Beans and Brews: A Dallas Coffee Shop Doubles as Cocktail Bar

The mezcal- and sherry-focused Jettison occupies a clandestine space in the back of Houndstooth.

(Photo: Robert Yu.)

They may be the ultimate kind of regulars—the patrons of Jettison, the speakeasy-stye Dallas bar, who round out their day sipping cocktails in the same place where they procured that morning’s coffee. It’s precisely the experience owner Sean Henry and bartender George Kaiho envisioned.

Henry made his name with Houndstooth, a Texas coffeehouse that quickly established a loyal following, with locations in Austin and Dallas. The newest, situated in the latter’s trendy Sylvan Thirty development, shares a space with Jettison, Henry’s first foray into the nightlife world. To ensure that the two played nice, he enlisted Amy and Mark Leveno of Dallas’s Official Design, who imagined Jettison as the sunset to Houndstooth’s sunrise. “The design was driven by their duality of function and shared connection,” Mark says. “We developed the elemental concept of day-to-night, with Houndstooth filling the larger sunlit space and Jettison occupying the intimate back corner.”

As the nightcap to Houndstooth’s pick-me-up, Jettison stands in stark contrast to the former’s bright, open layout. The scant, modular seating suits the space’s small footprint. Chocolate-leather chairs and stools flank black granite tables that cast a dim reflection from the bar’s focal point, a gold “chandelier” on the ceiling. To further establish the speakeasy ambience, the Levenos opted for a palette of gray and walnut and enclosed the space with an imposing floor-to-ceiling blackout curtain running along the wall. It’s a subtle statement of intent, Amy says. “The bar has a relatively low seating capacity that gives it a sense of exclusivity.”

As for the menu, Kaiho plays it slightly less close to the vest. Unable to divorce itself entirely from its roots, several of Jettison’s cocktails feature coffee, including the popular BLVD, Kaiho’s take on the traditional bourbon Boulevardier. But it’s sherry and mezcal, which Kaiho says have been unsung heroes in the cocktail scene for ages, that take center stage.

Kaiho pairs East India Solera sherry with cold brew and cinnamon syrup for house favorite Good Morning Jerez, while his iteration of the Penicillin, the Red-Headed Oaxacan, features tequila and mezcal, honeyed ginger syrup, lemon, and a float of scotch presented with a rim of Himalayan salt. Kaiho’s brand of mixology feels fresh and personal, like he’s at home entertaining a few guests. “I sincerely feel that Jettison is an extension of my living room, and whoever comes in the door are my friends.”

As with any good friend, even twice-daily visits are welcome.

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