The best things about Haywire, a new restaurant in Plano's Legacy West, are the unexpected corners you'll discover if you grab a Cadillac margarita and wander off on an adventure.
Haywire is a shockingly large place, at 25,000 square feet. It's tall, too, with three generous floors. You could easily arrive with friends and not see them all night if you picked different hideaway spots. Which you should.
The first floor is the most deceiving. It's a whiskey bar that is warm, decidedly Texan and not all that huge. Here, among the smell of smoked wood, order one of the bartenders' concoctions as you pass by Sir Loin, the taxidermied longhorn who watches over the lounge.
Go on upstairs. That's where the hunt in the Wild West begins.
On the second floor, diners can step out on the wraparound patio, or peer into the wine cellar, or take a seat in a 50-person private dining room with western touches. That's just in the first few steps off the landing.
The biggest, buzziest area at Haywire is on the second floor, through the open kitchen where cookbooks and dried chiles sit on display as diners walk into the main dining room. Which seats 300 people. You read that right.
Then there's the Butcher Bar, yet another spot where diners can order drinks. Nearby is another lounge, this one crammed with throwback radios and the best seats on this floor: copper-backed chairs that'll make you feel like some yeehaw version of a mad scientist. On the left, a big patio looks out over Haywire's famous neighbor, Legacy Hall, which opened Dec. 6.
Back inside, though: We're still only on the second floor.
The third floor is the most interesting one. Hook a right off the third-floor elevator or stairs and there's a cigar porch with four couches and a long fireplace. If your rich friend had a home in Marfa, Texas, it'd look like this: inviting, indulgent and eccentric.
Swing past a main seating area on the third floor and head to the back for the crown jewel: a renovated, nearly 60-year-old Airstream trailer that can be rented out for private parties. ($2,000 food and beverage minimum required, says general manager Brian Knoy.) Nearby, giant chairs made out of curved wine barrels are begging to be sat in while fire pits blaze nearby.
After all that, you might think that food is an afterthought, but it certainly is not. Open now for dinner, with lunch coming on Dec. 11 and brunch a few weeks later, Haywire sells fried-green tomatoes, chicken-fried steak, Gulf snapper and sides like grits and mac and cheese.
The menu will be familiar if you've heard of The Ranch at Las Colinas, another company in restaurant group Front Burner's portfolio. Haywire is basically The Ranch 2.0 with a different name, a Plano address and a reinvented design. Both carry that same vibe: Here, things are big. Texas big.
Haywire is the newest addition from Front Burner, the team who energized Dallas' northern 'burbs with Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines and Haywire's neighbor, Legacy Hall. This group is stealthily growing what feel like one-of-a-kind restaurants into scalable eateries, as seen by one of its other brands, Velvet Taco.
Haywire could be the kind of place where Texas travel books brag about how big things are here. And truly, what's more "Texas" than dining in a 600-person restaurant, modeled after Marfa, with cow heads hanging on the wall?
Haywire is located at 5901 Winthrop St., Plano (at Legacy West). haywirerestaurant.com.