Few Dentonites — perhaps even few regulars of Andy's Bar — have ever walked through the door located just slightly to the right of the entrance of the long-running rock club on the Square. In its tenure as the Ernest Room, the spot above Andy's was used only sparingly as a special events area and, from time to time, a VIP enclave. But that was before the Midlake boys got hold of it.
The five permanent members of the revered Denton band have now officially partnered with owner Andy Bostick to open a bar in that upstairs location.
Unsurprisingly, the space acts as outward manifestation of the folksy, Americana aesthetic that Midlake espouse. It's called the Paschall Bar, and it's a unique space with a deliberately classic feel — one that gives visitors a sensation akin to entering their grandfather's study.
"We like that mid-century style," says Midlake guitarist Eric Pulido.
In keeping with that theme, the bar features a menu of old-style cocktails such as mint juleps and old fashioneds, which, at $6.75 a pop, can be a bit pricey for the typical Denton college-age consumer, while still being well-suited for the city's more distinguished crowd.
"We're a little bit older now, and I feel like young people hang out in a place like maybe Fry Street," Pulido says. "The Square has a little bit older demographic, and it's where we hang out more."
Plus, ramping up business in the downtown Square area is important to the members of Midlake: Pulido says the band hopes that their bar gives people one more reason to check out the area.
"This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest building on the Square," Pulido says. "I am really interested in the historic value, the Historic Landmark Commission and preservation."
The band's affinity for all things historic is reflected clearly in the interior design of the bar. The space boasts a very cohesive style — a sort of vintage appeal updated with modern touches. Folk recordings from the '60s blend together with songs from the 21st century on the carefully arranged audio playlist, a bison trophy is mounted on the wall just a few feet from an Alice Cooper/Salvador Dalí poster and the patrons sit in front of hand-carved chess sets while checking Facebook on their iPhones.
In this way, Paschall Bar is a microcosm of what the hardy Denton folk community is all about — tradition, classic ideals and American roots harmoniously blending with a blog-reading culture.
"I love when I can kind of mix in and overhear people talking about it saying like, 'I feel like I just stepped out of Denton and went to some other place,'" Pulido says. "I feel like it's a vibe they just don't see every day."