Starbucks' New Beer Program Isn't Coming to Dallas, Which Is Fine by These Four Shops

If you haven't heard, Starbucks is looking to slip a little somethin' somethin' in your latte. Not exactly -- they would never do anything that cool -- but they are starting alcohol programs in select stores in six metro areas, none of which are Dallas.

Beer and wine will be available, and because nobody should drink on an empty stomach, small bites will be offered as well. Would you like some bacon-wrapped dates with your Merlot? Or how about some parmesan crusted chicken skewers with your Chardonnay? But again, not if you're in Dallas. In fact, the Morning News reports that while Starbucks is considering many locations across the country, there are zero plans for Dallas at this time. Ouch.

Or maybe this is a good thing, because we already have a number of coffee shops that will bring you up with coffee before they bring you down with booze, and this is the perfect time to take a closer look at them. The following are ready to serve you coffee and beer right now, and they'll do a better job than Starbucks, too.

Ascension This Design District space is just as much a restaurant as it is as it is a coffee shop. Stop by in the morning and everyone is hugging coffee mugs and croissants, and come back in the evening and it's Pinot and porch chops. The best part is you know your food wasn't processed in a warehouse and trucked in next to pre-made egg salad sandwiches, because they actually have their own kitchen on-site.

Mudsmith Forget the sandwiches -- they're not much better than other fast food -- but the rest of Mudsmith deserves your attention. There's a long bar down one side of the space, and plenty of communal seating so you can blow off work by talking to strangers while your laptop battery dwindles to zero. (I swear I'll remember my charger next time.) It's a slick space, and it's sticky. Try and order a coffee and not stick around for a second. And would you look at those beer taps over there ...

Oddfellows Oddfellows has been doing coffee and beer since before Mudsmith was a twinkle in owner Brooke Humphries' eye. If you can snag a spot at the bar on a Sunday morning with a paper, you're a lucky individual -- read that dinosaur cover to cover. By the time you get to the style section you'll be ready for a cold one. You can almost reach out to the tap and touch it.

The Wild Detectives The Wild Detectives is a new book store that serves coffee and beer and, based on the photos and some responses on Facebook, it looks like a decent place to be. Books, coffee and beer: How could it not be?

Certainly it beats Merlot and bacon-wrapped dates at your local Starbucks. Unless you brought your hip flask. I'll bet three to four ounces of Jameson would work wonders on that grande caramel Frappuccino.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz