Bars don’t get much cozier — or considering this year’s 50th anniversary of Dallas’ most infamous date, more timely — than the Kennedy Room, a redone unused corner space at the ultra-exclusive Montaigne Club on Maple Avenue in Uptown.
There’s lots of old wood in this space barely the size of a Dunkin’ Donuts, and some taxidermy and framed illustrations too. And some admirable ambitions about providing a low-key neighborhood watering hole. Also, lots of pennies under glass.
If not for the repurposed office chairs lining the modestly stocked bar, you’d swear you were in some Ivy League crew team clubhouse. A clubhouse with a portrait of John and Jackie Kennedy above the Grey Goose and Grand Marnier.
To be fair, the bar has been soft-opening all week, prepaing for Friday’s official grand opening. As I sat at the bar recently nursing an uncomplicated bourbon-on-the-rocks with friends Manny and Jerry, last-minute store runs were still being conducted to pick up necessary items; meanwhile, a handful of martini glasses were summoned from the bar’s sister restaurant, the nearby Old Warsaw.
Bartender Joseph Buenrostro, formerly of San Francisco Rose, plans to populate the bar shelves with Texas-produced beers and spirits. A full menu of house drinks should be live by Sunday.
So if you find yourself wandering off McKinney Avenue, ask not what you can do for your thirst: consider easing it with a Kennedy Room tipple.
– Marc Ramirez