Wednesday, December 12, 2012
First look: World of Beer near SMU functions as both bar and retail store
Yes, you can drink at the bar, then purchase and walk out with a sealed six-pack.
DALLAS World of Beer is accurately named. The new bar opened Tuesday on the budding promenade of SMU Boulevard, neighboring Torchy’s Tacos. Dallasites will find more than 500 different beers, 41 of which are available on tap.
Better still, the offerings change very regularly.
“We only keep one keg of everything,” Ballesteros said on opening day. “There are a few beers that we have in stock constantly, such as Guinness or St. Bernard’s, but for the most part our offerings change day to day.”
World of Beer’s newest location – second in DFW to the one in Arlington – is modest yet inviting with a dark wood finish on the tables and countertops, and comfortable leather bar stools. The ambiance is similar to an English tavern, with one exposed brick wall that houses all the bottled beers. Beer coolers extend from front of house to back in a nearly overwhelming rainbow of labels, both local and imported. Think of it as a cross between The Old Monk and Christies Sports Bar.
The space can hold a maximum of 78 people, but those uninterested in sitting down to enjoy a cold brew do not have to. Unlike the Arlington location, World of Beer Dallas also has a retail space where patrons can buy single beers or mix 'n' match a six-pack. The price is paid per beer and discounted 30% from the menu tag. Through a special “on premise” license, Ballesteros said World of Beer functions as both a bar and convenience store, subject to the rules of both.
“We have to stop selling to go at 12 a.m., just like other retailers. But we have another permit that allows us to stay open until 2 a.m.,” he said.
Ballesteros said his company targets the young professional demographic, namely ages 25 to 40, but also extends welcome to underage students. World of Beer is open every day at noon to serve lunch and snacks such as bratwursts, sausages, pretzels, and onion rings. The bar also has free WiFi so nearby SMU students can study or do homework. But past 7 p.m., it's 21 and up only.
A former manager of a dance hall in San Antonio, Ballesteros is not worried about underage kids becoming an issue. The Fort Myers, Florida World of Beer is adjacent to a university, he said, and has become a staple of the community.
“If we can spread craft knowledge to the young people, it is going to help us in the long run,” he said. Especially in an area with growing local craft brewing scene.
Manager Manny Ballesteros: Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale (bottle)
Pegasus Picks: Boulevard Harvest Dance Wheat Wine (draft) or the Red Monk -- a mixed beverage featured St. Bernard's Abt 12 with a splash of Lindemans Framboise (Raspberry)
It has nine flat screen televisions playing sports, live acoustic bands on the second story stage, and daily promos. Ballesteros encourages visitors to utilize the World of Beer bartenders, who are encyclopedias of beer knowledge. Samples and “beer shots” that come served on sample paddle will also help patrons sift through the extensive menu. (It’s about 12 notebook-sized pages.)
On Monday nights, service industry personnel receive half off select drafts after 7 p.m. Tuesdays, “loyalty members” who enroll with a one-time fee of $15 (includes a free T-shirt!) receive 25% off all bottles. Wednesdays discount university students and staff with valid identification. And ladies receive half off wine and selected drafts Thursday nights. The bar does not house any liquor options.
Opening week, World of Beer has live music every evening. Check the website for a full list of performers.
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