Dallas’ Historic House Bar Stands Strong as Uptown Dramatically Changes All Around It
Why an Evening at Bowen House Still Hits All the Right NotesBY Lee Escobedo // 02.05.19
Uptown's Bowen House is taking reservations for this weekend.
The Bowen House bar's building dates back to 1874. This is some major Dallas history.
The Barbados Slim is a stand-out on Bowen House's winter menu.
A new twist on the modern favorite finds Avocado toast complimented with zesty flavors.
When traversing the landscape of craft cocktails and mixology in North Texas, Uptown is often overlooked. Known as the hub for nightclubs and a specific testosterone-filled culture for years, the area has recently experienced a rash of closings of mainstay restaurants and bars
A survivor of the times, Bowen House has maintained ingenue and loyalty due to its willingness to experiment and offer top-tier food and drinks in an ever-evolving seasonal menu.
Uptown is now known as home to fine dining restaurants, Ferrings, Nobu, Uchi, Abacus and Javier’s, but Bowen House positions itself as a happy-hour friendly cocktail lounge also serving engaging and memorable food. Inside the historic house at 2614 Boll Street, dim lighting and an array of small artworks and prints line the wooden interior, casting a mood somewhere between speakeasy and casual comfort.
Named after Ahab Bowen, a farmer who moved to Dallas and helped establish what is known now as Uptown, the bar originally served as Bowen’s house. It was built in 1874. After phases as a feed store and mercantile, Bowen House reopened in its current conception in 2014.
As Dallasites have experienced a colder-than-usual winter, one where temperatures seemed to have dropped late in December and lasted far into January, the bar and restaurant has delivered an array of seasonal eats and drinks inspired to warm diners up.
Bowen House Picks
While traversing the menu start with the Elote Avocado Toast, a seasonal take on the ever-popular brunch favorite. A zesty blend of lime, creme, queso fresco, grilled corn and cilantro are stacked on top of thickly sliced toast, creating a textured layer of Tex-Mex flavors. If it’s cocktail o’clock, the bar now offers a dense Winter selection of spirit-heavy drinks. Pair the toast with the Barbados Slim, an aromatic cocktail designed by the bar staff featuring St. George spiced pear liqueur, Plantation OFTD rum, Amargo, Angostura Vallet, Orgeat and lemon.
Get your greens with the Fennel Apple Salad, a crunchy and crisp celery leaf base, paired best with chicken and drizzled with dijon-tarragon vinaigrette. The entree of choice was the Shrimp Curry Stir Fry, red coconut curry, vegetable medley, basil, cashew and sesame. The plate delivers a nice spice, built around hearty-sized shrimps amid a medley of veggies, seeds and nuts.
Bowen House has one of the more giving Happy Hours in town and the winter menu can be easily complemented with $5 gin and tonics and a splash of Topo Chico. Other options on the discounted Happy Hour menu include: vesper, bramble, daiquiri, Ward 8 and boulevardier. On any given weekday, there’s a hip, diverse crowd filling the bar’s dark wood interior and soft, dimly lit ambience.
As cocktail bars rise in prominence across North Texas, Bowen House has established itself as an eatery capable of sustaining trends, while evolving its menu. If the chilly weather has you finding refuge inside, Bowen House is a great place to cozy up with a cocktail and a chat.
Even as Dallas dramatically changes, some things remain the same.