77 Degrees opened on North Henderson Avenue this week, giving the area a rooftop bar for lounging while drinking and admiring the Dallas skyline.
This is the business’ third location, after Austin and Houston. It’s equipped with four decks and two bars, with a water wall, suspended swings and cabanas to help you forget you're in East Dallas.
The name apparently comes from “the most idyllic cocktailing temperature,” according to a news release. Aside from the fact that “cocktail” is a verb here, we have to agree that 77 degrees is not a bad temperature at all.
The menu will have eight specialty cocktails ($12) and an offering of tapas-style items. The food looks proper enough for eating in a cabana: pineapple poppers with prosciutto-wrapped pineapple and sliced jalapeños ($10), and fried avocado tacos ($12).
While 77 Degrees will be on the upper stories, an Irish pub, Jack and Ginger's, will go in below later this year.
77 Degrees will host a grand opening party from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. While neighbors say there's already been a soft open period, we'll see how this establishment jibes with the neighborhood.
Open-air, rooftop businesses can send sound to surrounding homes extremely well, and with so much square footage, it’s easy to think about cars lining residential streets during operating hours.
It's something residents of the Henderson Neighborhood Association have already been thinking about.
“I've been in this neighborhood for 45 years. We don't mind change, but change with integrity ... the changes that have been brought about, some of it impedes our quality of life,” says Fonya Mendell, president of the association.
She notes that they do worry about the sound barreling into homes and traffic slowing down emergency vehicles that either use Henderson as a thoroughfare or need to cross it to reach another neighborhood. Sound has already been an issue for establishments that don't have rooftop patios.
“When there's outdoor DJs, you can hear music bashing into our windows,” she says.
Mendel says she’s waiting until the place opens before fully forming an opinion.
“I don't know what to say yet,“ she says.
Eric Dunahoe — a partner in the team behind 77 Degrees, Union Venture Group — is overseeing the Dallas expansion. Sitting on a white chair on the tiled floor of the rooftop, he notes that he has residents in mind with this space.
“We’re committed to doing whatever it takes to be a good neighbor,” he says. “We’ve learned a lot since our first one to now.”
In Houston, for example, there was a neighbor who complained about sound — they moved a speaker, and the problem was resolved.
“As far as the way our speaker layout is, it’s designed with the neighbors in mind. We typically have a louder music volume on our main level because there’s better blockage,” he says.
Right now, there's not an elevator, so one must climb a sizable set of stairs. One is "en route," Dunahoe says.
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As for traffic, they had 5,000 people in for the soft open last weekend, Dunahoe says, and most of them walked.
“We’re super excited to be in this neighborhood; we’ve been coming back and forth from Austin to Dallas to find the right location,” he says. “We love this neighborhood so much.”
It's more development for a growing area of Dallas, where we see small houses being replaced by three-story, narrow townhomes. The only way to see how 77 Degrees will fit in is to see how it goes after it's been open awhile.
77 Degrees, 2107 N. Henderson Ave. (East Dallas)