As part of our Neighborhood Eats series, I have been tasked with the unenviable task of writing about the single best bar in Bishop Arts District. Teresa Gubbins got to pick six restaurants, and I can choose only one bar.
“So what is the best bar in Bishop Arts?” my friend asked me when I told him about this impossible assignment. Trick question, apparently. According to him, there’s no such thing, because Bishop Arts is bereft of any bars. Of course, this ignores places like Oak Cliff Social Club and Ten Bells Tavern.
The fact that Eno’s has been doing it since 2008, when craft beer in Dallas was a germ of an idea, gives the joint grandfather status.
One could argue that Ten Bells Tavern is a bar that serves better-than-average bar food just as easily as one could argue that it’s a restaurant with quality taps. Either way, I’m not writing about Ten Bells Tavern.
Instead, I’m going with what many consider to be one of the best pizza joints in Dallas, which also happens to serve excellent craft beers from across the country.
Eno’s Pizza Tavern isn’t a bar. I get that. There are two bars in the restaurant, but it is very much a restaurant first. Heck, the upstairs bar doesn’t even have a TV, which is, like, Bars 101.
Still, any place that serves pizza this good doesn’t need to carry a bunch of beers from Green Flash and Left Hand. Besides the permanent taps of local and national craft beers, Eno’s devotion to nearly 10 seasonal taps promises that each trip brings new discoveries.
It all sounds a bit tired these days —“Oh, look, 24 taps of craft beer. Yawn.”— but Eno’s decision to offer good beers upon opening paved the way for bars like Common Table and Meddlesome Moth and all the other places that Dallas beer drinkers hold dear.
The fact that Eno’s has been doing it since 2008, when craft beer in Dallas was a germ of an idea, gives the joint grandfather status. But Eno’s is the cool grandfather who sneaks you a drink at your cousin’s wedding and talks about the war. Which war? Doesn’t matter.
Bishop Arts, for all the talk of it maybe, just maybe, not being the hot spot in Dallas anymore, is still the kind of walkable neighborhood that eschews the snobbery of Uptown or West Village or the crunchiness of Lower Greenville. Eno’s anchors the neighborhood with its two-story brick building, complete with neon sign and funkier-than-Pottery Barn decor that makes it a place you can’t patronize wearing a Rangers T-shirt.
Plenty of soft lighting, rich woods, red brick and strategically placed indoor window walls give Eno’s the kind of atmosphere that could make Southern Living’s editors spill mint julep all over their seersucker jackets.
So, no, Eno’s is not a bar. It’s a pizza tavern that brought in craft beer when the rest of Dallas was beginning to learn that breweries that care more about the beer than the can are worth supporting. For me, that’s enough.