Is December the right time to break out patio news? In Dallas, yes, where patios are relevant 24-7 — especially when the patio is as major as the one you'll find at Toller Patio Bar, an exciting new venture from the team behind Hide in Deep Ellum.
Hide proprietor Nick Backlund and beverage director Scott Jenkins have partnered with Lauren Corr, a young lawyer and entrepreneur, to launch this restaurant-bar with an amazing patio at 3675 Ross Ave. Opening is planned for spring 2019.
The restaurant is named for a dog that belongs to attorney Marisa Jeffrey, the fourth partner in this project; her pup is a Toller, a unique and photogenic member of the retriever family. Having him as their namesake and mascot helps reinforce the dog-friendly vibe that Toller will possess.
Corr helped Backlund negotiate his lease three years ago. Hide's combination of creative cocktails and upscale comfort food have earned it a loyal following and plenty of critical nods such as Eater's 2018 Reader's Choice award for best bar in Dallas.
The bar was also recently chosen as the Dallas location for the 2018 "Miracle," a pop-up series that takes over the world's buzziest bars with over-the-top Christmas decor, themed cocktails, and good cheer.
After witnessing Hide's success in Deep Ellum, Corr invited Backlund and Jenkins to partner on a casual outdoor-focused bar and restaurant, in a vacant lot right across the street from where the cool old DISD headquarters used to be.
Construction is underway on a building that will boast a modern, mid-century aesthetic. But the big thing is the patio: an enormous 12,000-square-foot space that will feature food, games, and of course dogs.
Ross Avenue has undergone a massive makeover with apartment buildings, a Waffle House, and the random bar or two, but so far no one has staked a claim to be patio king.
Toller Patio will specialize in a few things, Backlund says.
Cocktails on tap. They'll have a record-setting dozen cocktails on tap. This is a continuation of a program they've enjoyed success with at Hide where they've unlocked the right formula on how to be able to pour them like beer while keeping them fresh and tasty. They'll also have a wide selection of beer and high-quality wines.
Carefully designed menu with from-scratch food. They don't claim to be making Mansion-level food, but their approach is definitely to use the best ingredients in dishes in which they'll shine.
Their burgers are half-pound patties made from a blend of chuck and brisket, and come in varieties such as the classic cheeseburger with white American cheese, grilled onions, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, and house aioli; bacon-cheddar ranch with shredded lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing; and the "sweet and spicy" with jalapeno slices, fried egg, pepper jack cheese, and peach jam.
Party platters come in options such as boiled shrimp, chicken tenders, wings, or a choice of all three, with sauces such as crazy hot, teriyaki, or lemon pepper.
Entertainment. That includes a portable stage on the patio for live music, plus outdoor games and big-screen TVs.
Patios are popular, for sure, but when they extend for 12,000 square feet, the options seem endless. "There'll be enough room to do a lot of things," Backlund says.