prone to swelling upon exposure to wetting or water conditions, so it has its own challenges for tunneling.

The feasibility of tunneling in these layers of clay and bedrock is a primary concern. The Austin Chalk layer provides for ideal tunneling construction conditions while the other layers of clays and Eagle Ford shale offer poor conditions of tunneling. The Trinity River basin has alluvial soils and fragile sediment which is very weak material and causes serious challenges to tunneling. In downtown Dallas, it is generally good tunneling material east of Lamar Street and poor tunneling material to the west where the original Trinity River meanders used to be. Unlike other underground systems in New York or Washington, where the bedrock is granite or other strong bedrock, Texas geology is very different and will play a factor in determining how DART will build the D2 subway.

Making sure we consider every option and gain input from others before settling on a route is critical. Information from stakeholders, agency staff, public officials, and the public combined with DART’s technical expertise, we know that we will find the best route for D2 that is the most feasible, affordable, and reasonable.

We’ll examine other surface and subterranean challenges we’re looking at in an upcoming post. Thanks for reading.

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Dallas Holocaust Museum Inspires Tolerance Today and Throughout the Year

As the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, Jan. 27 is a special time when people around the world say “never again.”

Throughout the year, you can learn more about this period in history and DART to the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, which is just a block away from DART’s West End Station.

In this brief video interview with DART, Charlotte Decoster, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Education at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, shares her insights about the significance of this day in January and what the museum has to offer.

From its permanent exhibit featuring wartime, heroism and Jewish resistance, to its Garden of Remembrance, the museum gives you an inside look into the people and events that made the Holocaust so significant.

To visit the museum, hop on the Blue, Green, Orange or Red lines to West End Station and the Museum is just a short walk way.

For more information about the museum, visit

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Rider Stories: Willie Tyler



Willie Tyler may live in Dallas, but she’d tell you that her Mississippi roots run deep. Twice a week she rides the Blue Line to Garland to visit her aunt.

“I’m on DART, looking at traffic and I’m thinking: I’m glad I’m not out there,” Tyler said. “I’ve lived in Dallas for three years and have seen more of the city in the past three weeks — and it’s because of DART.”

Her usual commute begins at Southwestern Medical District / Parkland Station where she hops on the Green Line to Downtown Dallas. Once at Pearl/Arts District Station, she transfers to the Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station.

“It’s a quick and peaceful ride,” she said. “You don’t have to stand and wait often because there’s always a train.”

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