Spring has sprung, and with it, hordes of ravenous Dallasites hungry for some vitamin D. Thankfully, a bevy of new joints with patios have opened since the last time we did this, and they're ready to be overwhelmed.
This rundown of the best new patios is Deep Ellum-heavy because it's finally realizing what Uptown has known: a neighborhood simply must have patios, or it's nothing. As always, your favorite has been left off the list on purpose.
Sam Wynne, Shannon's son, leads the beer super-group that recently opened this Deep Ellum brewpub. His partners are Jeff Fryman, formerly of Common Table, and Andrew Huerter, ex-brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing Co. BrainDead has the taps and the food, but it's that enormous patio that really stands out as soon as you walk up. The view of Adam Hats Lofts in front and the art inside remind you that you're squarely in Deep Ellum.
Cold Beer Company
Walking up to Cold Beer Co., you are presented with a dilemma: left or right? The answer: yes. CBC's renovated interior might provide shade to watch a game, but when the sun is shining, you've got to be on one of the two patios. They are the right combination of cozy and spacious and close to beer taps, and they anchor the other end of Main Street from BrainDead.
Cliff's Bar & Grill
Cliff's has The Loon's guts, but The Loon never had a patio. Although that was part of The Loon's anti-Uptown charms, it's hard to argue that Cliff's spacious front porch is a bad thing. For one, there's now seating for all the smokers, and the action on McKinney Avenue, near Urban Taco, So & So's and The Quarter, makes for good people watching. Yes, the drinks are still stiff.
Dallas might be about that patio life, but it's not the only city that knows the virtues of eating and drinking outside. West Village's Eureka feels like Wicker Park's Division Street in Chicago, thanks to a long and narrow outdoor space in the shade of buildings, with actual people moving about. It's the perfect spot to talk about how you wish Happy Endings was still on.
Forget the speakeasy hidden inside Henry's Majestic; there's no sun for you there. Instead, head outside to the patio, a legacy from former occupant Acme F+B. If it's a beautiful, bright day, the shady covering and lush foliage help keep you cool. On chilly spring nights, the fireplaces kick up to keep you warm.
Luscher's Red Hots
It's small and sparse, but Luscher's patio is the space (in Deep Ellum, of course) to saddle up and devour some sausage at one of the modern picnic tables. Owner Brian Luscher has revived a corner that had long been abandoned, and it's within eyeshot of Cane Rosso, the pizzeria by Jay Jerrier, a buddy of Luscher's who often uses his sausage on pizza specials.
The Shannon Wynne joint opened its Design District location in January, and right away people were buzzing about the burgers and beer selection. Now that it's not freezing outside, the patio is just as big of a draw. Sure, the city could clean up Turtle Creek more to make the view better, but the two outdoor spaces are right in line with that other ice house on Katy Trail.
This "roadside eatery" located in a former Sonic features a build-your-own burger bar and a soda fountain; they even bring in Sonic's famous crushed ice. But the real scene is outdoors, with garage doors that open onto an expansive patio festively lit with strings of lights.
With this second branch of their hip Smoke, owners Chris Jeffers, Chris Zielke and chef Tim Byres have transported a little bit of Oak Cliff all the way to Plano. This former Snuffer's feels like a West Texas abode with a stuccoed exterior, campfire motif and not one but two patios out front.