Typically, bars have pretty clearly defined roles in their customers’ lives. Sports bars aren’t happy hour destinations, and neighborhood bars don’t transform into nightclubs.
While that’s usually the case, Dahlia doesn’t want to be a typical Midtown bar. The newly opened, 9,000-square-foot venue (2901 Fannin St.) wants to serve all people at all times: whether that’s residents of the Drewery Place high-rise looking for a place to watch a game or Houston’s see-and-be-seen crowding that wants to pop bottles.
“Present Company has had good success, but they’re a straight up bar,” partner Thomas Kolodziej (Le Roux) tells CultureMap. “I wanted to take another step and be able to transform into a nightclub. We have all the aspects: bottle service, booths, a big screen.”
Dahlia also puts its spin on many of the elements that have made Present Company so successful. Specifically, the interior offers a number of different sections that are perfect for shooting photos, including some that incorporate its floral theme. Director of operations Michael Leitner previously worked at Present Company as its managing partner.
Kolodziej has divided the two-story space into distinct areas. Downstairs includes the main bar, dance floor and separate seating sections that can be reserved on the weekends for set minimums. Upstairs features a room with an elaborate mural by local urban artist Sebastien "Mr.D" Boileau as well as a second bar. An antique iron fence replaces the usual balcony railing.
Beverage director Andrew Grala brings experience from a number of establishments, including Present Company and Reserve 101. While bottles will be part of Dahlia’s offerings (at least on the weekends), the focus is on cocktails. The menu includes 12 originals and two frozens. Drinks come in different containers, including one shaped like a lightbulb and a shareable that comes in a bathtub — complete with rubber duckies.
Feb 5, 2020 at 5:07pm PST
Wine selections include a dozen popular champagnes — everything from Clicquot Yellow Label to Ace of Spades — as well as more affordably priced red and white options. Beers and seltzers round out the beverage options.
Happy hour, which takes place Monday through Friday from 4-7 pm, features $6 sangria, wines by-the-glass, and White Claw, along with $9 cocktails. “Flower Hour,” offered to women daily from 6-7 pm, knocks another dollar off the happy hour prices.
Dahlia doesn’t have a kitchen, but it will have food. The bar will be the new home for Raising the Steaks, the ultra-popular steak pop-up that routinely draws up to 1,000 people every Wednesday night (Dahila marketing director Chris Amez is one of the organizers of RTS). Food trucks and other pop-ups will be available at other times during the week.
Assessing any new establishment’s prospects is always tricky, but Dahlia combines a number of appealing elements that should draw a crowd. Despite inclement weather, the bar’s recent opening night packed the room.