SMU Bar Scene

New Dallas bar gives SMU set a patio for miles and miles

New Dallas bar gives SMU set a patio for miles and miles

Beer tap at a bar
The Seven Five bar will open in the former Nodding Donkey space in early 2017.  iStock

A new bar with a patio to beat all patios is coming to one of SMU's main drags. Called the Seven Five, a nod to Central Expressway nearby, the bar will open in early 2017 in the former Nodding Donkey space, which closed in May.

Owner Aaron Morrison is a food and beverage veteran who recently sold Lantern St. Grill, the Plano bar he opened in 2014, and whose previous experience includes Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Resort.

He knew he wanted to open a bar in Dallas; it was just finding the right location. The Nodding Donkey space has all the things a bar serving eclectic pub and American cuisine with cocktails and beer on tap could want: a convenient location off US 75; proximity to the SMU campus; garage doors that create an open-air ambience; and a newly built patio.

The Seven Five will also bring beer back to an area that lost it when World of Beer across the street went out of business (Verts Mediterranean Grill took over that spot). There'll be about 24 beers on tap, with basic beers, local brews, and a couple of novelties. But the Seven Five will not follow WOB's overly crafty approach.

"This street is mostly populated by college kids, and they're not that interested in $7 beers," Morrison says.

His menu will bring some of the delicacies he served at Lantern.

"There'll be pizza, burgers, wings, Cuban sandwiches, and our signature dish, beer-battered fried mushrooms," he says. "It'll be a nice place but with a dive bar sensibility, in that we'll do happy hours, special events, and things like karaoke. We'll just be a nice neighborhood bar."

Oh, and the patio, it will wrap around two sides of the building. "As you drive down the street, you'll be able to see through the windows and see the inside, with everything going on," he says.