Photos by Bret Redman

Keeping Tabs: Vetted Well

Enjoy Dallas' skyline while sipping a carefully crafted cocktail.

Vetted Well, which opened early March in the spacious second floor of the Alamo Drafthouse Dallas, is a casual bar with an impressive cocktail lineup, an awesome outdoor patio, and karaoke rooms for rent. (But if that’s not enough to keep your attention, there’s always the movie theater one flight below.)

The Atmosphere: Vetted Well is open, casual, and strikes a nice balance between relaxed and trendy. The space has a strong rustic theme—think brown and tan tones, exposed brick, wood furniture, and minimal décor. A dictionary definition of the word “vetted” glows in white letters over the bar; behind the bar, a chalkboard spells out what’s on draft. On the patio outside, there’s plenty of table seating and a great view of the city. The place also has solid weekly programming, including karaoke, live music, and pub quiz nights. (You can also rent a private karaoke room if you’re not into the whole singing-for-strangers thing.)

The bar offers private karaoke rooms.
The bar offers a private karaoke room.

What to Order: Vetted Well offers a generous selection of draft (20-plus options on most days) and canned beer, plus a handful of reds, whites, and sparkling wines. Still, the real draw is the cocktail menu. Keep it simple with a Moscow Mule ($8, vodka, lime, ginger beer) or try something a little more interesting, like the South Dallas 40 ($9, vodka, falernum, lime, mole bitters, Jägermeister, mint). There’s also the much-loved Boilermakers list, featuring 10 beer-and-shot combos named for Dallas icons (such as “The Big Ball” and “The Green Building”). The food menu includes salads, snacks, burgers, pizzas, baked-to-order cookies, and alcoholic shakes.

The bar attracts a diverse crowd.
You’ll find “anyone and everyone” at Vetted Well, according to a bartender.

Who’s There: In the words of one plaid-clad bartender (though, side note, all the bartenders were wearing plaid): “Anyone and everyone.” The Vetted Well staff is plentiful and helpful, and the clientele is difficult to pinpoint—which is definitely a good thing. There were folks stopping in for a bite before and/or after a show, but a fair share of people came in for the drinks alone. I spotted everyone from solo dudes with drafts, young couples sipping colorful cocktails on the patio, and big groups of women drinking over appetizers.

What I Didn’t Like: When it’s closed for private events, like it was the first time I went. Seeing a movie without a pre-show Boilermaker is crushingly disappointing.

What I Did Like: A nice evening spent on a patio with a great view of the city cannot be underestimated.