A new bar in Dallas is championing an era that should never be forgotten. Called Shot Topic, it's a small Deep Ellum spot that celebrates punk rock, with a particular homage to Hot Topic, the mall chain that specializes in plaid kilts, rad hair color, and other punk and counterculture clothing and accessories.
Located at 108 South Crowdus St., in a small, long-vacant storefront next to Buzzbrews, the bar actually feels like a Hot Topic store: black light, vivid patches of neon, ska-style black & white checks, black walls with white graffiti band names, and a focus on punk and emo bands from the 2005-2012 era.
One wall features a display of band T-shirts, a total Hot Topic knockoff. Lights hanging from the ceiling are made from drums. Music is a major component, with massive video screens broadcasting vintage videos as well as DJs and karaoke nights. There is one concession to the present: a selfie wall with music instruments.
Shot Topic is from some of the same folks behind concepts such as Select Start including Corey Good, Danny Wilson, Jacob Cox, and Colton Kirby.
"I felt like Deep Ellum was missing a punk rock or a sing-along bar," Good says. "It's like Warp tour meets Hot Topic but it's a bar. It's a throwback to early 2000s rock and emo, where you can sing along and have drinks."
It's also very specifically a shot bar, with the drinks boasting punk rocky names: Taste of Ink with limoncello, the First Punch with Jim Beam & peach schnapps, What's My Age Again? — a skrewball topped with Red Bull — and Rich & Famous with 1942, Grand Marnier, and gold leaf.
"Everything in Deep Ellum is craft cocktails these days," Good says. "This is a shot-based menu, with custom drinks that get an extra edge from ingredients like edible glitter."
The bar even has a slogan: "It was never a phase," a droll reference to the 2020 viral video by pop-punk band All Time Low, in which singer says, "Mom, it was never a phase. It's a lifestyle."