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Richardson locals team up to open perfect authentic neighborhood bar

Richardson locals team up to open perfect authentic neighborhood bar

Brizo Bar
There'll be craft cocktails like this Combier Martini, fruity and floral with notes of citrus. Photo courtesy of Brizo Bar

There's a new bar coming to Richardson that promises to bring some authentic neighborhood flair. Called Brizo, it's opening in The Shops at Promenade, that weird low-slung center at 300 Coit Rd., on the southernmost border of Richardson and Dallas.

Brizo is a venture from a group of neighbors including Reid Robinson, John Byrd, Dev Gaymes, Jason Fleming, and Jonathan Lacy, a partner at Barley House, who just want to bring something cool to the neighborhood.

"There's not much in the area, and we thought it would be nice to have a place like this near where we live," Robinson says. "It's a labor of love for our neighborhood."

Robinson is a well known figure in Dallas' local music and arts scene, both for his longtime profile as groovy DJ Woodtronic, and for his roles in arts organizations such as the media & events manager for Dallas' Arts District.

The space itself is a former doctor's office, which they've been renovating for the past four months.

"We're going for a 1960's Hollywood vibe," Robinson says. "We'll have events, maybe a little jazz every once in a while, and we're also going to support the local reading scene. We'll have a wall shelf of books, serving almost as a free library, and we already have a book club lined up to meet there."

The bar will have beer and wine, but craft cocktails will be the thing, overseen by Joe Liscano, formerly of Joule Dallas hotel restaurant Americano. They'll have bourbons, whiskeys, and infused vodkas, plus light snacks including charcuterie plates with cheese and meats from Jimmy's.

Their target opening date is February 22, but they'll have a soft opening prior to work out the kinks.

The group got their feet wet after they took over The Forum, a renowned dive bar located in the exact same shopping center.

"The Forum had been there since 1979," Robinson says. "It was on its last legs when we bought it in March. It was one of the oldest existing bars, and we bought it primarily so that it would still survive, because it would have gone out of business if we hadn't intervened. We remodeled it a little bit, but we didn't want to disrupt it too much for those regulars who've been coming since 1979."

To their delight, the Forum has prospered. But not everyone wants to hang at a dive bar.

"We have friends and neighbors who aren't dive bar people, so we wanted to provide something a little more streamlined, something with small plates and craft cocktails," he says. Enter Brizo.

"If you're an old-timer, you might remember Fair Park, where there was the juxtaposition of the Bar of Soap next door to the State Bar," he says. "The Forum is like the Bar of Soap, and Brizo is like State Bar. The Forum is a payphone, and Brizo is a princess phone."