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I Got Stood Up By George Clooney

A movie star comes to town and leaves people atwitter.

Restaurants on Monday nights tend to be quiet. Even Al Biernat, eponym of the famed Park Cities steakhouse, stays home unless something big is up. But the first Monday of 2013 held the promise that something big was cooking indeed. At least that’s what a post on Al’s Facebook page implied. Perhaps it was the restaurateur’s wishful thinking—or a clever marketing ploy—but that Monday evening the bar at Al’s was filled with patrons waiting for George Clooney to stop by.

Clooney was in town on a quickie tour to promote his new tequila, Casamigos. Only three places in Dallas stocked the stuff: The Mansion, Iron Cactus, and Al’s. As Al’s Facebook post pointed out, he had six bottles to The Mansion’s two.

By 7 pm it was like monitoring Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. Only instead of radar, the crowd at Al’s followed George’s whereabouts via Facebook, Twitter, and call-in reports from the field. Three leggy ladies perched on barstools with a clear view of new arrivals. Phones lit up the bar with updates.

First reports had Clooney at a tequila tasting in the InterContinental Hotel. Then he was at a private dinner with the likes of Roger Staubach, perhaps the home of a Glazer’s liquor distributor exec. Bennett Glazer? Maybe Shelly Stein? An iPhone showing a photo of Dana Vidal with Clooney was passed around a booth. Then came news of another Clooney sighting at Iron Cactus, downtown.

In Al’s dining room, writer Robert Edsel ate alone, facing the front door. He wrote The Monuments Men, which Clooney is turning into a movie. Perhaps Edsel was waiting for his buddy? Staffers shook their heads: “He’s a regular.”

Every time the front door opened, all eyes shifted that way. Then more rounds were ordered.

Finally, someone asked Al if Clooney was going to show. The restaurateur quickly changed the subject, saying that two Dallas Stars had come in Saturday night.

Alas, by 11, Clooney Watch ended. Some frustrated diehards suggested relocating to The Mansion, where Clooney and his traveling tequila partner Rande Gerber (aka Cindy Crawford’s husband) were spending the night. But by this time, anticipation for Clooney, like the phones, had run out of juice.

By Tuesday, Al’s Facebook post on Clooney’s possible visit had been deleted.