The best bars are often the establishments that take one thing to heart and execute it to near-perfection. Places like the Mansion Bar (fancy like nobody else), Black Swan Saloon (stellar hand-crafted cocktails) or The Loon (drinks that may cause blindness) all have that one singular trait that makes them the top of their respective games.
When it comes to beer bars, the Common Table is certainly at the top of the list. There is a good, and increasing, selection of watering holes around Dallas devoted to craft beer, including Craft & Growler, Meddlesome Moth and Dallas Beer Kitchen. But, in the end, none of them touches the Common Table.
The Common Table is any kind of drinkery you need it to be; it’s the everything bagel of beer bars.
Well, at least that’s my opinion, but this is my column. So none of them touches the Common Table.
For a place that’s so devoted to finding the best craft beer across the country, the Common Table is an Uptown gem for its versatility. It is any kind of drinkery you need it to be; it’s the everything bagel of beer bars.
At the Common Table, I have, in no particular order, had a couple of rounds after work, gone on a good date with a pretty lady, watched the Rangers win on a walk-off home run, enjoyed brunch on the patio, wasted an afternoon on the patio, spent a night in the corner trading stories, seen Fish Fry Bingo tear down the walls, and gone on a bad date with a pretty(ish) lady.
I’ve slipped away from other bars at 1:30 am to find a few quiet minutes at the Common Table, where I can sit and drink a beer I’ve never had before and just breathe. It’s borderline therapeutic.
The Common Table does more than is required of a bar, and it does most of those things well — the food is okay. The setting in a house in Uptown is close enough to catch the scent of desperation wafting from Concrete Cowboy without ever indulging in it.
And that’s probably my favorite part: In the sea of sameness that is Uptown, the Common Table sits off in the corner, clean of all of it, as if none of it existed.
6th Street is for getting jammed in and waiting 15 minutes for a drink on Cedar Springs. Renfield’s is for getting jammed in and waiting 15 minutes for a drink on McKinney Avenue. Idle Rich Pub is for smoking too many cigarettes on the patio after getting jammed in and waiting 15 minutes for a drink on McKinney Avenue.
But when you step onto the patio of the Common Table, the rest of Uptown — the noise, the lines, the shots and the overwhelming effort — fades away, and you’re left with the kind of bar that knows what it is, and it is good.