Last Call

Amsterdam Bar pours final beer after nearly two decades in Exposition Park

Amsterdam Bar pours final beer after nearly two decades in Expo Park

The Amsterdam Bar
Among the assets at Amsterdam Bar in Expo Park is a lovely patio. Courtesy of The Amsterdam Bar

The Amsterdam Bar in Exposition Park is closing, and it's on short notice: The last night is tonight.

The bar announced its closure with a Facebook update that read, "Well kids, It's a very special Bad Ass Jazz Night. Bobby Sparks is going to be closing it out. This is the last night for The Amsterdam Bar. It's been a hell of a run, and I thank you all! Come drink us out of house and home!"

Owner Mike Scheel told the Dallas Observer that he wants to make cider but isn't permitted by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission to do that and own a bar at the same time. (The TABC issues licenses for manufacturers, wholesaler/distributors and retailers.) He said he wasn't up for having a "long pity party."

 "On some level, I've become a victim of my own success," says owner Mike Scheel. "Craft beer is everywhere."

"It's almost 19 years now, and it's been fantastic, but I've reached a point where I need to move on," Scheel says. "I want to get into manufacturing cider and can't do that while being in retail."

His personal life has changed as well. "This area, 20 years ago when I was single, having a bar and living on top of it was great," he says. "But I have two young sons that are school age, so I need to put myself into an area with a good school district."

One of the many things Amsterdam did was pre-date the current craft beer boom.

"When I started out, there was basically myself, the guys at Flying Saucer and Feargal McKinney at Old Monk," he says. "Between us, if you weren't an Irish bar, you didn't have any imports.

"On some level, I've become a victim of my own success. Craft beer is everywhere: You can go to 1,000 places between your house and here and find it."

He sees vast potential in cider, which he says he's been dabbling in for a few years. "The cider world has changed quite a bit, and I'm excited about the idea of being on vanguard of producing it and changing perceptions," he says.