Finding a new neighborhood hangout isn’t always an easy charge in Dallas — unless you happen to walk into the Mercado 369 artisan gallery in Oak Cliff and make your way to the back. Nestled amid breathtaking hand-worked pieces that come from all corners of the Americas you’ll find a small gem called the Hatuey Café and Bar.
The space, named after the Taino warrior Huatey, who stood bravely against the Spanish in Cuba during the conquest, looks to preserve the culture and arts of the Americas through its thoughtfully curated selection of drinks and food. The mission goes hand in hand with the gallery that houses it.
Inside you’ll find wines from all of Latin America, mezcal, tequila and raisilla, South American pisco, and whisky and gin from Oaxaca. You’ll also find regional Mexican spirits like bacanora, a liquor from Sonora that was illegal until the 1990’s, charanda, a beverage similar to rum distilled in Michoacan, or sotol, described as tequila's and mezcal's northern brethren.
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Hatuey also offers a small menu of tasty bites and coffee that make it a great place to work and study. It also has a cozy outdoor patio that makes it the perfect spot to go to sit back with friends to enjoy some good music while you catch up on the latest chisme (gossip). Depending on when you go you could catch a DJ spinning the latest Latinx hits or artists from Mexico, Central and South America speaking about their creative work.
If you’re in the market for a new place to hang out, make some time soon to drop by Hatuey because a visit here feels like a vacation without ever leaving Dallas. You’ll enjoy a beautiful selection of artisanal liquors and spirits served with a splash of history and culture. Plus, they’re the only place in North Texas where you will be greeted by a statue the Mexican icon Juan Gabriel with arms open waiting for you to take a selfie with him. That alone is worth a visit.
Hatuey Café & Bar at Mercado369, 369 W. Jefferson Blvd.