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Restaurant News

Takeout Time: Dallas Bars Are Selling To-Go Cocktails and Food

Shoals Sound & Service, Las Almas Rotas, and Holy Grail Pub are just a few of the many bars affected by the state's latest shutdown. Here is how you can still support them.
Bret Redman

There’s nary a business untouched by the wrath of the coronavirus. But in a back-and-forth dance of closing, reopening, and closing again, bars have once more been forced to shutter their interiors to the public.

As of last Friday, bars closed their doors and restaurants reduced dining room capacity to 50 percent. Again. The thin silver lining? Bars can offer to-go mixed drinks with takeout food orders, as permitted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (The teams at the Texas Restaurant Association pushed hard for this; kudos to them.) So this week, in light of bars taking a major blow, there are now ways to support them: takeout.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but something to think about if you want to help support your favorite bar during this trying time.

Yes, you still must order food with any alcohol purchase, though there’s no required food to drink ratio. Here’s the verbiage from the TABC: “Alcohol is accompanied by a food order that was prepared on the business’s premises.” That’s broad enough for bars to get creative. It’s worth a call to your favorite to see if they’re selling to-go.

And do note: those alcoholic drinks, whether a cocktail kit or mixed-and-ready, can’t be transferred to the passenger area of the vehicle, per state law. So pop that trunk.

Holy Grail Pub
Since March, the Plano pub has struggled with the state’s mandate that any business whose alcohol sales are 51 percent and above. While Holy Grail does fall into that category, it’s still very much a food- and family-friendly spot. For any pub-style fish and chip hankerings, or hearty shepherd’s pie, look to the Grail. You can watch its Instagram for specials and temporary menus, plus new hours (3 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Monday), call 972-377-6633 for curbside pickup.

Las Almas Rotas
This mezcal bar across from Fair Park is a Dallas treasure that traffics in rarely seen agave spirits. The pros behind the bar employ those spirits in drinks melded with watermelon juice, ancho pepper-gunpowder green tea (the alchemy!), and bitters ($24 for a half quart). Or keep it classic with frozen margaritas and ranch water kits. But don’t sleep on the food. There’s a Sonoran hot dog special for the Fourth of July, a chorizo verde burrito (I’ve had this in chile relleno form and it’s fantastic), tacos, elotes, enchiladas, and more. Order online, via Postmates, or call 972-685-5666.

Shoals Sound & Service
While the primary reason to have visited Shoals in Deep Ellum may have been the pitch-perfect cocktails or the music—or a combination of the two—the quietly vegan menu should be another. Co-owner Omar Yeefoon, a self-described plant-based vegetarian himself, says he’s been surreptitiously flipping Shoals’ food offerings to lean entirely plant-based for awhile. That means shiitake mushroom ceviche, vegan cubano sandwiches, crispy tempeh po’boys, applewood-smoked jackfruit barbecue torta, and more. Drinks to-go include an espresso martini (enough to satisfy six drinkers), a rum Old Fashioned, pisco sour, and other classics. Call 469-677-0176 to order or via Uber Eats or Grubhub.

The People’s Last Stand
Despite the pandemic, the cocktail whizzes at People’s are still concocting amusing tipples. The latest being inspired by a Harry Styles pop song, “Watermelon Sugar High,” so you can guess which fruit is the main actor here. It gets paired with vodka, lime, fresh garden mint, and CBD oil. (A liter will set you back $45, which is the average price for the dozen or so pre-made drinks you can order here.) On the food end, it’s much simpler—beef sliders, truffle fries, deviled eggs, flatbread, chicken caesar salad. Order online.

Bowen House
The charming bar in Uptown is, as it ever was, ready to make you a fine drink. Including this one dubbed the Cold Smoulder: smoked vodka, ancho chile liqueur, hibiscus, and lapsang tea. For the smoky factor, they’ll send you home with wood chips. To munch, get anything from light bar snacks (olives, deviled eggs) to heartier fare like a cheeseburger. Call 214-484-1385 to order.

Peak Inn
The new-ish Old East Dallas dive bar already has a loyal following. It offers a “drive-thru” of sorts where you can order its now-famous burger, per us.