Strangeways wants to be known as the mecca for craft beers in Dallas, and they’ve almost succeeded in pulling it off. The new bar, located on Fitzhugh about a mile east of Highway 75, made its debut late in 2011. Since then they’ve been seducing even the pickiest of beer fanatics with their irresistible selection, boasting forty craft beers on draught and probably three times as much in bottles. We’re talking beers for beer-lovers, tasty, hard to find offerings from local and national makers like Boulevard, Peticolas, and Mikkeller. Plus, their fully stocked bar runneth over with an impressive selection of vodkas and whiskeys for non-beer lovers. The food selection is jazzy; the menu sports Latin-tinged selections from burgers, salads, to tortas. Say what you will about the joint, you probably won’t find snacks like yucca fries or Mexican elote corn, served with cojita cheese and chipotle mayonnaise, at any other bar in Dallas. While the food and drink are meant to wow you, the building itself won’t. It’s stripped down and minimal; here, the focus is mainly on the beer. Thank goodness there are amusing compensatory touches, like the collection of bizzaro vinyl Kidrobot toys and the display of photographs depicting the bar in its former, ahem, days of glory, most notably as various Hispanic bars. (Vamos a El Dandi, anyone?) With a bit of a buzz flowing through your veins, and just a bit of imagination, one could almost imagine that this place might be the next big haven for beer lovers.
Unfortunately, the service gets in the way. Although one nighttime bartender almost gets the balance right, the perfunctory attitude by a few of the others seems to weigh the place down. A beer glass sits empty at the bar for fifteen minutes while a bartender carries on a conversation. On another day, a request for a Belgian draught sample is flatly denied, almost to the point of rudeness. Even though the staff at The Ginger Man (see related article here) never turns us down, we kind of get it; some beers are more expensive than others. But there has to be a more productive way of telling your guests no. Might some kind of alternative have been offered, perhaps one of your less expensive beers, the ones that you do offer samples of? For that matter, why wasn’t a flight — a sampling of five different beers —suggested?
These are just minor annoyances, nitpicky things that can be overlooked as long as Strangeways continues to make with the fantastic beer selection. We’re pretty sure they will, because these guys seem to know it’s a great time to be a beer lover in Dallas. Just look at the influx of new brewers, like Four Corners and Community, popping up near downtown Dallas. Or take note of the success of beer related events, like last month’s Winter Warmer Festival (click here for related link). The world seems to be taking notice of the amazing craft beers popping up on the horizon, and it’s long overdue. So Strangeways, here we come. But before we get there, your staff might want to remind themselves that while their beer selection is infinitely cool, they are only made so by the customers that show up to drink them.
For more info: Strangeways is located at 2429 Fitzhugh Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204; (214) 823-7800.
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