Dear Mad Tavern: Is It Cool If We Call Your New "Euro Gastro Pub" Something Else?

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Dallas has another gastropub headed its way. According to its website and a Facebook page, the Mad Tavern promises a concept featuring 32 different beers on tap, 100 different beers in the bar, loads of TVs for loads of sports and an August 26 open date.

Its arrival has me thinking again about that term: gastropub. Does it actually indicate elevated bar food, or is an over used marketing ploy that means $12 burgers and an expensive beer list? Does it refer to bars that serve up English-style dishes, or can it be used to describe any establishment who gives a damn about their beer list and chow?

Gastro obviously refers to gastronomy, the art and practice of choosing and eating good food. Pub means drunk the last time I checked. The term gastropub was first used to describe The Eagle, a bar-turned-restaurant in London. The Spotted Pig opened in lower Manhattan, and Fords Filling Station out in California. It didn't take long for capitalists to appropriate the term. Now gastropubs are everywhere. Don't even think about opening a bar with out gastro in the description. If fact, that may not be enough now as Mad Tavern has billed itself as a Euro Gastro Pub, a term that seems redundant.

I'm a bar-food connoisseur, a burger aficionado, a fish and chips devotee. I love good pub grub, and I'll gleefully pay $15 for a burger as long as it's beautiful. But when food terms get overused, they often become as watered down as the beer at a dive bar. Pegasus News reports that the Mad Tavern marks the start of a gastropub trend we all desire.

I'd say with spaces like Neighborhood Services Tavern and the Libertine, which have been open for years, the trend of elevating bar food has been here a while.


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19 comments
Mad Tavern
Mad Tavern

Mad Tavern: we are now open come check us out.

Eric
Eric

Can't wait! This area needs something like this badly.

Gene Peters
Gene Peters

Maybe we should let the place open and try it before turning up our noses and judging.  IF the place can legitimately be called a gastropub then awesome.  I mean there is a reason for the word.  Im not a particularly huge fan of know it all bloggers telling me how to think.... Id rather they experience something and then tell about that experience

Kylejack
Kylejack

I'm fine with the term.  I wish that only places that actually cared about their food would use it, but hey, can't win every battle.  

Aaron Porkstick Miller
Aaron Porkstick Miller

Loads of TVs?  How novel.  That drives me the other way....a gastroanything shouldn't even need a fucking TV.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

You know what goes good with Beer more Beer, eating and drinking is for girls of your sissy co-workers at happy hour that live in Frisco and are scared to drink and text and drive

cp
cp

I was under the impression that the gastro in gastro-pub was merely for something to fill you up so you don't get too drunk, not necessarily a fine-dining concept coming down to the bar level.

I was watching "Chopped" the other day and there was a British chef on there and she made something she called "bubbles and squeak". She said that it's usually the leftovers from Sunday dinner all thrown into a pot and made into a sort of hash. She said that it's common pub fare.

Ardy
Ardy

To me, gastropub means a place that focuses on food and beer, not just one or the other. There are lot of great beer bars that don't put much thought into food (e.g., Flying Saucer, Gingerman), but the gastropubs try to offer something interesting to eat and give a great selection of beers (e.g., the Moth, The Common Table). 

Scott - from this post, and another one where you mention Budweiser, I'm guessing you don't care much about beer selection. For me, it's the most important part! And the good food component is just icing. So, I like the trend and hope it continues. However, you make a good point about "pub". It doesn't really denote anything other than a normal beer selection type pub.

Martingermany
Martingermany

I agree with Van. A good example of being true to the name Gastropub would be the Holy Grail in Plano. They have actually good food and a great selection of beer.

Van
Van

Gastropub indicates to me, fine dining aspirations regarding the menu (not gussied-up bar food) but in a casual pub setting and price point. Bringing fine dining cuisine down not bar food up.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

South of the Bush is the new South of LBJ

Man U Fan
Man U Fan

No TV??? How are you supposed to watch a Football Match without a TV? GO REDS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Using Van's description, I would think there would be a LOT of gastro pubs in Dallas. Does the term resonate with you guys as a diner? Or do you think it's marketing fluff?

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

O Jon your so out of touch the line is moving the other way try NW Hwy as theres no reason ever to go past NPM  

Mr Hampton3190
Mr Hampton3190

Come check us out ask for Michael Hampton. You will enjoy your time here.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Ok - Let me lay this out for you. Most restaurants in Dallas do not start because the owners love food. Oh no. They start because the owners are trying to incubate a chain concept.

The idea is not to love the food, or even love the customers, but to create concepts which can either be grown into chains, or sold off to companies running chains.

This should change the way you look at some of these places you walk into. They will look a little too slick, they will have dumbed down menus, they will have graphics and design much more advanced than the usual new restaurant, they will be mediocre.

Martingermany
Martingermany

I'm not so sure about that. I don't know that many pubs here, where food isn't just an afterthought and goes beyond chicken wings (no matter how good) and nachos.Take Gingerman for example, they have a great beer selection, but their food definitely isn't good enough to move it to "Gastro-pub" level.The term has become a bit stale by now, but it's better than saying "a pub where we care about food and don't just throw the usual appetizers at you".

Coleman
Coleman

There are a lot of "gastro-pubs" in Dallas, if one's definition of a gastro-pub is a place that sells a higher-class selection of beer and bar food. I think one of the reasons you see more places in the suburbs using the term is because it has become played out as hell and it's just now getting to our fringe neighbors (Nova gets a pass because "astro-pub" is kinda clever). Now the phrase is entering the marketing buzzword phase of it's lifespan. popularity-wise, I'd say the term "dive" is about where "gastro-pub" was four years ago, just about at the peak of it's popularity.

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