Out to Space

A freak who enjoys discovering and sharing a simple beauty of life even in a strange place

Drinking in Dallas: on the Services

I always enjoy exploring the diversity of alcohol. While in Dallas to observe the total solar eclipse, I wouldn’t miss a chance to taste some local grogs, especially from this region of the USA. My choices of beverages, ales and rye whiskeys, were all fine. But their services were more noteworthy. And they got more interesting day by day.

Day One: Solving Problems

My friend, who has lived there for over 20 years, picked me up and drove to Downtown Dallas. After walking around the Grassy Knoll, we sat down at 3ELEVEN and chatted. The first beer, Local Buzz, must be the common local as it was sold elsewhere. Unfortunately, my friend and I had so much to catch up and I forgot to log my drinks that day. Well…also…the staff forgot my second beer. They compensated it with another one on the house. I continued to order two more ales. Then we decided to get to Addison where my hotel was.

We kept talking and I had three more local ales at the Londoner (English-style pubs in Dallas weren’t uncommon). That was heaps of beers. My friend doesn’t drink, by the way. Anyhow, while we were settling down at the patio, an old lady refused to leave the premises for whatever reason. It wasn’t a big scene but got escalated to the police. We hadn’t seen her since. The staff apologised for the drama. In my eyes, they handled the situation professionally and humanely. Ultimately, we went on with our chitchat and left the pub, voluntarily.

The Londoner, Addison, Texas

The two incidents reminded me of my time as a waiter in Sydney. Solving problems was part of the job (any job, really): losing customers’ orders, diffusing tensions, etc. My approach to the issues wouldn’t be any different from theirs.

Day Two: Accommodating Comforts

After observing the total solar eclipse and while walking back from the park, a couple of pubs caught my interest. Eventually, I pinned myself in the evening at Ron’s Place (another English-style pub), a few minutes walk from the hotel.

I sat by the window. The bar lady took the first order: buffalo wings and pre-mixed-flavoured vodka soda on promo—y’know one with a fruit label—to start with. She noted that I’d be into local hazy IPA later. Shift changed, she was off, and a guy took over.

When I was ready to taste the locals and log my drinks properly, the guy followed up on me and asked if I’d get an IPA. That was impressive they passed on my preferences during the shift change. He pointed out for me some local IPAs and rye whiskeys. Later on, I moved to the bar. Since he hadn’t had rye whiskey for a while, he poured himself some, out of curiosity, but didn’t even finish the shot. He was cool to try regardless of his palate, I found.

Overall, they accommodated comfort and I got hooked. Mind you, that attitude seemed to be common in the US. But the following day was a different story.

Day Three: Refusing Service

After the tour at AT&T Stadium with the friend who took me around on Day One, I determined to check out Hooters near the sports complex and was dropped off there. The franchise isn’t my cup of tea but I’d like to compare the services to ones in Bangkok. Oh, I encountered such a peculiar one.

The drink choices were limited to its corporate business structure—no Local Buzz. I ordered a jug of their corporate craft beer. As it was served, the jug was huge, definitely more than one litre. When I showed my surprise, the waitress pressed me “You ordered it!”. The attitude put me off a bit. They didn’t even know how much the volume was until I asked them. Nonetheless, 64 oz ( 1.89 l) of beer would not knock me out, so I thought for myself.

While the beer was 3/4 way through, I ordered a shot of their corporate Canadian whiskey—no local rye, of course not. Later on, a lady in a suit, contrasting the girls’ booty uniform, came and confirmed if I was by myself. That was correct. Then she told me they couldn’t serve me any more drink because I’d already gotten the jug (the two-litre I didn’t expect in the first place). For the first time in decades, I was refused to serve alcohol. 

I was about to jot down my thoughts in the notebook with the whiskey but there came more brain exercise. The first thing that popped up in my head was the Responsible Service of Alcohol. Basically, it’s a certificate required for an individual to serve alcohol. One of my takeaways is a server has a legal ground to refuse service of alcohol when you see when a customer is intoxicated (or underaged). But not for buying too much alcohol. It was understandable the place was supposed to be rowdy. That could be their house rule. 

Perplexed by their assumption that I’d make a mess after two litres of beer, my response was “Is that legal…?” She didn’t directly answer my question. If I knew the jug was that big, I wouldn’t get it. “I wasn’t told.” I raised my point. She let me have that shot. And that should be the last one at Hooters, ever.

My friend picked me up, allowed me to vent out in the car, and dropped me off at the hotel. 

To neutralise that experience, like a bad taste in my mouth, I walked to Ron’s Place. The same bar lady was in charge, more local choices on the shelf, and we talked about them. The guy at the bar the previous night was also there, enjoying his evening off. I had some more unique drinks. Their hospitality made up for the mental irritation. 

In the end, drinking in Dallas caused me to reflect on this blog post more on humans than alcohol itself. They got me covered from those little incidents on the first day to the comfort at a local the following day and to a peculiar refusal of service on the last day. 

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