A vintage building in Old East Dallas that used to be a Tex-Mex place is about to become a neighborhood bar.
Called The Peak Inn, it's from two local bar veterans: Joel Morales, co-owner of Adair's; and Marc Hooper, formerly of Sundown and Elbow Room, and currently a partner in BoLeo's Taco Shack and a coming-soon backyard bar called Parry Ave.
Located at 132 N Peak St., this is the space that used to be Peak & Elm, the restaurant-tamale shop owned by the Moreno family, who relocated to Bryan Street in March.
Morales, who bought Adair's from owner Lois Adair in 2016 with his partner Marty Monroe, says he wasn't actively looking to open another bar, but couldn't resist the opportunity to create a quintessential neighborhood bar for an area that didn't have one.
"I like to say that we were a bar looking for a neighborhood," he says.
"We want to endear ourselves to the surrounding neighbors in Junius Heights and Peak Addition," he says. "We're also near Baylor Hospital and right across the street from the DART employee building. We were going to open at 4 pm, but DART has its shift change at 3:30 pm, so that's when we'll open instead."
They'll do basic cocktails, beers, and shots. They'll also have a small menu of bar food with about a dozen dishes that will be made on-site from scratch.
"We'll do a few things but do them well," he says. "It'll be mostly handhelds. There'll be a meatloaf sandwich, a chicken rolletini sandwich, a country-style rib sandwich, a pizza pot pie, a chicken Cobb salad, maybe tomato basil soup. And then maybe a spinach dip – something we can get out quick."
There'll be a burger, but it'll be a different burger than the famous one at Adair's. There'll also be at least one vegetarian item.
They're almost done a renovation and hope to be open by early to mid-November. To achieve that neighborhood bar feel, they've covered the windows to make the space dark and cozy. They'll have a game room with a pool table, Silver Strike arcade game, and a big TV.
"We won't have tables in that room, we want it to feel homey, so we'll have accent chairs, and if you want something to eat, we'll bring in TV trays," he says.
The music will be from a CD jukebox which holds 100 CDs. "We want to set the mood," Morales says. "I'll quote Marc Hooper here, who says that the hardest project was choosing which 50 CDs he wanted to add."
They'll turn on the TV for Cowboys games if people want, but it won't be a sports bar.
"When I think about what we're doing, I think about bars in cities like Chicago and Boston and San Francisco, especially Chicago, where you have a bar on every corner," he says. "We're in it for the long haul."