The Dram Brings a Bit of Class to Henderson Avenue's Late-Night Scene

Categories: Drinking

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There are a lot of things that irritate me about clubs (long lines in the girls' bathroom, aggressively flirty dudes in Tapout tees), but the thing I hate the most is shitty, expensive drinks. Fourteen dollars for a poorly mixed gin and tonic made with well liquor that's guaranteed to produce a hangover in the morning? Gee, thanks.

Enter The Dram, where brothers Chris and DJ Donohoe, who worked with the dudes behind Candleroom (Dallas' longest-running nightclub located just a stone's throw away), have married a craft cocktail bar with a see-and-be-seen late night hotspot.

The interior is dark and plush, with lots of hardwood, heavy velvet drapes, tufted sofas and nailhead-trimmed chairs in shades of maroon and navy blue -- a far cry from the typical Dallas "ultra-lounge" with its painfully modern sharp edges and slick white surfaces.

There are no poles to dance on and no Top 40 on the sound system; the night I was there, at least, the DJ dropped a relatively sophisticated selection of sexy old soul and R&B peppered with some newer deep house tracks. A majority of the ladies were actually wearing pants -- a rarity given the typical Dallas uniform of a tight minidress and stilettos. The men sported coiffed hair and least two-thirds of them were wearing vests, including the bartenders, who've traded in the fedoras for the slightly less ostentatious cabbie hats.

There's an impressive cocktail menu of 20 or so drinks divided by spirit, a smart choice to help patrons navigate the selections and find something to their liking. The L'Orange Fragola, made with strawberry-infused 42 Below vodka, Cocchi Americano, Grand Marnier, and rhubarb bitters was interesting and refreshing poured over a mountain of finely crushed ice. The bitter notes gave it a complexity not typically found in your usual run-of-the-mill fruity vodka drink.

The Rhum & Rhubbarb is a nouveau twist on the classic Hemingway Daiquiri featuring Saint James Imperial Blanc rum and those rhubarb bitters again, along with the traditional maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice. Fruity, yes, but by no means wussy -- this is a seriously strong drink that had me feeling the buzz halfway through.

As I sipped my drink I spotted a couple engaged in a full-on makeout session, serving as a reminder that I was in a nightclub and not just a fancy cocktail bar. No matter, that thin line between the two that The Dram is straddling seems to be working just fine, and lame pick-up lines are significantly less annoying when I have a delicious beverage in my hand.

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The Dram

2918 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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primi_timpano
primi_timpano

Dallas drink prices have become ridiculous, rivaled in ridiculousness only by the vests and hats adorned by bartenders who have no clue they are a long way from paying their dues but still think they are "drinkologists."  I know you know about it--after all you are the senior bar correspondent for what could be the hardest drinking newspaper in Dallas--but the Loon serves top shelf at prices well below the fare at these silly clubs.  I wager the Loon will still be there when the hats-worn-in-buildings and vests-without coats fads are long gone and been replaced three or four more times by ever more ridiculous bars manned by bartenders wearing the latest affectation they wrongly believe conveys their infinite specialness and "special" savoir faire.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Cool. I'll have to try out my new three-in-one "Affliction, Tapout, Ed Hardy tee". Yeah. I already know it's pretty bitchin. Watch out, ladies of the Dram....your Prince Charming is about to arrive.

not-a-dbag
not-a-dbag

You could have just stopped at "dudes behind Candleroom". Do not want.

Whitney Filloon
Whitney Filloon

Yeah, given that I was surprised by how much I liked the place. I went on a Thursday night, though... Things are probably a bit different on a Saturday.

Mdunlap1
Mdunlap1

fernet & fedoras or bust

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