Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Photos: Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill opens in Dallas May 15
With beer served in Mason jars and a fried bologna sandwich topped with Miracle Whip.
DALLAS The Dallas branch of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill is set to open on May 15, going into a portion of the space that was once occupied by the AMC Grand, on the southwest corner of 35E and Northwest Highway.
It's a mega-entertainment complex that combines restaurant, performance venue, and sports bar, says manager Rick Gust. The 32,000-square-foot facility seats 800 diners, with a capacity of 2,000 for live music acts. Live music runs from Wednesdays through Saturdays, with singer-songwriter Shane Thomas as the inaugural act; he'll be performing May 16-19.
It's somewhat similar to a Billy Bob's kind of deal, although far smaller in scale. I Love This Bar did manage to snag a few Billy Bob's staffers.
The Dallas branch is one of four that's "coming soon" for the chain, along with Folsom, Chicago, and Virginia. That'll bring the number of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grills to 12, plus a trio owned by a different entity, with locations in Oklahoma and at the WinStar World Casino.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill -- which is possibly the worst name in the world for a restaurant-bar? Even when it occasionally goes by the shortened "I Love This Bar"? Let's nickname it "TKILTB&G" -- is known for three things:
- Beer and beverages served in Mason jars
- "Whiskey Girls" -- servers who wear black tank tops and denim cut-offs
- Fried bologna sandwich
"The fried bologna sandwich is one of Toby's trademarks," Gust says. "There's also the Fried Twinkie dessert. But the menu is comfort food, with chicken-fried steaks, burgers, salads, and sandwiches."
The fried bologna sandwich is seared with onions and American cheese, topped with Miracle Whip, and served on garlic toast, for $8.99. Starters include bar food standards such as mozzarella sticks, fried zucchini with Ranch, fried pickle spears, wings, spinach-artichoke dip, potato skins, chili con queso, and nachos. But there's also a tortilla soup and a Cobb salad.
The restaurant is open at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. on weekdays; midnight on weekends. There's a smaller afterhours menu for the bar. Cocktails are made with Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort.
TKILTB&G's space is pretty barn-like, with a few notable motifs. At the entrance, you face a wall of barrels and gleaming expanses of corrugated tin. The space is broken into rooms, with a stage and dance-floor in the back and a TV room off to the right.
"We have more than 60 TVs, so we're a sports bar, too," Gust says.
Looming over the bar is an 85-foot guitar shaped cut-out that brings to mind the Starship Enterprise.
Eventually, the venue will host national/touring acts such as Cody Robbins and Jack Ingram, Gust says.
"In the future, we'll have acts come in once a month, but probably not until late summer," he says. "We don't need the exposure from that quite yet -- we'll be busy enough."
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