The invitation said the party would be at The Old Bike Shop off Empire Central, which meant that all the Dallas kids would have to leave their bubble for a night if they wanted to see what Warby Parker and House of Plates had up their sleeves.
Warby Parker, a unique eyeglasses outfit with a philanthropic scope, has a buzzy brand, and they promised that you didn't have to be a four-eyes to come out and enjoy the Dallas stop of their class trip around the country. Although the four-eyes were looking very dapper.
Food from Bolsa, spins from JT Donaldson and a live performance from Dallas' Smile Smile meant the drive would be worth your time. Walking in during the band's first of two acoustic sets proved that Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Keeton still give it. Their 2012 release and some early tunes stripped down to guitar and keys had shoulders swaying and a nice crowd buzzing around their glowing stage. The good mood must have been rubbing off -- even Smile Smile's signature pick-on-each-other stage banter seemed to have mellowed. Good lighting is good for everyone involved.
The Old Bike Shop is worth a visit all on its own. Still a working shop, it has been beautifully renovated from its former days as a museum and is up and running for private events. Beautiful vintage bikes line the walls and ceilings and generally crowd all the available spaces. Ask Butch to show you around. He is kind and knowledgeable and cusses quite a bit, which is a winning combination in my book.
And sure the glasses were great. The drinks didn't run out till they were supposed to, but it's the people like Butch who make coming out to a new spot worth a drive on a rainy night.
An hour in, another new friend from the shop, Rebecca, grabs my hand and pulls me to the front where the most beautiful motorcycles are on display. She has brought out some patches and is telling me about the different rallies and characters who have given them to her. She gives me one of a pin-up riding a motor rather erotically. She has an old-fashioned man with a bowler on a bike for my friend. The patches are beautiful; her stories are better.
In that moment I realize, I could use some new glasses, but what about a motorcycle? And some more places I have never been before.