First Look

This New Irish Pub May Become Your Favorite Dallas Bar of 2019

The interior of The Playwright, a new Arts District Irish pub from the creators of the Craft Irishman in downtown Dallas.
The interior of The Playwright, a new Arts District Irish pub from the creators of the Craft Irishman in downtown Dallas. courtesy Kathy Tran
Irish superstition says that if you're looking for love, you should put a sprig of mistletoe or holly under your pillow when you go to bed on New Year's Eve. For those of us lucky in love or just done dealing with Tinder nightmares, we'd rather look for our new favorite haunt in 2019. So does that mean we should have slept with a pint of Guinness under our pillows? Luckily, that won't be necessary. Enter: The Playwright Irish Pub.

click to enlarge For traditional Irish breakfast, this new pub has you covered. - COURTESY KATHY TRAN
For traditional Irish breakfast, this new pub has you covered.
courtesy Kathy Tran
Closing out 2018, we saw more closings and openings in the Dallas restaurant scene, and One Arts Plaza has long been in restaurant limbo. With the exit of industry darling Proof and Pantry, we weren't sure what would take over, and then we came into some Irish luck.

The Playwright Irish Pub, sister bar to downtown's The Crafty Irishman, also owned by Alan Kearney, took over the space and opened in mid-November.

They built out the patio to offer plenty of outdoor seating, now available on two sides of the restaurant. Inside, you'll come upon a relaxed pub vibe. With an intimate feel and smaller rooms for private dinners, it will make you think you're in your Irish grandpa's living room, especially thanks to offbeat historical items like artifacts from the Titanic (yes, really).


click to enlarge Irish coffees do the body good. - SUSIE OSZUSTOWICZ
Irish coffees do the body good.
Susie Oszustowicz
The cozy bar houses "hundreds of whiskeys and scotches," according to their website, and will offer plenty of beers on tap, some local and many Irish. To shake things up a bit, they offer unique flight samplings, from seasonal eggnog to a scotch and chocolate pairing. If you're a purist, they serve a traditional Irish coffee that will perk up your day nicely.

The Playwright offers a menu quite similar to the Crafty Irishman's, so expect traditional Irish dishes, from breakfast to beer. Highlights, obviously, will be the usual Irish goodies like Scotch eggs ($9), Howth beer-battered fish and chips ($14) and to-die-for corned beef and cabbage rolls. If you're not looking for the traditional items, turn to their Pub Curry ($13) or the Irish breakfast sandwich ($11) that turns the traditional setup on its ear and into your palms.

click to enlarge The patio of The Playwright offers smoking and non-smoking sections. - SUSIE OSZUSTOWICZ
The patio of The Playwright offers smoking and non-smoking sections.
Susie Oszustowicz
The new Irish gem in One Arts Plaza offers a cozy spot to sip a dram or snack on a Monte Cristo. No doubt it'll make its way into your 2019 routine.

The Playwright Irish Pub, 1722 Routh St. (Arts District). Open 10 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
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Susie Oszustowicz