Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Venue review: The Foundry in West Dallas
We hope The Foundry becomes a music venue and not just a bar.
OAK CLIFF Chris Jeffers and Chris Zeilke, the dynamic duo behind Smoke and Bolsa, are making
Oak Cliff West Dallas a little more hip with their new watering hole The Foundry – their nod to Austin and and its live music scene.
Formerly the site of Jack’s Backyard, The Foundry picks up where the shuttered bar left off and turns it up to 11. Instead of having the outdoor stage as a side thought, Jeffers and Zeilke have made it the main attraction, which local bands should take advantage of while the weather is still agreeable.
The stage is a music lover's dream: It demands focus from the audience. A thing of art, the stage is built entirely out of repurposed wooden pallets that form an alcove around its subjects. The lights are angled just right to give it a down-home glow. Picnic tables scattered throughout the outdoor area and a few private bungalows made from semi-truck trailers make the audience area relaxed and noninvasive.
The Foundry ditches the mixology mindset and keeps it simple with local brews and the four major liquor groups: vodka, whiskey, tequila, and rum. The bar shares a backyard with Chicken Scratch, chef Tim Byres’ homestyle southern cookery that still needs some work. Despite the underwhelming menu, it's good for a bite if you're hungry and listening to some outdoor tunes. To the side of the gravel patio is a cactus garden and chicken wire fence, which adds to the kitsch of the place.
Yes, The Foundry is “hipster,” but it's also a great place to get your ears tickled with some live, local music. It boasts some premature praise from Travel and Leisure, which called The Foundry one of America’s best outdoor bars. Only open since the beginning of 2012, it's too early to call it one of America's best outdoor bars, but it certainly is a comfy Austin-like oasis that we don't have elsewhere in the city.
With a recognizable outdoor stage set in the coolest part of Big D surrounded by trees and a relaxed atmosphere, The Foundry could help boost the live music scene – that is, if Jeffers and Zeilke can book the right acts. These guys are stepping out of their usual restaurant fare and have a special spot to promote music and potentially cash in on the outdoor live music concept so popular in Austin. We hope that sooner rather than later, The Foundry is considered much more than just a bar.
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