Sometimes the name of a business says it all. That's the case with a new, nontraditional driving range called Goat Ranch, opening near Fair Park this fall.
The project is the brainchild of Craig Spivey and Dillon McDermott, who are behind the charming Bowlounge in the Dallas Design District. In fact, if you've ever visited the bowling alley, you have a good idea of what to expect from Goat Ranch -- namely, a more rough-and-tumble atmosphere than similar businesses.
"A goat ranch is what they traditionally call a hacker-style golf course. It's an old term," Spivey said. "When we would go and play a golf course and it was rough and had weeds growing up and everything, we'd call it a goat ranch."
McDermott likened the new spot to a "dive-bar TopGolf."
The Goat Ranch is across the street from Fair Park and across the train tracks from Exposition Park on Haskell Avenue. Spivey is shooting to open before the State Fair of Texas begins September 25.
The driving range will be shorter than the standard hitting area, said Spivey, but what it lacks in length it will make up for in character. The owners envision the concept more like golf target practice, and are currently scouring Craigslist and junkyards for a variety of things that will make noise and break when you hit them. Think rusty cars, metal signs, mannequins, dunk tanks and other "rusty old cool stuff," said Spivey.
The targets will change every so often throughout the year, and the owners will also take requests on what to put in the range.
"If East Dallas wants to hit Uptown square in the nose, we'll put Uptown out there or something," McDermott offered as an example. (Goat Ranch is also accepting donations; if you have something that fits the bill, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Plans call for 15 hitting bays that will be built into steel shipping containers. The whole range will be enclosed with netting. Details concerning game pricing are still being worked through, Spivey said. Scoring is old-school: Each target is worth a certain amount of points, and players will have to keep score manually.
Plenty of space is planned for thirsty patrons to hang elsewhere on the Goat Ranch, too. Since the project is taking over the former Patterson Food Processors property, Spivey and McDermott are building a 3,000-square-foot bar inside the former freezer. Behind the bar will be 60 draft beer taps dedicated to Texas craft beer, alongside a selection of canned/bottled beers and liquor.
Adjacent to the bar will be an expansive beer garden where the owners plan to put some trees, picnic tables and games, such as giant Jenga, pool tables, retro video games and corn hole.
In addition to drinks, Goat Ranch is working to open a proprietary food truck, "which will have sort of a similar menu to what we have here at Bowlounge," Spivey said. He anticipates having that truck and another rotating food truck on-site during business hours.
Spivey, who has formerly worked in the golf industry, expects golfers of all skills levels to find something to enjoy here.
"It's not just going to be a bunch of hackin'. If you are a good golfer it's also going to be challenging," he said.
The Goat Ranch, 723 S. Haskell, Dallas. 214-293-3107. dallasgoatranch.com.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct the location of the venue from East Dallas to Fair Park area.