Yesterday we shared our picks for the best new Dallas restaurants of 2017 to date, but it's also been a banner year in the city's drink scene. From cocktail laboratories to affordable wine bars to liquor stores with a healthy twist, it's been a busy time for booze in Dallas. These are our favorite new local booze-slingers that have opened in the first half of 2017.
246 W. Davis St.
What used to be a dark, heady Bishop Arts wine bar that catered to oenophiles and their expensive tastes has become a bright, modern wine bar where patrons can split a bottle of excellent rosé for as little as $12 — and in a city where $15 cocktails have become the norm, there's nothing quite so refreshing as splitting a bottle that will only cost drinkers $3 per glass.
Owners Nick Mulenos and Level 2 sommelier Ian Montgomery have given the space a fresh, approachable look with bright walls and ample sunlight, and that approachable feel extends to the wine selection. Neighborhood Cellar has ample options for solid bottles for less than $20, and the owners are launching a wine club that will deliver carefully selected bottles. Mulenos and Montgomery are also committed to working with neighborhood businesses — they sell wine from the nearby Oak Cliff Cellars, and they frequently host pop-up dinners with Dallas chefs.
“We also want to do pairings with food trucks, or pair Champagnes and rosés with macarons,” Mulenos says. Whether you're looking to sample a wine before taking a bottle home or feel like splitting an inexpensive bottle before wandering Bishop Arts, Neighborhood Cellar is an ideal stop.
2816 Elm St.
When we first heard the concept for Hide, the cocktail bar that opened in January in Deep Ellum, we were skeptical: a "cocktail laboratory" that uses centrifuges, lasers and roto-vaporizers? It sounded gimmicky to us. But as it turns out, Hide is putting out seriously good (and seriously fun) cocktails.
Classic cocktails get a modern twist at this bar, from a sour made with eucalyptus to a gin and tonic pressurized with carbon dioxide to an old fashioned served in a pint-sized whiskey bottle with an orange peel and cherry garnish carefully inserted into the bottleneck with long tweezers. There is no shortage of places to grab a solid cocktail in Deep Ellum, and this bar is certainly worth adding to your roster.
Bar & Garden
3314 Ross Ave.
Bar & Garden is technically not a bar — it's a wine and liquor store, though there's a bar inside the store where you can sample wine before you buy, and there are ample tastings for those who want to try something new. And at this retailer, you're likely to try something you've never had before.
Bar & Garden specializes in natural wines and liquors that are free of additives and food coloring.
“We don’t want tons of harmful chemicals used in the production of the food we eat; why would we be OK with it in our wine?” says Lauren Johnson, who owns Bar & Garden in Dallas and its flagship location in Los Angeles with her partner, Marissa Mandel. If you want a break from the typical liquor store, this is the place to go — its bright, minimal space is filled with plants (which are for sale) and design-minded barware.
2826 Elm St.
This new modern American restaurant with a tinge of both Cajun and Eastern European eats also boasts a solid cocktail program, from well-made classic cocktails like the Vieux Carre to the Lolita, made with Lolita
Camarena Tequila, lime, ancho chile, Mathilde Orange XO, Wahaka Mezcal Espadín and jalapeño syrup. As the name would imply, you'll find a lot of rye whiskey on this cocktail list, which is all right by us. The food is solid, too, which you'll appreciate after downing all that whiskey, and there are ample seating options whether you're in the mood to sit on the patio, sidle up to the bar or cozy up in an intimate leather booth.