I realize not everyone cares about the Bravo reality show Vanderpump Rules with the veracity that I do, but I hope you’ll bear with me. I promise it’s sort of relevant.
The gist is this: Lisa Vanderpump, of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has a spin off reality series devoted to her restaurants in West Hollywood with the main focus being on SUR (Sexy Unique Restaurant—I feel you need to know that’s what it stands for) and the group of wannabe actors, models, and musicians that work there. It’s been on for six seasons and spoiler alert: none of those aspiring actors, models, or musicians are acting, modeling, or musician-ing. They’re just reality stars now, and SUR, which is not exactly earning Michelin stars, is consistently packed with people hoping to catch a fight between Jax Taylor and anyone in the cast.
Now, the setup at Steam Theory Brewing Company will not resemble this at all. There is no Lisa Vanderpump equivalent, and the staff at Steam Theory will not be filming ITMs on the side, but I do believe there will be some reality TV fandom surrounding Trinity Groves’ newest brewery/restaurant, which just so happens to feature Chris This-Is-The-Final-Rose-Of-The-Evening Harrison as an investor. And though the famous host was sure to state that he doesn’t want to beat people over the head with the fact the he’s part owner of the new venture, which features talent such as chef Michael Weinstein (of The Grape and Cadot) and brewer Kirk Roberts, he did admit that there will some Bachelor-ness for locals or tourists interested in looking. And honestly, a little fandom can only be a good thing for any business—SUR is doing just fine.
So what does Bachelor-ness entail, exactly? Some “Easter eggs,” according to Harrison, a Dallas native and Lake Highlands grad. “Maybe a ‘Most Dramatic Ale’ or a ‘Final Rose IPA,’” says the host.
The large space can also easily accommodate Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise viewing parties in the future, with franchise alums potentially in attendance. The first taste of what that could look like will be on August 25, Steam Theory’s grand opening. “I’m looking forward to bringing my kids, as well as my parents and brother who are all still in Dallas, friends from Lake Highlands, and of course my Bachelor family,” says Harrison. “There’s going to be a lot of familiar faces there and hopefully it won’t just be opening night.”
And though Steam Theory’s profile has certainly gotten a boost from Harrison, it does seem like the longtime host’s involvement goes beyond simply lending his name. “Any time I’m in Dallas, I’ll either be back in the kitchen, behind the bar, or sitting at it,” says Harrison. “That was really the point of it. It was less of an investment and more of a passion project and an opportunity to lay down more roots in Texas, especially in Dallas.”
Steam Theory Brewing Company does not seem poised to become a SUR-like tourist trap. It will likely rely far more on its seasonally-inspired menu and craft beers than a confluence of commerce and reality television. But Dallas, a city responsible for some of The Bachelor franchise’s most beloved and sometimes even groundbreaking personalities, seemed due for a fandom-adjacent, tourist-friendly restaurant. If you should happen to catch a glimpse of Rachel, or JoJo, or Sean and Catherine (bonus points if their adorable kids are in tow) while enjoying your compressed watermelon salad, then that’s all the better.