Dallasites love the outdoors. We mountain bike where no mountains are to be found, we awkwardly paddle board at White Rock lake, we even make attempts to salvage the Trinity River by pretending the water is clean enough for kayaking. Basically, we make the best of what’s around.
What our urban population really enjoys is drinking outdoors. With the annual ‘Best Patios’ list published by every known publication and blogger, we seemingly live for sunny days when we can pop tops or pour Mimosas with Texas country serenading us in the background. We will never turn down a good patio for mingling. And there is no such thing as too many outdoor bars for our enjoyment.
Because of the second coming of Noah’s flood, The Grove at Harwood quietly opened to little fanfare roughly three weeks ago. Since its premise is based solely on being an outdoor venue, flocks of Sperry-wearing Uptownians were robbed by what should have been a beautiful mid-May opening.
The Grove is situated in one of two remaining homes built in the early 1940’s in the area formerly known as ‘Little Mexico’. Under strings of party bulbs rests a large patio with an ample amount of white and blue picnic tables and wooden lawn chairs, adorned by the greenery of trees and free smells of nature. With the addition of volley ball courts, boccie ball and corn hole, alcohol-induced exercise is also promoted here. The scene is reminiscent of an outdoor venue one may find in the upper East Coast, think Martha’s Vineyard.
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They keep overhead low by using a simple concept. You walk up to the outside bar and order from an assortment of national and local craft canned beer, wine, Champagne and margaritas. If you’re hungry, they do provide food. And by food, I mean very small items so don’t come incredibly hungry. Or just order a lot of everything. They have starters and snacks, like trail mix, dried fruit and cheese and meat. If you would like something with more substance, you’re in luck with a short but creative list of paninis.
A couple of menu options to note: the Elvis Panini, which would make the chubby King proud, a Basil Hayden-laced ice cream float for the raging alcoholic with a sweet tooth, and a fancy bottle of Chateau Segur for $255 for the young professionals ready to impress other young professionals.
Surrounded by towering buildings, parking garages, and a massive hole readying for construction of another towering building, The Grove is a little urban oasis for all to sit under the sun or shade and enjoy the great outdoors. For next year’s Kentucky Derby, one could imagine this place as a possibility for a major Southern party full of mint juleps and bow ties. Let’s hope this is not just a temporary venture by the Harwood Group before they decide this lot needs to become another shiny building, too.