Restaurants / Openings

Dallas’ Hottest New Coffee Shop Doubles as a Craft Beer Haven — and Boasts Its Own Robot: High Tech Meets Neighborhood Charm at Civil Pour

BY // 10.09.18

Chad and Nellie Montgomery opened coffee shop and beer hall combo, Civil Pour, at 8061 Walnut Hill Lane in North Dallas just a month ago and it’s already creating quite a ruckus. As husband and wife, and the founders of Big Texas Beer Fest, the couple accomplished their goal of supporting craft beer year-round after three years of work.

As soon as you walk into Civil Pour, there’s a futuristic vibe. Spacious and bright, garage-door-style windows allow in a ton of natural light. When you approach the bar, a high-tech automatic pour-over machine and the first growler-filling station in Texas immediately catch your eye.

When I came into chat with owner, Chad Montgomery, I first ordered a Guatemalan pour-over and watched in awe as the coffee robot did its thing. I’m a former barista and current coffee addict so I thought this was really cool. As we sat down with our coffees, which include the extra bit of pour-over in a separate carafe, I immediately noticed the massive elephant mural (by Los Angeles-based artist Chris Saunders) that takes over an entire wall.

“It represents the fact that elephants never forget someone,” Chad says. “That’s how we want to be with our customers. We want to remember their names.”

Chad comes from an IT background and is a self-proclaimed tech-nerd. There’s a bigger reason for all of the technology incorporated into the shop than it just being cool to look at.

“We want to use technology tools to make interaction between customer and barista better,” Chad says. The quicker the process, the more time for conversation with customers.

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Nellie also applied her architecture background to enhance the customer experience. It was her idea to lower the coffee/beer bar, which lessens the barrier. It’s also handicap accessible, which applies to the entire shop as well.

A Background in Beer

After seven years of the Big Texas Beer Fest, the Montgomerys know their beer. As I read through the current draft beer menu, I realized that I didn’t recognize any of them. I’m no beer connoisseur, I like to stick to my Revolver Blood & Honey, but I do know a little. Turns out, this is on purpose.

“We rotate beers constantly and it’s draft only,” Chad says. “We find beer that isn’t sold in bottles and cans.”

The goal here is to try new things and Civil Pour makes it easier. All beer can be taken to-go in a 16-ounce crowler can or 32 or 64-ounce growlers. And with the fancy growler station, you don’t have to worry about the beer being exposed to oxygen and going bad.

As for the coffee, roasters will be switched out about once a month. Currently, Novel Coffee is being served and is the local roaster for espresso drinks. The Warlock is a must-try latte and includes agave, cinnamon, chocolate and a touch of cayenne pepper. Starting at the end of this month, Victrola Coffee from Seattle will be pouring.

Civil Pour Dallas
As soon as you walk into Dallas coffee and beer haven Civil Pour, there’s a futuristic vibe.

Of course Civil Pour has a pumpkin spice latte, but something that Chad is really looking forward to this season is the pumpkin oatmeal cranberry cookie, which is coming soon. He also showed some real dedication when looking for a Cuban sandwich to add to the menu.

“I went all over the country to look for the best Cuban sandwich,” he says.

He settled on smoky pulled pork from Pecan Lodge, tasso ham, munster cheese, house pickles, stone ground mustard and mayo for the perfect Cuban.

“There are a lot of places that are coffee shops that serve some beer and wine at night, but we are half beer, half coffee,” Chad says. The commitment to both makes Civil Pour a great spot for lovers of each. Oh, and they also serve wines that were handpicked, on top of everything else.

For 1 pm on a Friday, there was a decent crowd. Some chatting and drinking beer, others getting work done on their laptops, and myself, pleasantly sipping on coffee and writing notes.

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