Drinking Diaries

Ten Bells Tavern fuses pub and patio life for Bishop Arts bliss

Ten Bells Tavern fuses pub and patio life for Bishop Arts bliss

There’s something about gravel and long, wooden tables that makes the throat need a beer. Perhaps it’s an ancestral predisposition that’s carried through the generations.

Maybe it’s because the imagery harkens to the country and the idea that a small river is babbling just behind the trees. For lack of natural water, we make do with man’s greatest invention.

It could be that the crunch of stones under foot is how a god might feel walking the Earth — so immensely powerful that the world cannot support it — and a god would definitely drink a beer.

Regardless of the reason, Ten Bells Tavern provides the beer to match its gravel and long, wooden benches behind the aluminum-sided pub.

 The patio is a quiet, secret garden full of people chatting and drinking. If you listen hard enough, it sounds like the gurgles of a river just behind the trees.

Situated a block from the heart of Bishop Arts, Ten Bells feels like a quiet slice of small-town Colorado that managed to escape to Texas. From the outside, the bar is nearly imposing — a squat, windowless monolith that offers no suggestion of what one might find inside.

It’s a bit strange that Ten Bells Tavern takes its name from a London pub named Ten Bells that’s been around in some form for nearly 300 years. Compared to the urban chaos of a London street and the classic architecture of the buildings, Ten Bells Tavern is as abstract a pub as it comes.

Inside, Ten Bells is far smaller than the exterior suggests. A handful of tables against the wall and a few more in the middle of the diminutive room seat maybe 20 people. A snaking bar yields a strong beer selection of craft beers — a requisite these days for any drinkery that didn’t come about in the Clinton administration.

The rich burgundy walls give the room a warmth that would be reminiscent of a typical English pub if it weren’t for the gaping entrance to the patio.

As surprisingly cozy as the interior is, the patio feels like a different world altogether. While other gravel-induced patios like Katy Trail Ice House or The Foundry opt for pasture-like expanses, Ten Bells’ patio provides for plenty of patrons without sacrificing privacy.

With lush thickets surrounding the area, the patio is secluded from the rest of Bishop Arts, and it’s entirely possible to forget where you are for a second. There are no indications that you might be in a developed neighborhood in a large city.

It is a quiet, secret garden full of people chatting and drinking. If you listen hard enough, it sounds like the gurgles of a river just behind the trees.

The dichotomy between the inside and outside allows for multiple moods to enjoy Ten Bells. Want to sit at a pub inspired by a centuries-old London establishment and work away at a drink in relative quietness? This can be done. And if you want to escape Dallas for a second and pretend that you and your friends have absconded to Salida, Colorado? Ten Bells Tavern has you.

Ten Bells Tavern in Dallas
A corrugated aluminum-sided pub inspired by a 300-year-old British pub that also happens to have a Colorado-esque patio? Sure, why not. Ten Bells Tavern/Facebook
Chicken wings at Ten Bells Tavern in Dallas
Ten Bells Tavern does a full menu  of upscale bar food plus weekend brunch. Ten Bells Tavern/Facebook