A new restaurant aspiring to bring the best burgers, beer, and cocktails in Duncanville is coming to the buzzy downtown area in summer 2019. Called Mudhook Bar & Kitchen, it'll open at 100 S. Main St., in between Roma's and Rice Pot, as part of a building being refurbished by acclaimed developer Monte Anderson.
It'll be just two doors down from Black and Bitter Coffee, its coming-soon sibling, both from Bryan Kaeser, who previously owned Dallas Beer Kitchen on Greenville Avenue.
At Mudhook, Kaeser is taking all of the lessons he learned at DBK, as well as a treasured dish or two. The menu will be short but thoughtful, with burgers, sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and the like. Everything will be carefully prepared using fresh ingredients executed at a gourmet level.
"We want to be a step above," Kaeser says. "Most of the favorite restaurants in Duncanville right now are chain restaurants. I want to differentiate Mudhook from all those chains."
That means burgers topped with thick-cut bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion on buns supplied by Village Baking Company in Dallas; and a grilled chicken club, with chicken breast, pesto, avocado, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, and onion on Village Baking sourdough bread.
That means big crunchy onion rings, and hand-cut fries that are long and golden.
"Our fries are double-fried with the skin on," he says. "They're not skinny — they're 3/8-inch. We tried different sizes and different options including frozen fries, but nothing compares with a hand-cut fry."
He's just as finicky about the onion rings. "We use a flour batter, not corn meal, so it's almost like a tempura crust," he says. "They're light brown and crispy, with the sweet onion in the middle."
The grilled chicken club sandwich was one of their most popular items at DBK, which closed in 2018.
"It was always either our No. 1 or No. 2 seller," he says. "It's something that's a lighter option. Having both pesto and avocado is a little different, but the creaminess of the avocado really enhances the pesto flavor. With fries, it's a great meal."
His full bar will include 12 taps for beer, with four domestics and eight craft offerings.
"There's not much in the way of craft beer in Duncanville right now, but I feel like there are craft beer drinkers there who are driving to neighborhoods like Bishop Arts," he says. "Hopefully, I'm saving them a drive. And then for those people still drinking Bud Light, I hope to have beers that will pique their interest. One that I know people will try is Blood and Honey, and we'll take it from there."
They're finishing up construction and hope to open within another six to eight weeks.
"The color palette has some blues and grays and bright whites, with tiles, that makes me think of the coast somewhere," he says. "It's a small place, like a shotgun bar you might find in New York or Chicago, but with a coastal feel. We're installing a garage door on the front of the building, so it's light and airy, with a large patio as well. I want it to feel like you're not in Dallas."