A cool location near downtown Dallas that has been home to two restaurant-bars has a new owner who vows to give the space the TLC it deserves.
The bar is Ross & Hall, at 3300 Ross Ave., a unique old building that was respectfully renovated by property owner Ben Schwartz. It's part of a complex that includes specialty spirits store Bar & Garden, and a Dallas outlet of Fort Worth meat market Burgundy's Local — Grass Fed Meat Market.
The space was originally home to Little Woodrow's, a concept from Houston known for its craft beer and multitude of TVs for the watching of sports. But Little Woodrow's was beset by a string of unfortunate incidents, and in 2017, it was taken over by the folks who own State & Allen, Nodding Donkey, and Social Pie.
Their vision was to follow the successful formula they had at State & Allen. But they learned that what works in Uptown didn't quite fit on Ross and Hall.
The new sheriff is Jason Caswell, the veteran bar owner with a track record of turning around troubled locations and getting them back on track. He and his partner Shawn Corley are the ones who took over LG Taps, the bar on Greenville Avenue in the former J Pepe's space, which has thrived under their guidance since 2017.
Caswell says they're not intimidated by the location's short but troubled track record.
"I think that the two previous businesses had some staffing and management issues," Caswell says. "I'll run this the way I run all my other bars — we're very hands-on. People like to see the owner when they go into a place."
They're also convinced that what is really needed for that location is a straightforward neighborhood bar, with well-made food that's affordable and approachable. A current special, for example, is the "Texas Philly," with smoked brisket, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, and mayo on a toasted hoagie bun, with a heap of fries, for $12.
The location has a number of assets, including an amazing courtyard patio and a large parking lot.
"We'll call it what it is, a neighborhood bar, and run it that way," Caswell says. "Our cheeseburgers kill it, and we'll change up the drink list and make it more neighborhood-friendly. Also, the previous bar was closing at 11 pm on weekends. We're going to be open until 2 am every day. We're just going to give people what they want."
He says they doesn't feel compelled to change the name.
"I love the name," he says. "Honestly, the hardest thing when you open a bar is to name it. Where's the bar? On the corner of Ross and Hall. What's the name? Ross & Hall."