Meet Deep Ellum Pioneer/Founder of The Door, The Prophet Bar and Theatre Gallery
Russell David Hobbs is a controversial character. From obscure suburban beginnings, Russell was thrust into the spotlight as he founded the Theatre Gallery and The Prophet Bar and pioneered Dallas’ influential Deep Ellum scene. In 1984 Dallas was the epitome of materialism, Russell David Hobbs moved into a ghost town and challenged the people of Dallas Texas to leave the mall behind with their branded shirts, plastic lifestyle and come to Deep Ellum to find out “who YOU are”. Multitudes now had the place to make art, music, wear clothes to express themselves. The scene blew up and Dallas has never been the same since. The cool art scene that Deep Ellum was in the late nineteen eighty’s and nineties produced such bands as the New Bohemians, Rev. Horton Heat, The Old 97’s, Bowling For Soup and many more. After his highly visible conversion to Christ, Russell testified of his meeting the Living God which stirred up much controversy. A few years later he left the city to spend several years in the wilderness where he received greater revelation of God’s character and a vision to bridge the gap between the church and the “secular” world. From this season also came his book entitled “In the Power of His Resurrection”. The Dallas Morning News once referred to Hobbs as Dallas’ most famous born-again Christian.
In 1998 he founded an arts center in Deep Ellum, called The Door. This open door of opportunity houses an all-ages concert scene, and other events that promote original artists who are passionate about their art. With The Door Clubs now open in Dallas, the art revolution is thriving. Controversy abounds as Hobbs invites people of conflicting belief systems to work, create and play together in this unique scene.
Deep Ellum has had its ups and downs but now the future looks bright. Russell has reopened The Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum with an outstanding eclectic booking mix for music lovers. Hobbs can still be found relating to people of all walks of life on the streets of Deep Ellum. The artists and musicians that grew up in the un-pretentious Deep Ellum scene have gone on to have international impact, therefore the spirit and message of Deep Ellum lives on.