Katy Trail Ice House's Snafus Might Be Coming to an End

Categories: First Look

katy ice house.jpg
Katy Trail Ice House promised us these beers and gave us a Shiner. Not that we don't like Shiner, but damn.
When Katy Trail Ice House opened along the eponymous exercise trail on March 25, it was feted as the next it-bar. Capitulating to this hysteria, I too visited the bar on opening day, much to my chagrin.

Anticipating a fine pint of Jester King or Thirsty Planet as a reward for my 10-mile bike ride from my house through Knox-Henderson and then down the trail, I was met with the sad news the taps weren't connected. "Maybe this weekend," the bartender said in an effort to console me. Settling for a frosty bottle of Shiner Bock, I sat at a picnic table in the sprawling patio open to the Katy Trail. The waitress brought me a menu. There was listed Real Ale and Franconia. There, Live Oak and Rahr. I was crestfallen. The complete food menu wasn't available on opening day. No problem. The owners are emphasizing craft beer here. There was only Shiner. To paraphrase a friend of mine who visited the Ice House later, it was the best Shiner I've ever had.

The grilled cheese I ordered concealed slices of acrid pickle and a thumbnail sliver of bacon, none of which were listed as ingredients in the grilled cheese on the menu. The bacon could have accidentally got into the sandwich during preparation, but the pickles should have been noted.

Since then the bar has been beset with setback after setback. One customer waited an hour for a burger before she left the premises, it was reported on the establishment's Facebook page. The original grand-opening celebration had to be rescheduled because of further problems with the taps. It is going to take place Wednesday.

General manager Jonathan Lacy said the owners and staff had kowtowed to popular pressure. The clamor for the Ice House was so great, it was decided to open ahead of schedule, that is, prematurely.

Operation snags are the least of the worries. It's located along a popular exercise trail on which Lauren Huddleston died in 2010. The potential for injury or fatality is a concern on any public trail, much less one sharing real estate with a bar or the harassment reported by the FrontBurner blog. "We don't over-serve," said Lacy. Every bar over-serves. I wish I could count how many times I watched a bouncer re-admit a customer who had vomited on the sidewalk outside or a bartender who had poured another glass for a customer who slurred the request.

The Ice House shows such immense promise with its Texas craft-beer garden concept -- and now the taps are flowing -- but unless the SMU Brittanys, Barbies and Brooks refrain from flooding the area, the rubbernecking beer-guzzling will continue, outnumbering the patrons who want to enjoy a Texas microbrew mid-jog. Do the owners such as Buddy Cramer and Joe Tillotson, with resumes that include Bryan Street Tavern, Barley House and Mi Cocina, want that sort of debauchery as reputation?


Katy Trail Ice House

3136B Routh St.
214-468-0600


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Katy Trail Ice House

3127 Routh St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


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29 comments
Rotgod
Rotgod

Buddy is a piece of shit. Fuck Buddy!

DCH Bag
DCH Bag

This article is over dramatic horse sh.t. Why doesn't this D Bag write an article about how to exclude people from a bar. This is America isn't it? The last time I checked running a bar is a business. Have you seen the crowds? After all the negative press the place is doing numbers that has not been seen in decades around here for a bar that has just open. The guy that wrote this is a whiny unprofessional Dip Sh.t. He has the nerve to tie a death on the Trail into an article about the KTIH. That will be a journalistic move he will regret.

Loki965
Loki965

This is the same guy that opened(and eventually closed) The Metropolitan in 2002. Couldn't get a meal in less than an hour for the first six months, often and hour and a half. Don't expect competence for Tillotson.

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

The loud noise will ultimately get them in trouble. There is a high rise condo directly across the trail from the ice house and the noise level there is something awful.

OldRow
OldRow

The guy that wrote this article is the kind of GDI beer snob prick that we don't want around there. Keep the Dallas D-Bags out of the KTIH! The post grad greek scene here is the best in Dallas!

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

Damn, I jog past this place every week and had high hopes.

Steve Sandwich
Steve Sandwich

What the fuck is wrong with SMU students, Jose??

Cap Guy
Cap Guy

Don't put the beer guzzling before the horse......You sound like L Brenner......

Brent D.
Brent D.

Nothing should ever "accidentally" get into a sandwich. Not even bacon.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Who are we kidding? If its not a Bud, Miller, Coors or Shiner product, no one knows what the hell it is in this city.

Gus Mitchem
Gus Mitchem

Sunday, packed, had cash, ordered at the bar no problem, waitress got me one beer and it was wrong, so paid cash at the bar the rest of the day, no problem.

Can't really expect 20 something chicks to know 36 beers and stil mix drinks, there ditzy, but not a big deal.

The biggest delay I saw was the tabs tabs tabs everywhere, who knows who's drinks ended up where cause it is really hard to hear in that faux metal barn.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Wonderful.Now, in addition to dodging dog shit on the trail, the same yuppie scum that won't pick up poo,can toss chunks, too.

Evan
Evan

I was there Thursday and I'll be waiting at least a few weeks to try my luck again - the taps were connected, but half of the menu and beer list were not available, the place was packed to the gills, and service was downright awful. Our waiter couldn't wait to take our order - coming by 3 times in the first 5 minutes our group found a seat. Once we did, he dropped off our order fairly quickly, but then disappeared. After finishing our meals, we spent a good 25-30 minutes waiting for him to return, then another 25-30 trying to track him down (or even another employee who knew who this guy was) to pay our tab. When they finally brought the check, it was incorrect and had to be fixed.

I won't hold it against them forever, especially considering they haven't had their grand opening yet, but first impressions can be a bitch. I'll stick with Ketchup Burger Bar as my local burger hut for the time being.

Nick
Nick

Yeah, I didn't have a great experience here when I first visited (early last week). Staff wasn't knowledgeable about what was in stock (which shouldn't have been difficult since the list of beer they actually had flowing was very short), queso was awful, etc. I will say that I hate making comments like this prior to their grand opening. But to me, grand opening means very little when you've been open for business for weeks.

That said, I really don't want to come off too harsh on this place. I recognize there's a learning curve at the beginning of any operation, and I think this place has limitless potential. They have a great location, great ambiance, and I love their Texas-centric theme with regard to beer and liquor. They just need to execute, and all will fall into place. Best of luck.

Coleman
Coleman

and YOU'RE the one bitching about over-dramatic horseshit?

Ed D.
Ed D.

Big crowds for a new place are great but what happens when the next new thing opens? If the food is bad and the service is lousy, the crowd moves on and you're left with fuzzy memories and bills to pay.

Dh661
Dh661

You're an idiot

Nick
Nick

Yeah... expecting to receive what you ordered definitely makes you a "prick".The fact that you used "GDI" on a food forum is laughable... and those "Dallas D-Bags" and post-grad greeks you mentioned are one and the same. Now I'll let you get back to popping your collar.

Coleman
Coleman

....Graphics Device Interface?

Gus Mitchem
Gus Mitchem

You forgot Stella and Blue Moon cause those are what fancy people drink.

Nick
Nick

... so you're telling me that they couldn't just write the beers down on a sheet so they could know what was in stock? Sorry pal, but I guess I have higher standards when I'm shelling out my cash.

As for the tabs comment... 99.9% of the rest of Dallas bars don't seem to have a problem with everyone paying with plastic... not sure why this location would be different.

As I've said, hopefully it was just some start-up issues... but if that's going to be the status quo, I certainly wouldn't make that a spot I frequent.

Too many other great bars who get it right.

Coleman
Coleman

oh, they'll be drunk-shitting on the trail too...give 'em time.

Christopher Bane Page
Christopher Bane Page

Ive been here twice now..ignored bad reviews and press and gave it a try.Service was quick, servers were pretty and the beer was cold and the burgers were really good.Im not sure what was going on before but Ive found that when the place isnt packed to the rafters, its a cool place to hang out.

OldRow
OldRow

Dallas D-Bags are slick relocated yankees with unpronounceable last names that go "clubbing" bud. Being ridiculously nit-picky at a whole in the wall bar's SOFT opening does make you a prick. This isn't a $20/plate fancy taco place on McKinney that invites 40 something singles that should be living in the suburbs by now but squander their money on overpriced food, rent and leased luxury cars. If you have ever been to say Cain and Abels in Austin, you would know that the Katy Trail Ice House is right on the money. Sorry it isn't Dallas enough for you, but If you don't like it: DON'T GO THERE!

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Damn, I did forget Stella. Blue Moon, see Coors product.

Gus Mitchem
Gus Mitchem

When I was there the taps were operational so the menu was accurate, not sure why they insist on seasonal when they could just reprint with the actual details.

The girls I was referring to were the bartenders, they didn't know one tap from the next and a few times I saw them asking the bar backs, where my beer handle was.

Trusting 99.9% of the bars with your credit card isn't prudent, folding money will always get you speedier more accurate service at a bar where they don't know dick a from dick b.

Nick
Nick

When "soft openings" last close to a month, I think it's fair to start being a little critical when your experience has some snafus. And I wouldn't classify KTIH as a "hole in the wall bar", but whatever... semantics.

I recognize what the place is supposed to be... and I think that if it irons out the kinks it will be incredible (especially given that I'm within walking distance). I just don't think that being Austin-esque and laid back excuses a place from having decent service and a knowledgeable waitstaff. I wasn't trying to be harsh... just saying that there are some things that need to be fixed. Hopefully they are able to manage... otherwise, novelty in Dallas only last so long.

Coleman
Coleman

Stella Artois is also a Anheuser-Busch/InBev product. There's good beer joints in Dallas...we'll see if KTIC is one of those.

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