You may not be familiar with mezcal—which is forgivable, since there are only a handful of mezcal bars in the United States. But when I heard that a cozy mezcaleria had opened in the back room of the historic Bowen House in Uptown, I got in my car. Only to find that it was closed that day.
The following day, my friend and I returned, walked around Bowen House, and crept in through the back. Santos y Pecadores (saints and sinners), open Monday through Thursday, is mysterious and intimate. Prayer candles flicker from every surface. Luchador masks sit over a vintage mirror behind the bar, and an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe hangs beside the mirror.
There was no one there except the owners, Daniel and Mauricio—though every few minutes, curious drinkers would poke their heads in and then back away. To unsuspecting wanderers, the place probably looked like some kind of gothic liquor shrine.
Daniel asked about our drinking preferences. Mezcal is traditionally served straight, so Mauricio poured us some Gracias a Dios and Los Nahuales, which were tasty and distinct (even to a novice mezcal drinker like me). Like tequila, mezcal is made from the agave plant, but don’t confuse the two.
“Mezcal is more like wine than tequila,” Daniel says. “It’s like drinkable jewelry.”
As my friend and I settled into a booth, a young couple hesitantly wandered in. Both seemed curious. Soon after, a group of ladies crowded into the bar, followed by a stream of male stragglers. By the time we left, there were 15 people packed into the small space.
Daniel and Mauricio believe that mezcal will become popular once Dallas grows more familiar with it. For now, Santos y Pecadores will continue working to make the introduction.