^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

The Dram Brings a Bit of Class to Henderson Avenue's Late-Night Scene

There are a lot of things that irritate me about clubs (long lines in the girls' bathroom, aggressively flirty dudes in Tapout tees), but the thing I hate the most is shitty, expensive drinks. Fourteen dollars for a poorly mixed gin and tonic made with well liquor that's guaranteed to produce a hangover in the morning? Gee, thanks.

Enter The Dram, where brothers Chris and DJ Donohoe, who worked with the dudes behind Candleroom (Dallas' longest-running nightclub located just a stone's throw away), have married a craft cocktail bar with a see-and-be-seen late night hotspot.

The interior is dark and plush, with lots of hardwood, heavy velvet drapes, tufted sofas and nailhead-trimmed chairs in shades of maroon and navy blue -- a far cry from the typical Dallas "ultra-lounge" with its painfully modern sharp edges and slick white surfaces.

There are no poles to dance on and no Top 40 on the sound system; the night I was there, at least, the DJ dropped a relatively sophisticated selection of sexy old soul and R&B peppered with some newer deep house tracks. A majority of the ladies were actually wearing pants -- a rarity given the typical Dallas uniform of a tight minidress and stilettos. The men sported coiffed hair and least two-thirds of them were wearing vests, including the bartenders, who've traded in the fedoras for the slightly less ostentatious cabbie hats.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

There's an impressive cocktail menu of 20 or so drinks divided by spirit, a smart choice to help patrons navigate the selections and find something to their liking. The L'Orange Fragola, made with strawberry-infused 42 Below vodka, Cocchi Americano, Grand Marnier, and rhubarb bitters was interesting and refreshing poured over a mountain of finely crushed ice. The bitter notes gave it a complexity not typically found in your usual run-of-the-mill fruity vodka drink.

The Rhum & Rhubbarb is a nouveau twist on the classic Hemingway Daiquiri featuring Saint James Imperial Blanc rum and those rhubarb bitters again, along with the traditional maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Fruity, yes, but by no means wussy -- this is a seriously strong drink that had me feeling the buzz halfway through.

As I sipped my drink I spotted a couple engaged in a full-on makeout session, serving as a reminder that I was in a nightclub and not just a fancy cocktail bar. No matter, that thin line between the two that The Dram is straddling seems to be working just fine, and lame pick-up lines are significantly less annoying when I have a delicious beverage in my hand.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.