Last Friday I attended Henderson Ave. Country Club‘s second night of their three-day grand opening weekend, and it was AWESOME! This Texas country restaurant and bar serves as a breath of fresh air on the up-and-coming Henderson Ave. side of the Knox-Henderson neighborhood.
Taking the place of the old Tried and True, HACC sprouted up in just a few months after conception, and is planning to be around for the long term.
“Good bars have a 10 year shelf life, dive bars have a 30 year shelf life, and, if they’re lucky, clubs have three-year shelf life,” says Sarah Masterson, Regional Marketing Manager over HACC and its sister concepts, Henderson Tap House and McFadden’s. “We want to go the dive bar range without being a dive bar.”
Being that Henderson Ave. is known to be a transient area where restaurants and bars are popular for a little while and then fizzle out within just a few years or less, Masterson says HACC and Henderson Tap House will beat the odds for two reasons: their monster management staff who refuses to fail and the smarts of the owners who fill niches.
“We’re filling niches on Henderson. There wasn’t a true sports bar before Henderson Tap House and we filled that void last year when it opened. You have tacos with Velvet Taco, you have burgers with Jake’s and pizza with Fireside; barbecue was a void and we’ve now filled it,” says Masterson, who herself, along with the rest of the management staff, hails from the East coast.
Barbecue and Booze
A guy in North Texas built a custom smoker just for HACC’s use to concoct some scrumptious slow-smoked, deep-south edibles! While the food focus is BBQ with menu items such as Hand Sliced Brisket and Rack of Ribs, I look forward to the southern/cajun dishes like Catfish Burrito and and Bacon Mashed Potatoes & Gravy! At the grand opening, waitresses wearing flannel button-ups served trays of ribs, jalapeño sausage, hushpuppies and black bean hummus atop pita bread triangles, but my favorite was the Armadillo Egg Rolls – filled with chopped brisket, corn, black beans, onions and cheese, and served with a Sriracha cream.
“Our kitchen isn’t filled with a bunch of line cooks,” says Masterson, as she gloats about HACC’s new Arkansas-native chef Sean Hill, who previously cooked for Marriott and various Restaurants-America Inc. concepts. “Anyone can do wings and burgers–we need to be a foodie bar.”
A great compliment to their diverse food menu is their wide variety of spirits with a heavy focus on bourbon and whiskey. The bar is adorned with a luscious display of brown liquors, with everything from Jack Daniel’s to Pappy Van Winkle. Beer snobs will appreciate the 30 different canned beers from local, national and micro brewers all under one Texas roof. In addition, HACC will feature original craft cocktails created by Mixologists Kyle McClard and Stephan Hernandez; one of my favorites already is their spin on a traditional Old Fashioned made with Slow & Low whiskey, a dash of Angostura Bitters, Orange Bitters, and Peychaud Bitters.
The six flags to fly over Texas adorning the walls, the dividing wall made of wood from a torn down fence, the hardwood floor reclaimed from an old church and a Redneck sign from a local junkyard that’s mounted above the band stage, solidify HACC’s true Texas motif! There are seven flatscreen TVs surrounding the place that will make it a must-go to watch sports games. Don’t miss the retro pinball machine in the back corner and no real neighborhood bar is complete without its video poker machine! A small stage to the right of the entrance will showcase local country acts for live entertainment! Say bye-bye to the street-facing shrubbery that kept Tried and True so hidden, as HACC cut them down to open up the entrance and patio.
It may be a country bar but’s still a Dallas bar so they’ll soon be hosting brunch which will include massive farmhouse plates of food like my favorite, chicken and waffles! HACC knows it’s not brunch unless there’s mimosas and bloody marys so they’re offering a $10 mimosa deal where you get a personal bottle of champagne and a carafe of OJ, and bloody marys starting at $5!
HAPPY HOUR EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS! Monday – Thursday from 4pm-8pm, Friday and Saturday from 3pm-9pm and Sundays from 7pm-close will feature $3 cans, drafts (served in red solo cups) and select bourbon & whiskey cocktails! During any of these time frames you can also sip on their signature cocktails for $7!
Thank you sweet baby Jesus for Henderson Ave. Country Club opening right in my neighborhood. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out this weekend, definitely hit it up soon and enjoy the rejuvenation of the Henderson Ave. entertainment scene!