Don’t be alarmed if you walk, bike or drive up to Katy Trail Ice House and find it surrounded by a tall fence.
The restaurant and bar is still open, but crews will be doing a renovation to move the parking lot, expand the kitchen and add a new private dining area. Managing Partner Buddy Cramer calls it a “beautification.”
It’s one of Uptown Dallas’ most popular patios, and doing any significant work is tricky when the backyard is filled with daydrinkers and their dogs. Popularity dips a bit when temperatures soar past 100 degrees, Cramer says, and July and August are prime time to do some extra work. (And anyone willing to brave the heat is still welcome: “People still sit out there when it’s 109,” Cramer says. “It doesn’t feel 109, to be fair — you’ve got those misting fans and the shade.”)
The fencing covers up what used to be Katy Trail Ice House’s modest parking lot. Customers can now park or valet in a nearby lot across the street, where Company Cafe once stood. City of Dallas records confirm that the bar’s new certificate of occupancy includes nearly 96 parking spots, double the number from before.
On that former parking lot, crews will expand the kitchen and add more bathrooms. Cramer says they’ll also space out the existing outdoor patio seating.
“The goal is that if you’re sitting in the Ice House, you’ll never see a car again,” he says.
“Everybody loves the Ice House, but one of the things that always bothered me is you could be sitting on the patio and headlights could affect people faced [toward the parking lot],” he says. “Now, there’s going to be complete blockage of that.”
He also says the company is spending “half a million dollars” on planting new trees.
A new, 700-square-foot room will be added, which will be reservable for corporate events, Cramer says.
Owners expect to pull down the temporary fencing when the project is done, possibly in September 2018, he says.
“It’s time we put a little TLC into the Ice House,” Cramer says.
Katy Trail Ice House is located at 3127 Routh St., Dallas.