Built inside a historic house, this uptown haunt has is a Victorian-styled watering hole sliding out classic cocktails. Things get even more interesting towards the back with Santos Y Pecadores, a dim-lit mezcaleria that feels alive deep at night.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
Long before Dallas began to scrape the clouds with its infamous skyscrapers etched with neon, it was a town full of dirt roads, horse-drawn carriages, and rolling tumbleweeds. That all quickly changed when the railroad came through, bringing the likes of many world travelers to this simple city in the Lone Star State.
Ahab Bowen witnessed it all from his front porch, in earshot of the echo of the first locomotive steaming toward his roughneck city — most likely with a white-corn whiskey in hand. The Bowen House was his home, a structure that has witnessed the modern metropolitan center grow larger than any simple mind back in the day could fathom. Now, more than a century later, this Victorian-style home still sits prominent. It has become a watering hole serving craft cocktails of all kinds in a setting where you can swear the walls are whispering to you.
There’s more to see, so let the house eat you alive.
It starts from the street — the luminous glow through the single-pane windows can call to any man like a lighthouse does to a lost ship. When your sole hits the creak of the wooden floor, consider it a welcoming greeting from the spirit of the structure. Take a seat in this marvelous haunt to partake in a nip that will roll down your throat like those early tumbleweeds.
Yes, this is uptown, and the décor reflects this, with a shiny black bar top and a chandelier that hangs like melting icicles. However, the vintage appeal of the house overshadows any modern ornamentation. The glasses shine, and the cocktails can be made to your personal preference — just asks graciously. We recommend grabbing a strong cocktail like the Cycle of Violence and whetting the appetite with a cheeseboard to stoke the intellect before the house further devours you.
Toss a few down the hatch and the walls’ whispers get louder. The quiet mystery of this old location sends a chill down your spine. There’s more to see, so let the house eat you alive. Towards the back, down a narrow hallway, is Santos Y Pecadores, a candlelit Mezcal bar the size of a large closet. The space is scattered with religious sentiments mixed with luchador collectables, and even your barman might be donning a mask.
The project was born from the minds of Daniel Zapata and Mauricio Gallegos. Zapata has rambled around behind some of Dallas’s best bars and decided to unlock the vision he could no longer ignore upstairs in his own mind. The room is dangerously hallucinogenic, cultish almost. It makes you feel as if Ahab Bowen had some secrets, and maybe that’s why he was reluctant to welcome the railroad spikes landing in Dallas. What was happening here? Settle into a small booth and make sure you taste the Mezcal in its purest form: in a glass, neat. This small room is the starting point for Mezcal in Dallas, and the spirit is certain to take over in no time.
In the Bowen House, it’s up to you just how far you’ll let it take you down its historical hallways. When you leave, notice the sweet smell of begonias that wafts off your shirt. This distinct smell is most notably not the one of Mezcal, and it doesn’t come from the garden. This is the smell of Mary Bowen, who likes to flicker the lights on and off for the staff every night. Maybe it wasn’t Ahab at all that stood on the front porch. Maybe Mary was in control of what occurred in the Bowen House — and still is.
The drink list is changes with the seasons here, so dive into what is fresh or order a classic
Carnivore? Pair that age old bourbon with a selection of meats, it doesnt get more manly than washing down you charcuterie with some whiskey
Santos Y Pecadores is changing the game for Mezcal in Dallas, so trust these masked professionals and order a unique pour neat
Santos Y Pecadores operates at elusive hours, if you’re headed here for them make sure the hallway is open