Deep Ellum is changing, and it's changing fast. Almost weekly, a walk down Commerce or Elm will reveal new bars and restaurants popping up faster than you can say "Edison bulb." The latest addition is a grand space with a massive beer selection and laid-back bar fare: Dot's Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard, which opened last week on Commerce.
Opened just in time for North Texas Beer Week, Dot's Hop House is really not messing around when it comes to the hops or the courtyard — there are 100 beers on tap, and the massive open-air courtyard seems almost twice the size of the restaurant's interior.
With quirky stained glass, murals and a massive outdoor chandelier, this courtyard patio has good vibes. It's fast becoming a regular hang spot for Deep Ellum locals, with many bringing their pups out for an evening under the heaters and strings of tiny white lights.
On this menu, you can go a little nuts. With 100 beers on tap, decision fatigue is a real possibility, especially with so many local brews on the roster. There's plenty of ciders for the gluten-intolerant and low-key brews like Shiner and Guinness for the craft beer-averse. It's safest to order by the number; with so many beers, servers aren't likely to have a grasp on every single one, especially in the bar's first few weeks.
On the food menu, you'll find pretty appropriate bar fare — chips and salsa, burgers, duck fat cheese fries and something terrifyingly named Deep Ellum Voodoo Death Chili. On our first visit, we tried the duck fat fries, hog wings (fried pork shanks slathered in Whistle Pig barbecue sauce and served over a sweet corn puree), bottle rockets (pulled chicken, bacon and fontina cheese fried in a flaky wrapper) and a chicken-fried creation served atop a savory waffle and topped with cheese sauce. Everything was heavy and indulgent and, on our early visit, too salty, but that didn't stop our table from devouring just about everything. With a few small tweaks in the kitchen, this could easily become a solid spot to grab a beer and some stick-to-your-everything pub fare.
After 11 p.m., they switch to a late-night menu pared down to dishes like chips and queso and a corn dog made with Luscher's jalapeño cheddar sausage. As of right now, Dot's is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily except for Sunday, when they open at noon. With such a killer patio space, it's hard to imagine that they won't soon expand their daytime hours, especially on Saturday.
Dot's is hardly a complicated, over-the-top bar — it's just a fun, breezy courtyard with a great beer selection and indulgent snacks. But that's pretty refreshing, as Dallas has seen way too many new spots that try to be too much to too many. Dot's keeps it simple and fits Deep Ellum's vibe well, and that's worth something.
Dot's Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard, 2645 Commerce St.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.