On the cold end of Deep Ellum, where nothing seems to move at night, there is a small concrete island that sits between empty lots and rundown buildings. It’s the edge of the neighborhood, away from the action of Main and Elm, an unofficial border between Deep Ellum and Exposition Park.
There’s a quietness to the streets, as cars move on to point B, and the people have been dropped off at their lofts already. Even the open vape shop down the street — the only neon lights around — is still. At night, it can feel like a spot of Dallas that’s escaped the process of time.
Cold Beer Company ignores the current trend of naming bars after ideas or motifs. There’s no confusion about this place’s focus.
It used to be that Double Wide was the only place to grab a drink over here, but now, on this island between two neighborhoods, there is Cold Beer Company. The blue light of its sign draws people east on Main, offering the promise of beer. Cold beer.
Cold Beer Company ignores the current trend of naming bars after ideas or motifs, and that straightforward attitude is refreshing. There’s no confusion about this place’s focus.
The spot, which formerly housed Vern’s Place, was renovated into a comfortable space with cement floors and a glass-paned garage door. There’s a bar, a few long tables, a few more four-tops, a couple of TVs and that’s it. The size invites a more dive-bar feel than the Uptown gargantuans Katy Trail Ice House and The Rustic, and the crowd inside steers away from yuppiness, but there’s an undeniable kinship.
Of course, there is cold beer. The 24 taps feature a rotating cast of local breweries like Peticolas, Lakewood and Community, as well as out-of-state big hitters like Founders and Ballast Point; the canned selection is an equal mix of North Texas and farther-flung. There are a few cocktails, but the focus, as the name will tell you, is on cold beer. In case you were still confused.
It’s near-freezing when I stop by, and the only people exploring the two expansive patios are smokers staying close to the heat lamps and a woman who appears to be writing a novel by hand. But when the garage door opens in warmer weather and people flock here for day drinking, Cold Beer Company triples in size. The patios can’t compete for largest in the city, but the lot’s space is used well, without needlessly adding on or destroying the building the came before it all.
It’s probably because the building has been around so long that Cold Beer Company, despite its being open only four months, feels like an anchor between Deep Ellum and Exposition Park. It feels lived in — as if there are stories quietly echoing off the walls — and the cold blue signage is shining bright, beckoning people to have a beer and hear them.