Restaurants / Openings

The Rise of the Members-Only Tequila Lounge in Dallas

Exclusive New Bars To Enjoy — and Discover — Additive-Free Agave Spirits

BY Alex Gonzalez // 07.03.24

Dallas’ hottest spots have everything: Good food, captivating photography, the best people at the helm, and of course, tequila. And now, the city’s first two members-only tequila lounges are honing in on the agave spirit — with an exclusive twist.

This past May, Chido Taco Lounge opened its second location in Dallas’ Walnut Hill neighborhood. While its original Frisco location boasts quality tacos, cocktails, and Latin dishes, the new Dallas-proper location has all that, plus an exciting tequila bar addition upstairs. Later this year, another members-only tequila lounge from This and That Hospitality (Ferris Wheelers, Double Ds, Tiny Victories) is debuting on Fitzhugh Avenue. Here’s a deep dive into both distinct spaces. 

Custom Dallas
Members-only tequila lounges are a new thing in Dallas. (Photo by Kevin Marple)

Members-Only Tequila Lounge #1: Customs

On the second level of Chido Dallas, this cozy tequila lounge is bedecked with captivating photography, cinematic lighting, and a gorgeously arranged bar. Inspired by owner Blaine McGowan’s travels to Jalisco, Mexico, Customs offers an extensive collection of additive-free tequilas, something he became passionate about after learning of the alcohol category’s lack of sweetener transparency. Notable labels include Fuenteseca, El Tesoro, and Atanasio. 

“What we learned with the first Frisco location is that people want that tequila education,” McGowan tells PaperCity

During his trips to Jalisco, McGowan connected and built relationships with local tequila producers, including Sergio Mendoza, a master distiller at Don Fulano and a fifth-generation agave farmer. 

“The story [Mendoza] wants to tell with his tequila is different than what anybody else is doing,” says McGowan. “He’s taking these tequilas and aging them for seven, nine, all the way up to 21 years. And then they blend these barrels and come up with a symphony of flavors, unlike anything anybody else is doing.”

Chido Taco Lounge
Customs is offering additive-free tequila on the second floor of Chido Taco Lounge. (Photo by Kevin Marple)

The Customs Membership Process

The application to become a member of Customs is an interactive one, allowing prospective members to note what they enjoy drinking so staffers can curate shots, flights, drinks, and pairings. A locker will be available for members to rent and place orders for bottles from the lounge’s unique collection of hard-to-find tequilas you won’t see at the grocery store. 

“Here in America, it’s like, ‘How can I make as much money as I can?’ ‘I want to be the biggest company out there,’” says McGowan. “And in Mexico, they don’t think that way. It’s a much slower way of life and it’s so interesting to me.”

Si Si Si Dallas
From This and That Hospitality, Si Si Si is designed by Coeval Studio. (Courtesy)

Members-Only Tequila Lounge #2: Sí Sí Sí

Another members-only tequila club, Sí Sí Sí is set to open later this year on Fitzhugh Avenue. Owned by Brandon Hays, co-founder of This and That Hospitality, it will also offer a large selection of additive-free tequilas.

“The whole world wants Casamigos, and I’m not going to tell them that they’re not cool for drinking that,” says Hays. “But we’re certainly going to try to steer some education and some awareness toward the non-additive stuff that we think is really cool coming out of Mexico.”

Designed by Coeval Studio, Hay teases “a warm, comfortable room” and “touches of sophistication.” Much of the other This and That concepts – like The Whippersnapper, Tiny Victories, High Fives, and Sfuzzi – thrive on programming such as DJ nights and parties. But Hays says he plans to dial back on festivities with this particular space.

“The thought process, initially, is maybe one night a month, we do some kind of big party, and have some fun music in there,” Hays says. “I would love to continue traveling down to Mexico; we’ve met some great artists out there and some great DJs. I’d love to be able to bring them up and bring some authentic flavor into the city from different parts of Mexico.”

No two concepts from the hospitality company are alike, but they all bring in a diverse bunch of guests. With a membership-driven concept like Sí Sí Sí, Hays intends to continue that trend. 

“We want to make sure that we have a really well-balanced, diverse membership base, whether that’s around ethnicity or gender,” Hays notes. “Like Double D’s, Whippersnapper, High Fives, or Tiny Victories, we like our spaces to reflect the actuality of who Dallas is. And that’s a very diverse place.”

Si Si Si dallas members only tequila lounge
Si Si Si will be a super exclusive members-only tequila lounge on Fitzhugh Avenue. (Courtesy of Coeval Studio)

The Membership Process

As far as Sí Sí Sí’s membership process, Hays doesn’t intend for the club to have an extensive application, nor does he plan to charge members rigorous fees. However, it will be somewhat of a more exclusive club, as he plans to implement a more intimate membership process.

“This is going to be invitation only,” says Hays. “I’ve been doing this for 15-plus years now, and we’ve met a lot of great people, and this is going to be a small space. We’re going to open it up to 300 of our friends who have been, loyal guests or good friends, we’ve met through the restaurants. Our initial list of people will be able to invite a person, so we may extend 150 invitations and allow everyone to invite one more person, to build community around this.”

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