Drinking Diaries

PhD in Oak Cliff fulfills your sports bar needs but little else

PhD in Oak Cliff fulfills your sports bar needs but little else

PhD Bar
PhD in Oak Cliff, sibling of Fort Worth's Pour House, is one of only a few sports bars in the neighborhood. Photo by Conner Howell
PhD Bar, Pour House Dallas
PhD has a bar area, covered patio and a back room for whatever type of sports-viewing experience suits you. Photo by Conner Howell
PhD Bar, Pour House Dallas
The patio has two long tables ideal for large groups.  Photo by Conner Howell
PhD Bar
PhD Bar, Pour House Dallas
PhD Bar, Pour House Dallas

The Pour House in Fort Worth has been around since the mid-’90s, so owner Eric Tschetter has had some time to figure out the whole sports bar experience.

His latest venture, Pour House Dallas (or PhD), opened in September on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. But there was an initial hiccup — namely, PhD did not have a liquor license.

When the bar opened, it was BYOB, with a $5 set-up fee for any patron looking to partake. We abstained from visiting until the liquor license came through, to give it a fair shake.

 PhD makes its 12 taps count. In addition to the expected, there are microbrews from the area (Deep Ellum, Peticolas and Rahr & Sons) and across the country.

It should be mentioned that outside of Oak Cliff Social Club, PhD is the only sports bar in the area, so if you’re looking for a place near the Bishop Arts District devoted to watching sports and drinking, then those are your options.

Within PhD itself, there is a spacious bar area inside, back room and patio. We chose the latter, with four flat-screens and view of Davis Street. Two high-top tables in the middle are good for groups.

Surrounding those large tables are about 10 four-tops with less-than-good views of the TVs. In fact, from where we sat, it was impossible to see any of the TVs without turning sideways, which meant that either conversation or game-watching was compromised.

As an aside, we tried the Pour House burger with a ton of stuff on it: mushrooms, bacon, jalapeños. Our palates are not nearly as refined as our colleague Teresa’s, but suffice to say we ate the whole thing and didn’t want to eat again for about 15 hours.

But bar food is not what this column is about. It’s about alcohol. Unfortunately, this is also where PhD comes up a bit short.

This place is called the Pour House, but it has only 12 beers on tap. We’re not suggesting that every bar needs 50 taps, but a sports bar thrives on beer, and a great sports bar ought to aim for higher than a dozen.

 ​With a neighborhood bar like this one, sometimes it’s not the beer selection or the number of TVs or the burger that makes it great. It’s the company.

But PhD does make those 12 taps count. In addition to the expected — Bud Light, Dos Equis — the rest are microbrews from the area (Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Peticolas and Rahr & Sons) and across the country. However, it does us no good when the Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest is out.

Matters were further complicated when our colleague Rachael ordered a Blue Moon Pumpkin in the bottle only for our waitress to come back five minutes later to tell us they were out of it.

Pour House has an extensive list of spirits, and although none of the prices is astronomical, $6 for a well drink is toeing the line, especially when nicer scotches and whiskeys cost only a couple of bucks more.

It may sound like we didn’t like PhD, but it might be more accurate to say we’re not sure it’s worth the drive for us. Then again, we don’t live in a sports bar-starved neighborhood.

We could also chalk up these missteps to opening pains. Of course, with a neighborhood bar like this one, sometimes it’s not the beer selection or the number of TVs or the burger that makes it great. It’s the company.

So we say find a few of your favorite people and head to PhD for a few beers, a game and some conversation. You have our permission to quibble about our quibbles, if you want.