Another chunk of Harwood's gargantuan build-out in Uptown has reared into place with the opening of Happiest Hour.
The superlative "est" form certainly applies to the restaurant and bar's dimensions. It's a double-decked 12,000 square feet of milling-around room with stunning wraparound views of downtown and Victory Park. The bigness continues with three bars, eight wines and 50 beers on tap and 17 flat-screens. A ground-level outdoor space for lounging and yard games resembles a highfalutin Katy Trail Ice House.
This degree of night-life giantism hasn't been common in Dallas since the the '90s heyday of Upper Greenville dance clubs.
Happiest Hour's ambition will need to be maximal to fill that space: Pull every single animate creature from whatever's happening at American Airlines Center across Cedar Springs Road while enticing a strong, regular influx from surrounding office towers.
That's a tall order when AAC isn't lit up. On a recent Monday evening, Happiest Hour was decently populated, but you could still have considerable square footage to yourself.
Perhaps to appeal to the broadest, bushiest middle brow, Happiest Hour plays it safe in a couple of ways. The specialty cocktails, with silly sports-related names, tend toward the sweet. The music is top-of-the-charts rockers of the last 40 years, because Mavs fans never tire of Tom Petty, apparently.
Happiest Hour, 2616 Olive St., Dallas. 972-528-0067. happiesthourdallas.com.
A look inside Happiest Hour:
Noted bartender Alex Fletcher (Henry's Majestic, Victor Tangos) has started a beverage catering service called Shaken & Stirred. Fletcher friends and media types got a taste of the concept Oct. 23 at Glasshouse Studio in Exposition Park. Info: 214-393-8894; shakenandstirredservices.com.
Playboy singles out Midnight Rambler at the Joule Hotel as "best subterranean bar" in the U.S. in its November issue. The only other Texas venue on the magazine's best-bars list is Julep in Houston.
Witherspoon Distillery has opened a 19,000-square-foot facility in Lewisville that includes a cocktail lounge. The bar is open Fridays and Saturdays.
Staff writers Sarah Blaskovich and Tiney Ricciardi contributed to this report.