It was Friday night, and after a busy, nerve-frazzling week, I was looking for a place to unwind. I’d been running late all day, so I wasn’t surprised to arrive at HG Sply Co. to find that my drinking buddies had beaten me there. I sat down at the wood table and sighed loudly. I am not good at concealing my stress. 

“You look like you need a drink,” my blond friend said, offering me a sip of his sunset-red Boulevardier cocktail.

“We’ve been drinking since happy hour,” my bearded friend added. “You have some catching up to do.”

The bourbon-based Boulevardier was a good start, but I needed my own drink—and quick. I flagged down our server, Zach, who had tattoos winding up his arms and a close-cropped beard. He pointed up at a row of big, apothecary-looking jars filled with various alcoholic infusions, which are made in-house and seasonal. The rich, red hue of the jar marked “beet-infused Dulce Vida organic tequila” caught my eye, and Zach recommended the Double Under cocktail.

As I awaited my libation, I glanced around. HG Sply Co. is a long, narrow space, with rustic, red-brick walls, wood furniture, and a well-lit bar area that was crammed full of couples. At the red booth next to our table, a pair of well-dressed twentysomethings ordered entrées off the Paleo Diet–inspired menu. The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” played overhead.  

My delicious beet tequila arrived quickly, and it was delightful. But I was still feeling weighed down by the stresses of the world. Zach suggested we head upstairs to the patio. Drinks in hand, we ascended a steep set of stairs, the upbeat pop music fading away behind us, and soon found ourselves overlooking the glowing downtown Dallas skyline. 

HG Sply Co.’s spacious rooftop patio bar officially opened on St. Patrick’s Day. It has covered seating, rows of fans for when it’s hot, and fireplaces for when it’s chilly. Four young professionals sat talking at a wood table nearby; two were visiting from Louisiana, and their friends were trying to entice them to move to Dallas. The bright, inviting bar displayed shelves of glasses and mugs and a sparkling array of liquor bottles. Sports flashed across flat-screen TVs. I summoned the ponytailed bartender and asked him what I should drink next.   

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“We serve frozen versions of some of the drinks served downstairs,” he said, sliding over a frozen sample of my Double Under cocktail. It was dangerously dessert-like. 

A woman wearing a teal floral skirt and heavy eye shadow sat down beside me. Her stocky boyfriend ordered a White Russian, but the bartender had to tell him they don’t serve dairy (Paleo, remember?). He settled for champagne, and the woman remarked, “There’s a lot of stairs to get up here.” 

“But it’s worth it, right?” the bartender said.  

She smiled. “Can’t beat the view.”  

As I drifted back to a cozy spot with my friends, I took in the crisp air, easy vibe, and vivid skyline. I finally felt relaxed.

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