Downtown Dallas, Inc. Welcomes New Hire Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas Headshot 2017

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) warmly welcomes Matt Thomas to its team as Communications Director.  In this position, Matt will oversee the organization’s content creation, communications, media relations programs, and community relationships.

Matt Thomas has worked as a broadcast journalist in Dallas/Fort Worth for more than a decade.  His career started right out of high school with internships at two radio stations.  He then moved to New York City, where he attended college and spent time interning at some of the biggest radio stations and network news operations in the country.  Matt returned to North Texas, where he continued his broadcast career as an airborne traffic reporter and news anchor at local radio stations.  In 2005, he accepted a position as a full-time street reporter and anchor at the NewsRadio station in Houston.  There, he covered several high-profile stories, including all of the Enron fraud and conspiracy trial, the Andrea Yates murder retrial, and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  Matt spent weeks covering the aftermath of Katrina by providing live reports to listeners from New Orleans.

He returned to North Texas in late 2006 to accept a position at KRLD radio and the Texas State Network.  Matt’s street reporting, anchoring, and leadership skills in his more than a decade at the station resulted in numerous Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in journalism.  Most recently, he was named “Best Reporter” by the Texas AP Broadcasters and he received the prestigious Charles E. Green award by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for his on-scene coverage of the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas in July 2016.

Matt is now transitioning to his new role as Communications Director for DDI. “I can’t think of a better way to continue to share stories that have an impact than joining the DDI team and using new media platforms to highlight the great things that are happening in Downtown Dallas and the surrounding districts,” Matt said.

Matt produced and hosted more than 200 original shows in conjunction with DDI and former CEO and current Vice Chairman John Crawford during a critical period of transition for the city’s core.  Each Sunday on KRLD, Pulse of the City highlighted an area of Downtown Dallas experiencing new development and activity.  “Downtown Dallas and the neighboring districts have come such a long way in my time here, and it is absolutely thrilling to be here to help DDI and this tremendous staff share all the great things that are happening now and are yet to come,” Thomas said.

Matt grew up in the Denton area, and has always had a great love for the buildings that make up what USA Today has named the “Best International Skyline.”  In addition to storytelling and Downtown, Matt is passionate about golf, the Texas Rangers, and animal rescue operations in North Texas.  For the past several years, he has helped emcee the annual “Basset Shuffle” event benefitting North Texas Basset Hound Rescue.  In addition to his three rescue dogs, Matt has a wife and toddler who are the joys of his life.

Get to Know: City Tavern

Dallas is known for its flashy atmosphere, glamorous population, and rowdy bar scene. While everything is bigger and better in the Big D, we also like to crack a cold one at the original neighborhood hangout known as City Tavern.

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While Dallasites flock to glitzy nightclubs and lush lounges for ear-piercing electro music and overpriced vodka sodas, City Tavern is the foundation, free of frills, where locals gather for a good time.

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Dallas entrepreneur Josh Florence took over Downtown Dallas’ City Tavern in 2006 and has watched his communal pub grow over the past 11 years.

Florence explained that City Tavern is an all encompassing space, which is of utmost importance to him.

“I genuinely and sincerely love people and love bringing people together,” said Florence. “This is the most welcoming, open-arms bar I’ve ever seen or been a part of. Gay, straight, ethnicity, it doesn’t matter… race, color, creed, political preference, or college football team doesn’t matter. As long as you love the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, I think we’ll be good.”

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Florence landed his first job in the hospitality business at Hula Hut in Austin and explained he was hooked on the business ever since.

“I like being in a business where the overall goal is to make people feel good,” said Florence. “Whether that be through food, or through music, or through service, I like that people choose to come where I work when they get off of work.

While City Tavern is beloved by the Dallas community, the bartenders and staff add to the welcoming aesthetic.

When questioning if the Tavern should open on Christmas and Thanksgiving, his staff volunteered to work holidays and it hit a special place in Florence’s heart. He explained that City Tavern is the place where Dallasites gather to celebrate with their family, whether they’re blood-related or not.

“This is where they meet up and it’s a special deal,” said Florence.

Not only does City Tavern have a unique charm that attracts locals and visitors, the neighborhood hot spot serves as one of the prime places to enjoy live music. Before Dallas earned a marker on the music map, City Tavern was a magnet for guests who wanted to come rock out.

“The music scene speaks to me,” said Florence.

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Florence, who appeared on the MTV reality show Road Rules respects and takes pride in local talent. After buying City Tavern and booking weekly live shows featuring local musicians, Florence took ownership in Club Dada in Deep Ellum, Off the Record, Independent Bar & Kitchen, the Homegrown Music & Arts Festival, and the Old 97’s County Fair.

“All are very different but the common thread is the music, the live music” he said.

Club Dada features touring Indie shows, Off the Record sells vinyl records, Independent Bar & Kitchen showcases local jazz artists, and City Tavern gives status to the rock n’ roll bands in the city.

Florence’s favorite memory at City Tavern burns vividly in his memory. About five years ago, the Tavern was packed, rocking out to King Tuff and Natural Child, when the roof caught fire during the show. After over an hour of putting the flames to rest, the audience stayed enjoying their beers on Main Street, and doubled in size after the fire truck was long gone.

In a world where bars come and go, the success of the quaint bar known as City Tavern could rely on a number of things… Is it the positivity and energy owner Josh Florence brings to the table? Is it the staff that values each other as family? Or is it the original D-Town vibes the Tavern holds that draws eclectic crowds in a warm atmosphere? There’s no right answer, but we know where we’ll be at happy hour!

For a chance to win a $100 gift card to City Tavern, click here: City Tavern’s Downtown Giveaway and make sure you follow us (@downtown_dallas) and City Tavern (@citytaverndfw) on Instagram! For more information on City Tavern, visit www.citytaverndowntown.com.

For more information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit www.downtowndallas.com. And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit events.downtowndallas.com.

City Tavern is located at:

1402 Main St

Dallas, TX 75202

Remembering July 7, 2016

Today and through this weekend we will commemorate the tragic events of July 7, 2016, remembering those who were lost and express gratitude to those who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe.

Here is a list of opportunities to participate:

We continue to hold our fallen and wounded officers and their families in our hearts and are grateful to the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire-Rescue, DART Police Department, and El Centro Police for their diligence, courage, and strength.

We also express tremendous thanks to our own field teams, the Downtown Safety Patrol and Clean Team, to whom keeping Downtown safe and clean is always the number one priority.  They are led in an outstanding way by Martin Cramer, Dustin Bullard, and Jordan Jay who are never shy to go “above and beyond.”

Our community will never forget, we will not move on.  But we will move forward, carrying with us the strength and courageous spirit of our fallen officers and inspiration from those who remain dedicated to the quality of life of the citizens of Dallas.

We appreciate all of you and your support of our Downtown community.