In yet another sign of the near-apocalyptic dominance of craft beer, Sonny Bryan's has added a beer room to its original location on Inwood Road. Dubbed the Bryan Brewhouse, it serves Texas-brewed beers alongside its famous barbecue.
It has air-conditioning and a patio, and is open daily until 9 pm.
The beer selection includes a dozen beers by the bottle and two local beers on tap: Peticolas Velvet Hammer and Four Corners Local Buzz. Bottle options are broken into categories: lagers such as Lakewood Lager and St Arnold's Lawnmower; brown ales including Deep Ellum Double Brown and Shiner Bock; IPAs such as Deep Ellum and Lakewood Hop Trapp; blonde ales including Real Ale and Rahr and sons; and stouts like Lakewood Temptress.
This represents a major concession at this location, which has proudly maintained its profile as an unpretentious shack sitting on an open parking lot since it opened in 1958. The "dining room" consists of a narrow porch-like space with repurposed classroom desks for seating.
The fact that its first serious upgrade would be a beer room says a lot about the powerful force that craft beer has become. No operation in the land can remain in business without craft beer on its lineup.
"It used to be just four benches outside on the parking lot," says spokeswoman Joanne Yurich. "The space was so small, and with the weather you never knew what you were going to get. This is an enclosed air-conditioned space that comfortably seats 50. It has a big-screen TV and a private bar so you can also rent it out.
"It's a whole space they built there," she says. "They're supporting local breweries. "