When Eastwood’s closed in Uptown last year, a group of Dallas food insiders saw a big opportunity and purchased the space.
The owners include SideBar, Barcadia, and the Tipsy Alchemist owner David Nguyen, BluMania energy drink owner Adam Evers and his fiancé, Infinity Premium Vodka creator Nikki Bloxton, and hotel pro Sobe Ahmed. Together they’ve blended their various backgrounds to create Gaslight which exudes a sports bar feel by day and an upscale cocktail lounge come nightfall.
“We were all thinking about what our favorite thing to do as a group of friends was, and we really like going to places like The Ritz or Akai—just different lounges—and just sit and talk,” Bloxton says. “That’s the atmosphere that we want to portray.”
In addition to Nguyen’s previous successes as the proprietor of Dallas’ favorite bars, Gaslight owners brought in Jesse Powell, former head bartender at Parliament, to collaborate on their craft cocktail menu. “Parliament gave me the inspiration to conceptualize a menu around ‘fast craft,’” Powell says of his drinks that provide intriguing flavors in minimal preparation time. “We wanted to keep the ease of being a neighborhood bar, but with cocktails interesting enough for you to want to bring your friends to give them the experience.”
Each cocktail features a moniker that provides a nod to the steampunk era and flavors that intrigue. The McKinney Mauler is a blend of peanut butter whiskey, crème de cassis, and vermouth, while the Mainspring is an energizing brunch accompaniment starring tequila, pomegranate-flavored liqueur, lemon, and champagne.
Gaslight’s brunch and dinner menus were designed by Jeremy Aranguren, he of Henderson and Knox’s recent rooftop 77 Degrees (temporarily closed to address code enforcement issues). “I wanted to focus on something more homely, like a neighborhood kitchen,” Aranguren says. “In a sense, all-American—steak, salmon—something that tastes really good, simple, and looks really nice on the plate.” Comfort foods like a blackened chicken, mac and cheese, and curry masala pizza serve as dinner menu highlights, while breakfast sandwiches, hearty chicken and waffles with caramel and ice cream, and a crab cake benedict make up Gaslight’s weekend brunch specialties. All of Aranguren’s dishes are made in house, and many meat dishes can easily be made vegetarian with Impossible Burger substitutes.
The space, which opened in mid-February, is located at 3407 McKinney Avenue and showcases a single, speakeasy-style bar at its center, while discrete, black leather booths and tables line the walls, creating an intimate feel.