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A prosperous economy had brought a flood of young adults to the city, and a huge singles-oriented apartment complex called the Village was being constructed just a few blocks from the site of TGI Friday’s.The Dallas Cowboys were on their way to being heralded as America’s Team, in part because of their good-looking players, and Dallas was also becoming known as a “stew zoo” because so many flight attendants were relocating there to work for Southwest, Braniff, and American Airlines.

They created a menu with exotic hamburgers and strange fruit-flavored frozen drinks with names like Summer Breeze.

To the dismay of the cabinetmakers, they personally beat the walls of the new restaurant with tire chains in order to give them a weathered look.

Two men were engaged to dress in gorilla costumes and rush to the restaurant regularly in a variety of vehicles, including an ambulance, and circulate through the crowd.

Whatever it was that Henrion and Scoggin did, it worked.

” said Billy Bob Harris, who for more than a quarter of a century has reigned as one of Dallas’ most famous bachelors. I had never seen high heels, a miniskirt, and no hose on one woman at the same time.” No less a fashion authority than Women’s Wear Daily was so impressed with the scene at the Dallas TGI Friday’s that it sent down a photographer to capture the action. ” Of the three hundred people who would crowd in each night, estimated Henrion, 50 percent came for the action and 50 percent to gawk.

“The girl-watching is good,” WWD wrote, “with lots of shrink tops, halterbacks and Hot Pants.” The Dallas Morning News, in turn, complimented the men’s fashions, saying one could see “anything from jeans and wide, colorful belts and shoes, to coat and tie and sleeveless sweaters.” The heavy action of each evening, however, was the pickup scene, where Dallas singles tried out what were at the time never-before-used opening lines: “Do you come here often? Dallas Times Herald columnist Dick Hitt was so astonished by all the hustling that he called Friday’s “the bar where the Single Mingles hang out.” Soon the national press followed suit, turning the club into one of the most famous singles bars in the country.So Henrion and Scoggin decided to create one, with help from interior designer Herbert Hughes.In a Volkswagen bus, they drove 13,000 miles, collecting knickknacks and antiques such as copper cash registers, stained-glass panels, wooden ceiling fans, moose heads, and Tiffany-style lamps to decorate their club.Glamour called it “a meat market for more reasons than its hamburgers.” And Newsweek, in a 1973 cover story noting the growth of the singles scene in America, used as its lead photo a shot of the Dallas TGI Friday’s with people preening and posing around the bar.Former patrons can still remember the best places to stand at Friday’s.Then they circled the bar—a ritual that would become known in bar parlance as taking a lap.Once they finished the lap, they would turn and gaze out over the restaurant at other singles sitting at tables.After starting clubs in Memphis, Nashville, and Little Rock, they decided to bring the concept to Dallas, not sure what to expect.“Our big worry,” said Henrion, “was that the two of us would just sit there night after night, all alone, praying that a customer would come in.” The truth was they had chosen the exact moment when Dallas’ libido was about to ignite.The restaurant could accommodate more than four hundred people, and Henrion and Scoggin had made sure to put the tables near the bar to increase the crowding—and mixing.The most important thing they did, however, was to make TGI Friday’s respectable.

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