A new craft beer spot is coming to Deep Ellum in the fall with some serious credentials. Called Dot's Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard, it's from a team of guys who've carved out a reputation for craft beer excellence in Denton at spots such as Lucky Lou's, EastSide Denton and the highly respected craft beer emporium, Oak Street Draft House.
Owners Lou Delaney, Jeff Brightwell and brothers John and Paul Williams are University of North Texas guys who'd been thinking about doing a project in Dallas, when the timing and location for Dot's magically came together.
"When I think about all the shows I saw there in the '90s, it's great from a nostalgic perspective," says Brightwell. "And [landlord] Scott Rohrman was willing to allow us to offer access from either side, either Main Street or Commerce."
He's especially excited about the beer garden, which he dreams of as an idyllic oasis. "I've got a bit of a green thumb," he says. "For our beer garden, I envision a modern-day Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I want to have this nice green space."
The menu will be designed by chef Rodman Shields, general manager at Common Table and an experienced hand at pairing food with drink.
"It's not even close to being finalized yet, but we do have some ideas," he says. "It's not going to be food you can't pronounce, that's not what we're going for. But it's also not going to be hot wings in a red plastic basket. It'll be somewhere in between. That's why we call it 'American fare with Texas flair.' It'll have some uniquely Texas things."
This makes the third craft-beer destination for Deep Ellum, which already has the Deep Ellum Brewing Co. brewery and the brewpub BrainDead Brewing.
"We love those guys, but they're making their own beer, which we won't do," Brightwell says. "We haven't talked to them, but I would love to grow hops in our beer garden and give them to BrainDead for a beer with true local ingredients."
Brightwell, who grew up in east Texas and now lives in Dallas, is a fan of the Big D.
"I've always loved Dallas, I thought it was great," he says. "We want this place to celebrate this city and be champions of this city. That's the direction we're going: a little bit bar, a little bit museum."
Which brings us to the name. "Dot is my mother's nickname," Brightwell says. "The way I look at it, there are three things all Texas boys love: where they're from, cold beer, and their moms."