Revered Dallas bar Lee Harvey’s is launching a pool club next door

Dallas’ revered bar Lee Harvey’s is often affectionately dubbed the best dive bar and now they’re taking it literally: this popular destination in the Cedars neighborhood south of downtown is creating a new sibling just called side Lee Harvey’s Dive with a swimming pool, cabanas and an outdoor oasis.

It’s a new swim club opening directly across the street in an unoccupied corner lot at 1315 Beaumont Street, which has been empty for nearly 20 years.

It will be an outdoor bar, open summer and autumn, centered around a swimming pool being dug. It will be a relaxing pool, five feet at its deepest, with 30 X 60 feet of seating around the water.

“There will be an open lawn in the sun, with patches of shade from surrounding trees,” says Lee Harvey owner Seth Smith. “Members can reserve furnished cabanas and lounge chairs with umbrellas.”

It will come with a full bar with cocktails, beer on ice and food: “Summer dishes fresh from the kitchen,” he says.

Table service will be available throughout the club.

Smith, who opened Lee Harvey’s in 2003, has been considering the concept since at least 2014.

“It gets so hot in the summer, and our summer audience at Lee Harvey atrophies a bit,” he says. “We hope there will be a synergistic effect between the two.”

“We tried many times, toyed with the idea for years and went back and forth with the city,” he says. “We finally did it and got our permit in October.”

Dallas has places with pools where you can relax and drink, but most are hotel pool bars such as Waterproof at the Statler Dallas Hotel, and many only allow hotel guests. A closer parallel is the Fraternal Order of Eagles, aka FOE, a laid-back venue with a pool that’s been an east Dallas staple for decades. Except it might be nicer.

“It’s going to be a really nice place – not a dive like Lee Harvey did,” Smith said. “You won’t get shards from the benches.”

The 2022 season will begin in May and run until mid-October, with season passes and daily passes available. Passes will get you in, but this is not a luxury offering. You will still need to bring your own towel.

Joshua B. Speller