The Destination offers an entertainment venue for all Midlanders

Rounding the back corner of the mixed dirt and gravel path, following the thrifty entry signs posted on the large wooden fence framing the lot, I found Gloria and Thelma Salazar pushing a refurbished wardrobe onto a cart Preparing to host the Tall City Blues Fest on their “day off,” the sisters-in-law dropped the thick yellow rectangle next to me in the sporadic rain.

“This is going to be one of our VIP bar liquor cabinets,” Gloria tells me before calling her brother, Martin Salazar, from across the old wood shop.

At first glance, the Avinguda Industrial location looks like the remains of a trade fair event, intriguing but a little confusing. However, once the barn-style front doors are opened, guests are greeted by an eclectic, vintage oasis.

“He was in the real estate business and he had acquired this property about, oh, seven, eight years ago. (The previous owner) was working for a construction company, but he fell and could never walk again. Well, surgery after surgery he did, but he became an artist. He had all this property and was selling it because he couldn’t take care of it. At the time I thought it was a good investment,” explains Gloria.

Originally from El Paso, Martin, Gloria and the rest of the family moved to Midland in 1981 to work during the oil boom. With a father always on the move, Martin said building, fixing or improving became the norm, instilling perseverance and close family bonds in the duo at a young age. So when it came time to come up with a name that reflected the end point of their journey, “The Destination” was the perfect fit.

The “FracRat Garage” uses the bed of an old pickup truck and other car parts as seating for The Destination’s guests.

Morgan-Taylor Thomas/Reporter-Telegram

To say the Salazar family works hard would be a serious understatement. With the original woodwork covered and weathered from the 1950s, the brothers tirelessly pulled weeds and disposed of wood. Five years of cleaning, collecting and building created the hidden gem, and now guests can see and feel the creative spirit of the home throughout the open area.

Divided into themed garage-style sections, items such as bonnets and vintage car parts fill ‘The FracRat Garage’, while lost and found hats from weekend shindigs hang from the rafters in the ‘Hat Shop’ . An old headboard forms the chair in the work shoe shine sector and “The Little Cabin”, equipped with a working fireplace, is located across from Midland’s only beach (“The Tiki”). Historical signage plaques accompany each area, explaining the construction process and much more. The main stage houses an upside down drum and corn hole, a full bar, food trucks and a stray rooster put the cherry on top.

However, the road here proved difficult. After opening its doors in May 2019, The Destination only turned on the lights every third Thursday of the month. Then, with the 2020 pandemic, the hatches were blocked again. After restrictions were eased in 2021, the Salazars welcomed the Midlanders back to their vintage paradise, but they still faced the adversities of the first year. However, Martin and Gloria remain hopeful and persistent in their dream.


“We have to be flexible, because if something doesn’t work, we have to try something new,” Gloria said. “It might not be overnight, and honestly, it might not be next year or the year after that, but people will find out about this place. There’s something for everyone.”

Taking pride in creating a comfortable, community-driven space for all who walk through The Destination’s doors, Martin and Gloria established a wide variety of weekly guests and musical genres. From the Tejano Destination Showcase to Open Mic Night, every Thursday offers guests an exciting showcase while Fridays and Saturdays host the bands.

In the end, despite The Destination’s visually pleasing aesthetic and design, the compassionate, enthusiastic and welcoming attitude of the Salazar family make the place a place where people want to spend their weekends with good friends and good times.

“It’s important for us to give people, with the combination of the music and the atmosphere, a great atmosphere and experience more than anything else,” said Martin. “We are the janitors, we are the door boys, we are the security, but I love it. It’s almost like an adrenaline rush; keeps me going It’s entertainment, that’s what we offer and it’s priceless.”

The destination season is from March to November. For more information on when the shows are on, check out their website at www.thedestinationmidland.com

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