One of downtown Dallas’ oldest buildings is getting a local craft brewery and beer garden.
The 19-story Dallas Power and Light Building will soon be home to a second branch of Pegasus City, the 2-year-old Design District brewery that specializes in hugely drinkable styles and won the Observer’s Best Brewery award in 2018. It will be a natural extension of a brand that is rooted in Dallas history and tradition, and it will also be the first craft brewery to open downtown.
Pegasus City’s space in the Power and Light Building’s front lobby area will feature a very small pilot brewery for small-batch specialty work — the plan is to use a two-barrel system — alongside a taproom and an outdoor beer garden facing Browder Street and AT&T's corporate headquarters.
Husband and wife owners Adrian and Will Cotten hope to use the space to brew limited-production offerings and test out new recipes alongside a bar area that will stay true to the building’s history.
“It’s a beautiful building,” Adrian Cotten says. “It’s marble on the inside, with original chandeliers that we can’t touch, nor would we want to.”
They plan “analog entertainment” for the taproom, including games such as shuffleboard, Super Chexx and horseshoes, and “no screens.” The patio, meanwhile, will open up to Browder Street’s food truck plaza.
The Cottens hope to open the brewery space in March or April 2020. Pegasus City’s Design District facility will remain open and unchanged.
In a way, such a taproom is a perfect fit for Pegasus City, which has always based its identity and branding on Dallas lore. Nine Volt, the brewery’s Belgian-style tripel, is already named after Dallas Power and Light. High Point, an English-style mild “porch ale,” is named for the Mercantile National Bank Building around the corner, and Pegasus Plaza is steps away. Some of the brewery’s other pints are named after the Texas School Book Depository and landmarks at Fair Park.
“A lot of people ask why we chose Pegasus for our name,” Adrian Cotten says. “It really makes sense downtown, because the Pegasus is everywhere.”
“One of the things that we want to do in that space is to have a lot of historical downtown Dallas, black and white photographs in there,” Will Cotten says, “so that it looks representative of the city.”
He’s hoping to add more taproom features with appeal for the tourism circuit.
“The two-barrel system will be visible through glass and all that, but I want to do some interactive stuff out in the space, maybe like a Perot Museum-type thing where you’ll have a thing you can get grain out of and taste. Any kind of connection like that makes it more genuine.”
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For downtown Dallas, a locally owned brewery making beer — and, thanks to the Texas Legislature, selling bottles of it to go — is a new development. The now-defunct Noble Rey Brewing operated a small taproom at the Farmers Market, which now hosts The 2nd Tap, a bar serving a rotating selection of brews from one local craft producer at a time.
But Pegasus City will serve the first beer actually made in downtown Dallas — in its Central Business District neighborhood — and the size of its indoor-outdoor space will dwarf the Farmers Market outpost.
Pegasus City’s ambition is to change the drinking scene downtown without changing much about itself.
“It’s not really going to be a business model change for us in terms of our desire or goals,” Will Cotten says. “It’s just going to be a location for us to have the community influence that we’ve always wanted to have. Obviously we want to make money and everything, but our thing is to be part of the city.”