Hey, Five Sixty, Answer Your Dang Phone and Other Aggravations

grrrI’m a lot crabby today. It started last night when I arranged to meet a colleague for drinks at The Establishment, the new craft cocktail lounge on Travis. The place opened a week or so ago and is owned by Brian Williams and Michael Martensen the boys behind Cedars Social. I arrived at 5:45PM and found the doors locked. Of course, they are too cool to put up a sign but I’d seen the picture of the entrance on Facebook so at least I was in-the-know enough to know which of the five doors into the space to knock on. Using my iPhone, I went to their Facebook page for hours.

Apparently they are too cool to list their hours. From reading older posts it looks like they randomly decided when to open:  Sometimes 5PM; sometimes 7PM. Also, the bar isn’t called The Establishment—that will be the name once they get the kitchen open. The bar/lounge is actually called Smyth. Unless you are on Facebook 24/7, you wouldn’t have a clue. I called the phone number which was answered by some space cadet at Cedars Social who couldn’t help me one bit. Strange business model if you ask me. Maybe it works in New York, but this is Dallas and I think Tristan Simon taught us a while back at Sense that private or reservations-only bars don’t work here. The ‘80s are over.


Have you ever tried to call Five Sixty? It’s a joke. You are greeted by a recording: “All hosts are currently assisting other customers.” Two minutes later, they come back and apologize for the delay and ask you to leave a message and inform you that your call will be returned within 24 hours. (I just called and listened to the message repeat itself for twelve minutes before I hung up.) There are no hosts assisting anyone.

That system didn’t work for poor Timmy last night. He has family in from out of town and they tried calling ahead to see if they could take kids to the bar. His wife emailed the “contact us” link on their website and never got a reply. After no response, they took a chance and headed over. Once the whole family piled out of the car, the valet said, “You can’t take kids to the bar, you have to be 21 or over only.” When Tim told the valet he’d been trying to call to find that out, the valet told him he can’t get them on the phone either. I actually feel sorry for Tim (it will go away soon). It’s a pain in the ass to drive someplace only to be shut out or turned away because of miscommunication. Oh, and Wolfie, it’s been over 24 hours and Mrs. Rogers is still waiting.

Got a similar aggravation? Hurl it below.




  • Jeff Hayden

    Maybe it’s just me but I would have assumed that you can’t take your kids to a bar.

  • Nancy Nichols

    It’s a restaurant as well and kids all over the place.

    • cb_foodie

      Back when it was Antares, we took our son up there. Had a few drinks there before we had dinner, and it was really nice (our son was well-behaved). Now that he’s 13, it would stink to return and then be turned away becuase he’s not 21.

  • twohotpotatoes

    I had the same issue with Smyth. I wanted to arrange to meet some friends there after work, but I couldn’t figure out 1) their hours 2) their phone number 3) if/how I needed a reservation. In the end, it wasn’t worth the risk.

  • Wes Patton

    I’ve given up on The Establishment. Too many delays and false starts.

  • Skipit

    What bugs me is restaurants that don’t have sufficient online presence. Please post your menu, hours etc. and when I go to your site to see what your Easter brunch menu is— why do I still see Valentines Day info on your site!

  • Brent Dudenhoeffer

    Did Tim Rogers tell them he was Tim Rogers?

    • RCfromOC

      If they won’t answer the phone how could he tell them anything?

  • Les B

    Menopause. It sucks. Hot flashes. Anger.

  • dallasboiler

    What I hear about The Establishment and Smyth brings back memories of Enigma (in the space now occupied by 6th Street Bar on Cedar Springs & Routh). It had a nice little run, but eventually people tired of the eccentricities. It had a lot of buzz and many people wanted to experience it once, but too few wanted to go back.

  • Charlie Bray

    I have had the opposite experience with The Establishment/Smyth. Like everyone else, I initially called Cedars Social. Buzz Aldrin must have been answering the phones that afternoon, because I was told they were opening at 7:00 and there was no reason to make a reservation. Everything happened as promised.

    The second time I called to see when they were opening, I received the same help, except this time they also gave me a new number to call: (214) 520-0900. This might help some aggravations going forward!

  • TheBradsBlog

    Whatever, more Smyth for me. I was able to navigate enough to enjoy some wonderful cocktails and chill moments.

  • DallasCaterer

    Oh, good service, where art thou? I, too have had less than stellar experiences at Five Sixty. Mediocre food and awful service by a pompous waiter who behaved as if he owned the place himself. I am starting to believe Wolfie is too busy hawking cookware and his risotto cooking prowess on “reality” tv to give a damn about his roots. Somebody needs to mind the chicken coop. I will never go back to Five Sixty again. Sorry, Wolfie…

  • JC10

    I had a similar experience with Smyth. I called ahead, was transferred to Cedars Social and confirmed they were opening at 7:00. I was told I should talk to Omar, the bar manager. At 7:15, after trying to find the place and attempting to open a few locked doors, we walked into construction in the bar and no Omar. I’m used to a few kinks in the restaurant biz, especially when you first open, but don’t open your doors until you have a sign up (and the previous spots old sign down) and have some sort of consistency in your hours.

  • Maria Whiteside Mejia

    About the Establishment–Give them a break. They will figure it out with time. The drinks and ambiance is definitely worth it.

  • wlciii

    Shinsei also has a phone problem….sometimes they go hours without answering calls. Sometimes I think they just can’t hear the phone ring or they purposefully ignore it. Also, it’s mid march and their recording is still about their special Holiday hours over Christmas and New Years.

  • RJDallas

    Have you GONE to Five Sixty? It is a joke. Way overpriced. Tourist trap. Mediocre food. Stuffy for no reason. Dregs of society…

  • Robin Frye

    Bistro 31…Me: I’d like to make a dinner reservation Bistro 31: “we don’t take reservations, but we’ll call you back and let you know”…this was a live person, by the way…Me: Who is going to call me back?”…Bistro 31: ‘the manager’…Me: May I speak to him now…Bistro 31: “he’s not here now” A similar exchange occurred with my friend, so I know it wasn’t just a one-off. Great food there but lacking in basic training.

  • Robin Frye

    Bistro 31…great food but the strangest phone exchange EVER when trying to make a reservation…and it’s happened twice. Hostess evidently has never been trained on whether they do or don’t take reservations but she tells me she can have someone call me back about it…It just seems that knowing whether you take reservations would be a basic good-to-know for a hostess answering the phone…but I guess I’m lucky they answered the phone. We haven’t been back. Too many other great places to try.

  • Robin Frye

    So sadly, now I may have posted the basic same thing twice. I assumed it was disappearing when I hit POST. Apologies.

  • LCS

    Elbow Room. They used to deliver, but we hadn’t ordered in quite a while. Last week when we just didn’t feel like getting out I verified on their home page and menu page that they deliver. When I called to place an order, I was told they don’t deliver. Again, why wouldn’t a business keep their web site up-to-date?

  • Crystal

    Interesting about Smyth… I had an equally bad experience when the place was Trece, but there were actually people there. Perhaps this place is doomed too.

    As for Five Sixty, I had a pleasant experience here. According to the Yelp the business details seciton clearly shows not good for children but there are plenty of people complaining about children. May be a new rule because of the complaints… Bottom line is, if you have to ask the question, you probably shouldn’t be bringing the kiddos there.