Royal 38 is now open at The Union in Uptown. (Courtesy of Royal 38)
There are several signature cocktails on the Royal 38 menu, as well as the option for a tableside cocktail cart. (Courtesy of Royal 38)
Dishes at Royal 38 range from lobster corn fritters to chicken schnitzel. (Courtesy of Royal 38)
Royal 38 will be open for lunch, dinner, happy hour, and weekend brunch. (Courtesy of Royal 38)
Royal 38 comes from the same minds behind HIDE bar in Deep Ellum. (Courtesy of Royal 38)
At The Union’s newest bar, guests definitely get the royal treatment when it comes to the concoction of their favorite (or soon to be favorite) drinks. The concept, called Royal 38 (naturally), comes from HIDE bar’s Scott Jenkins and features handcrafted cocktails, American food, and a very sleek look — similar to the favorite Deep Ellum spot.
Royal 38 goes bigger than Hide in the space department (4,000 square feet), which includes two full-service bars on each level, raised, blue velvet booths, and several other sectioned off tables that allow for social distancing.
Like HIDE, Royal 38 takes great pride and care in crafting their drinks. Try not to get too overwhelmed by the cocktail menu — it’s huge but the bartenders are there to help. From classics to signature creations to even low ABV and non-alcoholic options, there is a ton to choose from. Drinks are also organized into categories: Spirited, Comforting, Refreshing, and Brave.
I stuck to “Refreshing” for most of the evening and tried both the Beach Body (low ABV) and Fistful of Daisies (a Signature). Both were enjoyable, but the latter — a mixture of spice gin blend, pear brandy, fino sherry, green-tea pineapple gomme, and absinthe — definitely had an extra kick. Always perusing my boyfriend’s choices, I also got a couple of sips of the Necromancer. A mezcal blend with elderflower, Madarin Napoleon, lillet blanc, and creme de cacao, it was the perfect mixture of smoky and smooth.
Our server was also helpful when it came to pairing cocktails with bites. The lobster corn fritters and chili sauced ribs matched deliciously with our drink choices for starters, and I can’t imagine the chicken Schnitzel going poorly with any beverage. The dish was massive, including two chicken breasts coated with panko breadcrumbs and lemon garlic butter, braised (bacon flavored) red cabbage, and truffle fries. I ended up eating the second half for breakfast the next morning (don’t judge me, it was really good).
And for desserts, Royal 38 has options like an ice cream covered in corn flakes and chocolate pecan pie in a jar, but we went with the key lime pie tarte pot. It was the right decision, but I am curious to come back and see what this Frosted Flakes-like ice cream is all about.
Royal 38 is now open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Happy Hour is from 4 pm to 6 pm from Tuesday through Friday.