Montrose's newest patio bar

Acclaimed chef returns to Montrose with new patio bar as fire-damaged Heights restaurant shutters

Chef returns to Montrose with new patio bar after closing Heights spot

Brooklyn Athletic Club patio with diners day
Brooklyn Athletic Club will soon become Lotti Dotti. Brooklyn Athletic Club/Facebook
Adam Dorris Pax Americana
Adam Dorris is returning to Montrose at Lotti Dotti. Courtesy photo
Presidio exterior
Presidio will not reopen after being damaged by a fire. Photo by Eric Sandler
Brooklyn Athletic Club patio with diners day
Adam Dorris Pax Americana
Presidio exterior

Adam Dorris is ready to reveal the details of his next project. The acclaimed chef, a CultureMap Tastemaker Award Chef of the Year winner in 2016 for his work at Pax Americana, will return to Montrose with Lotti Dotti, a new patio bar.

Set to open in April, Lotti Dotti will replace Brooklyn Athletic Club, the bar and restaurant that closed last summer after five years in business. Bartender Michael Riojas (Ladybird’s, Beaver’s) will serve as general manager and oversee the cocktail and beer offerings.

Dorris and his partners have altered the space by adding a second bar to service the back patio. The front patio’s covered section has been expanded to provide a climate controlled area that can also be utilized for private events. A new stage will host musicians, comedians, and other performers.

“It’s a great location for a bar,” Dorris tells CultureMap. “Restaurants here always seemed to struggle. We wanted to change the dynamic. The space is totally different now. I think it will be more accessible and friendly to people coming in.”

Riojas’ cocktail program will focus on eight frozen drinks and 10 draft cocktails that can be served quickly. Putting the cocktails on tap not only expedites service, but it also means that drinks can be served in different formats from individual portions to shareable carafes and elaborate punch bowls. Names like Slime in the Ice Machine (a frozen cocktail made with tequila, cachaca, matcha, and makrut lime) and the Weekend at Sammy’s (a margarita variant made with sotol, blue curaçao, lime, and tajin) play off aspects of Houston’s history.

In addition, the bar will feature eight beers on draft and eight wines on draft. For the first time, Dorris is selecting the wines, and he has firm ideas about what to include.

“All the offerings for wine are going to be really thoughtful,” he says. “Not what you’d find at a high volume bar. Each producer tells a cool story and makes wines the way they want to make them.”

On the food side, Dorris will put the charcuterie skills he displayed at Stella Sola and Revival Market to good use. Lotti Dotti will offer housemade pates and terrines to start. Once dry-cured salumis have had enough time to age, they’ll replace sourced charcuterie. The meats will be paired with a selection of cheeses. In addition to charcuterie, the bar will have a tidy food menu that Dorris describes as including five or six snacks and five or six plates that will rotate quarterly.

Opening Lotti Dotti will also be a fresh start for Dorris, whose Heights restaurant Presidio has been closed since a fire damaged it in October. Together with his business partners and landlord, Dorris has decided not to reopen the restaurant.

“It hasn’t been totally finalized,” Dorris says. “There’s still a lease . . . but we’re not going to be continuing in that spot. I know there are interested parties that want to take over [the property].”

While his focus has shifted to Lotti Dotti, the idea of Presidio as a Southern-inspired restaurant that uses carefully sourced ingredients, still holds some interest. “We may revisit the concept at some point,” Dorris says. “If we find a location and a situation that makes better sense, that’s where we’re at.”