Friday, October 4, 2013 , Updated 9:25 a.m., October 8, 2013
Music venue and restaurant The Rustic opens in Uptown this week
Though it's a large live music venue, the owners say they want to focus on food first.
DALLAS A 2,000-person backyard music venue and restaurant has quietly been finishing construction in a nook of West Village in Dallas' Uptown neighborhood. You can spy The Rustic from the frontage road of Central Expressway, just south of Lemmon Avenue.
The restaurant and bar is part-owned by Texas country singer Pat Green, and we envision it will be a frattier version of Stubb's in Austin. Besides Green, the other owners are Brian Manion, plus Josh Sepkowitz and Kyle Noonan of Free Range Concepts -- who run Bowl & Barrel at Shops at Park Lane, and Mutts, which is a few steps from The Rustic.
The Rustic will host about 20 "big" concerts a year, said Noonan, with smaller shows at least four days a week. The emphasis will be on local or Texas music, with musicians playing rock, jazz, pop, and, of course, country.
"Our goal is to bring in artists [20 times per year] that would typically have between 10,000 and 20,000 people, and do a more intimate, 2,000-or-under person show," Noonan said. "It really just kind of gives the crowd the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the artist and have a more intimate experience."
In that vein, Green will play two soft-opening concerts, on October 10 and 12. Details on that below.
But "first a foremost," The Rustic focuses on food, Noonan said. Former York Street chef Sharon Hage consulted on the menu, as she did with Bowl & Barrel, and the menu takes a down-home Texas approach, with items like quail, pork ribs, and, of course, steak. Starters include dishes with a Southwestern touch, like cactus fritters. The calf fries you'll see on the menu below are, yes, calf testicles.
The bar will serve local beers including Franconia, Deep Ellum, Four Corners, Community, Lakewood, Rahr and Martin House, in addition to other non-local Texas beers. Texas liquors like Red River Rye and Tito's make an appearance as well.
While the venue officially opens October 16, it's the days before it that are significantly more notable:
- October 10: sold-out Pat Green concert
- October 11: Concert TBA
- October 12: Texas/OU party watch party at 11 a.m., with a Pat Green concert at 2:30 p.m.
- October 13: "Sunday Funday" at The Rustic at 11 a.m., with music at 2:30 p.m.; Dallas Cowboys watch party at 7:30 p.m.
The standing-room size of The Rustic's lawn -- 2,000 people -- puts it much larger than across-the-highway live music venue the Granada, which holds just over 1,000 people at capacity. The Rustic is the only large, outdoor music venue in Uptown.
"We're not trying to compete with your concert venues here in town," Noonan said. "We're a restaurant/bar where people, the majority of the time, are going to come in, eat, drink; and occasionally, from time to time, we'll clear out the furniture and do a big concert."
Seated, The Rustic can accommodate 250 inside and about 300 outside.
The Rustic will be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to midnight, with lunch added in late October.