Rounding the back corner of the dirt-and-gravel path, following the spare entrance signs posted on the large wooden fence framing the lot, I ran into Gloria and Thelma Salazar pushing a refurbished cabinet on a dolly. Getting ready to host the Tall City Blues Fest on their “day off,” the sisters-in-law opened the solid yellow rectangle next to me in the sporadic rain.

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

At first glance, the Industrial Avenue location looks like a holdover from a trading days event, intriguing but a little confusing. However, once the barn-style front doors are opened, an eclectic antique oasis meets guests face-to-face.

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

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


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

Morgan-Taylor Thomas/Reporter-Telegram

To say the Salazar family works hard would be a gross understatement. With the original spattered and dilapidated lumber yard still standing from the 50s, the siblings tirelessly pulled weeds and dumped wood. Five years worth of clearing, gathering and construction created the hidden gem and now customers can see and feel the creative spirit of the residence throughout the open area.

Divided into garage-themed seating sections, items such as hoods 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 chair forms the chair in the work shoe shine sector and “The Little Cabin”, equipped with a working fireplace, is located in front of the only beach in Midland (“The Tiki”). Historical marker plaques accompany each area, explaining the construction process and more. The main stage houses an upside down drum set and a corn hole, a full bar, food trucks and a roaming rooster put the cherry on top.

However, the road here turned out to be difficult. After opening their doors in May 2019, The Destination only turns on the lights every third Thursday of the month. Then, with the pandemic in 2020, the lids were closed again. After the restrictions were lifted in 2021, Salazar’s welcomed the Midlanders back to their vintage paradise, but still faced first-year difficulties. However, Martin and Gloria remain hopeful and persistent in their dream.

“We have to stay flexible because if something doesn’t work, we have to try something new,” Gloria said. “It may not be overnight, and frankly it may not be next year or the year after, but people will learn about this place. There is something for everyone.”

Priding themselves on creating a comfortable, community-driven space for anyone who walks through The Destination’s doors, Martin and Gloria created a variety of weekly guests and musical genres. From the Tejano Destination Showcase to Open Mic Night, every Thursday offers guests an exciting show, while Fridays and Saturdays host bands.

In the end, regardless of The Destination’s visually pleasing aesthetics and design, the compassionate, enthusiastic and welcoming attitude of the Salazar family makes 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 music and atmosphere, a great environment and experience more than anything,” said Martin. “We’re the gatekeepers, we’re the guys at the door, we’re the security, but I love it. It’s almost like an adrenaline rush; it keeps me going. It’s fun, that’s what we offer, and it’s priceless.”

The destination season runs from March to November. To find out more about when the shows are on, check out their website at

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