Country Club Life
Dallas' Henderson Avenue gets a honky-tonk fueled by beer and barbecue
A new venue serving barbecue and honky-tonk music is coming to Henderson Avenue in Dallas, from a team whose portfolio includes the McFadden's chain and the Mason Bar in Uptown, as well as nearby Henderson Tap House.
Called Henderson Avenue Country Club, it will take over the space vacated by Nick Badovinus' Tried and True, and it will open the first week of January 2015.
"There's not a lot of barbecue places in Uptown, so we're excited to bring that," says Erik Franke, manager at Henderson Tap House.
Martin Corboy and Tim McEvilly are managing partners in McFadden's, which has branches in Chicago, New York, San Diego, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburg and Las Vegas — and on Belt Line Road in Addison, where they executed a remodel of the old Rock Bottom Brewery space.
The name "country club" might initially sound misleading, but the emphasis is on country, as in country music. The role model is the classic honky-tonk of Nashville's Broadway Avenue, McEvilly says: sawdust on the floor but classy, with craft cocktails, live music and sports.
Overseen by Tap House chef Ben Ramirez, the menu will have a barbecue focus, including the use of a custom-made smoker. Starters include armadillo egg rolls, with brisket, corn, black beans, onions and cheese; "hillbilly charcuterie" will have pickle chips, pickled jalapeños, fried green tomatoes, smoked Gouda, pimento cheese, smoked pork belly and brisket with Saltines.
Catfish will come crusted in cornmeal or blackened Cajun-style. There also will be chicken-fried steak, pork chops, ribs with bacon-mashed potatoes, and smoked quail with habañero cheddar grits. Desserts include house-made pies.
Drinks by mixologists Kyle McClard and Stephan Hernandez include a spicy ginger margarita, plus bourbon and whiskey, some served straight from wooden casks. Six beers on tap will rotate with special editions; other brews come in 30 canned beer options from local and national breweries.
The entertainment will be as important as the food and drink, McEvilly says.
"We'll have live music, both local and touring acts, including an acoustic showcase every Tuesday hosted by CMT's Troubadour, TX star Guthrie Kennard," he says.
On Sundays, Blackbox Concerts will organize a "story series" with writers, storytellers and musicians paying homage to classic country artists.
If all goes as planned, the venue will host a weekend of opening parties from January 8-10. "We don't have the details yet, but we'll share that on our Facebook page," McEvilly says.