20 Facts (and a few opinions) about Oak St. Draft House

Denton is in a sort of bar renaissance at the moment. 2011 brought us Paschall and right around the corner (not to mention down the street) was Oak Street Draft House (full name Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor). So far both have proven to be popular establishments. The latter has been open since the beginning of March. We've learned quite a few things about the Oak St. Drafthouse during that time. Below are a few of those things. 

osdh inside one.jpg

Inside Oak St. Drafthouse.

  1. The Oak Street Draft House & Cocktail Parlor features 48 beers on tap.
  2. Half of those are from Texas: Deep Ellum, Franconia, Rahr, Live Oak out of ATX, Shiner, No Label out of Katy, Southern Star out of Conroe, and a few from Houston. The rest are all high-end rarities. 
  3. A third of the beers rotate seasonally.
  4. The thought behind the place seems enormous and subdued all at once. John Williams, the owner of this fine establishment, certainly has an eye for comfort and aesthetics.
  5. The place used to be the late vintage clothing store Time Bandits. Nostalgia alert: may evoke a bittersweet sentiment.
  6. If you’re keen on things anachronistic, you’ll like this place. It’s like going back to a time you only know through books.
  7. The walls and mantles are decked with creepy photos, fascinating photos, lovely photos, family photos, old men in top hats photos, sports teams photos, old cowboys photos....
  8. With the trophies, barber chair, tractor stools, and cozy lounge space, the OSDH&CP has a very masculine tone to it...
  9. While number 8 is very true, one could also say the place is feminine, as well, with curvy, ornate sofas covered in velvet and floral patterns, and soft colors all around.
  10. The house (dare I say home?) has gardens in the front, and inside are wood floors and high ceilings.
  11. John had a buddy of his blow and shape beautiful and unique glass handles instead of using large tap handles with perhaps, say, the brew name-- and instead of the usual, and downright unappealing little black tap handles.
  12. They use small glass tap handles as to not hide the bartender from the patrons, and to keep that open feel, which compliments the rest of the house's atmosphere fantastically.
  14. Inside is non-smoking.
  15. Bring your own food and have a picnic on the patio. 
  16. They have both evening happy hour specials from 4-7pm daily and late night specials from 9-11pm. 
  17. It has the potential to have some great outdoor concerts/events. 
  18. It’s just off the square and nearby the Industrial Street developments-- new restaurants, favorite restaurants, new apartments.
  19. The OSDH&CP puts on honky tonk/bluegrass Sunday Fundays with the best mimosas and bloody marys around.
  20. People now have a reason to travel eastward on Oak St. past the square. 

What do you think is the best about the Oak Street Draft House & Cocktail Parlor?

Seven Mile Cafe

Seven Mile Cafe opened on the corner of Bolivar and Congress last week. We talked to the owners a week or two before and finally ate there this past weekend. Get caught up below. 

We had originally intended for our interview with Kevin and Josi of the Seven Mile Cafe to run before the restaurant actually opened; however, busyness on our part prevented that from happening. That said, at this point we have already eaten at Seven Mile Cafe and thought it pertinent to write a review to accompany the video above.

Actually, read the last sentence in the above paragraph again and replace the word “pertinent” with “necessary.” Our experience at the new partially-vegan cafe was less than stellar to say the least. We arrived mid-morning on a Saturday (the first Saturday they happened to be open) and were promptly seated in the half-filled space. The waitress was nice enough, the menu read well (although it was missing a few choice items that were mentioned in our interview above) and the smell from the coffee bar was pleasant. Everything from that point on, however, was like the first half of any show with Gordon Ramsay’s name in the title.

Looking around the restaurant, we started to notice frowns on people’s faces. “Maybe those are Brave-Combo-polka-dancing-hangover frowns and they just need caffeine,” we thought to ourselves. We were wrong.

About fifteen minutes after ordering, our waitress stopped by our table to inform us that our food was almost ready and would be right out. We quickly figured out that this was the beginning of a pattern. She stopped by every ten to fifteen minutes to tell us the same thing for the next hour or so. Once we caught on to the pattern and the rumbling in our bellies got down to a D-flat, we decided it was time to leave. We put enough cash on the table to cover the cost of our coffee and made our way to the door.

Now hold on. Let me assure you, we aren’t a bunch of jerks. This is not a common occurrence. I checked at our table and none of us had ever left a restaurant before. In fact, I was most likely the biggest jerk of the table and the only thing I’ve ever walked out of was the Carrot Top movie, Chairman of the Board, when I was 12.

On our way to the door, Kevin, the co-owner of Seven Mile Cafe, stopped to ask us how our food was. We informed him that we had waited a long time for our food and that our younger counterpart needed sustenance promptly (he was fine, I was the hungry one, but he will forever be my excuse). He ensured us that the food was soon-to-come, that some of the meal would be comped and went to check in the back things out. We heard some arguing in the kitchen and then our waitress arrived with about 2/3rds of our meals in hand and convinced us to sit back down. If you’ve ever wondered what the most-awkward thing you can do in a restaurant is, let me assure you that it isn’t breaking up with your significant other. Nor is it falling out of your chair and spilling soup on an elderly woman. No, the most awkward thing that can happen to you in a restaurant is attempting to leave when you’ve had a bad experience and then be convinced to sit back down and eat what you had originally ordered.

Eventually the rest of the meals came out, and lo-and-behold the food was good. Not necessarily worth the wait, mind you, but what would be? The scramble was well thought out and the raspberry cake that accompanied it was muffin like in a good way. The fruit was fresh, the eggs were cooked just as requested and the order-er of the blueberry pancakes enjoyed them enough to not want to share with the rest of the table (either that or they might be an avid Miss Manners follower). A few small things were wrong with our order, but at this point, causing any more of a scene was out of the question.

At some point during our meal, a popular local band came in with a local coffee roaster. They ordered their food, sat down and eventually got frowns and caught on to the patten. They managed to successfully leave the restaurant upon realization that they wouldn’t be eating anytime soon. They’re a nice bunch of dudes, so that’s saying something.

Our awkwardness must have been palpable because the check arrived long before we had finished eating. And low-and-behold, nothing was comped even after being assured two times that it would be. We ended up paying full price and promptly exiting to our cars.

I really want Seven Mile Cafe to succeed. In two or three months Kevin and Josi should have this down and I will don a disguise and give them another shot. We need more interesting, local eateries in town and the ambition this duo has shouldn’t be written off easily. That said, give these guys a while to work out the kinks before giving this place a shot. In the meantime, let the people who don’t read scantily updated blogs go and wait a long time to be fed while Kevin and Josi figure things out.