No Las Vegas Bar and Restaurant show this year! I get to stay home and stress out, freak out, geek out, micro manage, yell, scream and throw tantrums as I get the New Location for the Green Growler Sports Bar open. It is exciting to me that we get to stay in Downtown Denison and on Main Street.
Green Growler is so close to opening in the Katy Depot. Now I have to say that the support of my friends, my neighbors, and my patrons has been phenomenal so far. They are lending me their trucks to pick stuff up, driving and picking stuff up in Dallas for me that I bought at auction, and building out parts of the bar for me. We have paid people to repair things that I bought at auction, install refrigeration equipment, to do electrical and plumbing work at green growler, even building an entire walk-in refrigerator to keep 40 beers on tap. I wouldn't be able to open without all of these people pitching the way they have.
Although it seems possible that we could open any day now and that everything is coming together, except the money. Cash is flowing out faster now than I can bring it, but other than that we are good. We will be applying for the DDF Destination Creation Loan to Grant Program from the Denison Development Alliance.
Now you know why we have a Kickstarter page going. With all my friends old and new pledging just $25 we will have enough money to buy the under counter refrigerator we still need for the back bar.
For only $75, you can put your name on a chair or a bar stool. We are short 7 to 10 more table for the dinning door and every 6 to 8 chairs will pay for another table. We buy used restaurant tables and have them refinished for our bar, this way we are keeping it green.
We need of your financial support right now because we're dipping into the operations budget to finish our buildout. That is not a good thing with thousands of dollars still to be spent on the patio for lights, sound, and an outdoor bar.
\\\\\\\We have looked at many locations in both Sherman and Denison for Green Growler to grow into. With the help and support of our local and current customer base, Green Growler has narrowed the search down to the downtown Denison area only. Tracy Realty has been very patient with us, showing us various downtown locations and answering lots of questions. Pop Around the Corner beat us to 325 W Main Street, glad to see that they are staying in Denison. 626 W Main next to Sugar Boogers was another location we were looking at, but we took a little too long to pull the trigger on it and lost it. Other locations that we looked at were 400 W Main, 420 W main, 320 Chestnut, and 531 Crawford, but as much as we like them, they were just outside of our current relocation budget. (Donations to help us with our more than welcome and will be greatly appreciated.) So with all that said, where are we going to land with the NEW Green Growler Tap House and Sports Bar? We will let you know as soon as we have a signed lease in our hands.
Thank you all for your continued support in our new adventure.
Green Growler has had its ups and its downs over the past 2 years. As part of the Rail Yard, Green Growler has seen Restaurants come and go and one even came back, Lettuce Indulge. We had a week-long grand opening party at the beginning of 2020. The Rail Yard, Sliders, and Green Growler survived 2 years of the pandemic. We have changed our beer selections removing over 100 different canned beers and 60 different wines from our selection. We brought in a selection of $6 house wines. Green Growler also moved from being just a Craft Beer and Wine bar to a Full-service bar in September 2021. We listened to our guests and made the changes. At the same time, the Rail Yard Changed from being a Restaurant Incubator to a Food Hall. This has been a great learning experience for us. After handling all the challenges of the past 2 plus years I did not notify the landlord that I wanted to renew my lease with the Rail Yard and that is my fault. So to make this long story short, at this time Green Growler will be closing our Rail Yard location for good on June 30th, 2022.
So what happens now? Green Growler is currently looking for a new location to reopen our bar and add food service to our offerings. If you know of a great location for us please let us know. Many of our customers and others in Denison have already started giving us suggestions. Not only for a new location but for funding, layout, and design of the new location. So I ask you for your prayers and future support as Green Growler moves to our next charter in Denison.
Thanks, Ya'll for two great years, and stay tuned to see what's next.
MONJU'S LARAHA, CURACAO de 1851. A FRENCH QUARTER ORIGINAL, REDISCOVERED by the family and now featured at Green Growler. Why are we featuring Monju’s Laraha? Because in my world that’s what Family (My oldest Brothers, Daughters, Husbands, Brother) does, we support each other.
So what is Curaco? Curaçao is a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of the bitter orange Laraha, a citrus fruit, grown on the Dutch island of Curaçao. Curaçao can be sold in numerous forms, though the most common is the orange-hued dry Curaçao. This recipe was originally distilled By his Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Antonio Monju during the 1850's in French Quarter of New Orleans. This very special recipe has its origins back to the vineyards of Isla De Menorca in the Spanish Mediterranean then to New Orleans in the 1850s. I am honored to support my extended family in bring this historic liquor back to life.
To celebrate the release of this new orange liquor Monju’s Laraha and Green Growler will be giving away free samples of the Manju Mia Tia during the Doc Holliday Saints and Sinners Festival in Denison, TX on April 30th from 10AM to 6PM. We also feature The Monju Morning Crush and Monju Tropical Crush for you fruity enjoyment.
So come and see us during the Doc Holliday Saints and Sinners Festival in Denison TX and get your Monju’s on.
Everyone thinks of Pool parties, shows, and gambling when one mentions Las Vegas. But I did not go on vacation, I went to 2 expos. The Bar and Restaurant EXPO and the International Pizza EXPO. YES. I ate pizza every day for 3 days. Although they were both at the Las Vegas Convention Center, it was a 15-minute walk between them and a 20-minute walk from my hotel next to the convention center.
My first stop was the International Pizza EXPO. Classes started at 8:15 in the morning, I didn’t make any of those classes, but I did make the 9 am classes. I went to a class on Pizza boxes. Like a lot of things, a box can help ID your brand. It does not bring in new customers because to get the box they had to buy some pizza. The box re-enforces your brand with your current customer base. The classes that followed were on How to Standout, Social media, Brand identity, Restaurant systems, Management styles, and Pizza Dough. Brain Meltdown, I never knew that so much could go into the pizza dough. One hour of class on what style of pizza, how dark is your crust, how firm is your crust, what kind of oven, pan or no pan, thin or thick, and so on. Then it went into proteins, enzymes, moisture levels, and finally DO NOT MESURE your ingredients, Weigh then using the metric system for greater accuracy and consistency. After 2 days of classes, I headed to the Expo Floor with over 300 vendors. The expo floor is the size of the Dallas convention center and this is only ¼ of the convention center. Now I need a drink!
Off to the Bar and Restaurant EXPO at the other end of the convention center. They did have some food but a lot more liquor. I forced myself to try over 40 new and different liquors. Not only did I try them both days on the expo floor, but I partied late into the night trying the different liquors in various party situations just for you. Like Cîroc Summer Citrus, Beattie’s Potato Vodka, and Kurvball, a BBQ whiskey that I brought back for some of you to try. It was a hard job but I did it all for you, my patrons. Many of the liquors are not yet available in Texas and are not available in Grayson County unless I buy an entire case of the liquor. I did not go to their classes this year but to the expo floor where I met up with and asked questions about new vendors and ones that I bought from last year. They answered my questions about problems we were having with their product and told me what was coming down the pipeline and what was new this year for them.
Marqii is one vendor that we love. As you know Green Growlers’ beer menu changes constantly with new beers coming on and old ones dropping off. When we change our menu in one place, Marqii updates it within the hour on over 80 social media platforms. Because of Marqii, you can always trust our store hours no matter what site you see them on. So now they offer us one place to go and respond to reviews instantly from the Marqii dashboard. They are integrated with Facebook, Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and more to give me a one-stop-shop to stay in contact with customers who care enough to comment. This is going to be my next upgrade for Green Growler.
Those are my highlights from Vegas, Thank you for reading my blog.
That’s right, I am heading to Las Vegas next week as part of my continuing education. I will be attending the Bar and Restaurant Expo. On Monday I will be attending classes on Communication, social media, customer relations, and more. Some of the classes are just sales pitches and some are boring but I always seem to get something out of each one. Whether it is something I need to fix now or an idea for the future I always seem to get re-energized at this event.
Then there is the Expo Floor. Over 200 vendors including food, liquor, equipment, small wares, décor, and more. Last year I found “Marqii, an all-in-one platform for managing online information, menus, listings, and reviews across 80+ different listing sites. We help our partners create consistent and accurate content online, leading to an increase in SEO visibility in 'near me' searches. Hospitality businesses of all sizes use Marqii to save time, attract more guests, and learn what matters most to their customers.” All Danny does is change the hours on our web page and within hours, all the other sites are updated. It has been great using them. I also found Ghost Ice for Clear Cocktail Ice Made In-House and keg dollies from De Vault Enterprises came from this show. I can’t wait to see what I find this year. Plus there are VIP parties every night of the Expo
There is a bonus this year. I got a two for one in Las Vegas. Some of you know that I was looking at buying a pizza restaurant earlier this year. Well For just an extra $20 I will also be attending the International Pizza Expo at the same time. I will get to go to some of their lectures and onto their exhibit floor too. They have a class for new owners or people thinking about opening a pizza place, you know I am going to that one. There are vendors including products, equipment, small wares, décor, and more. Like free pizza for 3 days and a welcome party too. I will try all kinds of pizza dough, cheeses and crusts just to mention a few things.
People always ask me if i was a bartender before Green Growler and did I ever own or run a bar before. The answer is NO, I was a print shop manager, so no, I never managed a bar before. How did I know I could open a bar? Because I took the time to ask questions of accountants, bartenders, bar managers, distributors, and then, most of all, I went to seminars and educated myself. I had a teacher tell my class, do what you know and if you don’t know it hire someone who does or have someone teach you what you need. I do both.
Watch for my Facebook posts, I got a new selfie stick!
Las Vegas to be continued….
Tap of the Town
There is something special about craft beer and how it inspires people to come together. I think many find it odd when I talk about craft beer drinkers as a community. It can almost sound like and excuse for why I enjoy working at the Green Growler the way I do. I do enjoy drinking craft beer but I would not be a raving fan without the community. Here in our small town of Denison Texas there is no acceptation.
My early opinion of beer was not good. That is probably because of the American light lagers that I had subjected myself too. Over time, I began to see that not all beer was bad. Coming from the east coast I recall trying a Shiner Bock for the first time and before that a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat was what first caught my attention. But even then, I was not sold that beer was more than something I would drink on occasion.
Craft Beer has changed my perception of beer all together. It’s no longer just the drink for grill outs, parties, and camping trips. With over 100 active breweries in Texas, two of which are within 15 minutes of us (Say When Brewery, Denison Texas and 903, Sherman Texas) along with the beer wall inside our local Specs. Craft beer is available virtually everywhere. Deciding which brewery to try for the craft brew enthusiast can be a little daunting when we are 60 miles north of most of them in the DFW area. Which is why we rotate our taps as soon as a keg is empty to bring Texoma a wide variety of Local Texas Craft Brews to try. 34 of them in fact.
The word COMMUNITY- is what it’s all about.
For me, the community of craft beer enthusiasts are just as important to the craft beer world as the beer itself. Which is essentially what brought the Green Growler into existence. It’s an amazing community of people who drink and make craft beer. A perk of my job is that I also get to visit local breweries in the DFW area to try their latest beer. I get to interact and listen to the owners and Beer masters. As well as a few locals and sometimes their pet’s during my visits. I get to listen to their life stories. I get to listen to their passion and creativity that has led to the brews I serve my community on tap.
I am able to connect with others and that is truly why I enjoy Craft Beer so much. Truthfully I spend more time talking about beer than I actually do drinking it; so for me the community is what it is all about.
Something more than beer happens at the Railyard. Beer and good food alone doesn’t make 75-80 people show up on a Wednesday night for trivia, but community does. The Green Growler in a lot of ways has become a hub of the local neighborhood and it is our craft beer community that is attracting more and more people.
The craft beer industry would not be growing without the community coming together to get to know each other, finding common ground, making our neighborhoods better and enjoying quality brews.
As a guy who spent a lot of time in bars during my life, I always wanted to own a bar of my own. The cost of fees and permits in Dallas and Tarrant County are higher than any other county around them. A mixed Beverage permit was $6,600 plus and $6,600 to the city too for 2 years plus bonds and insurance. At that price I could not afford to open a bar.
So why could I open a Craft beer bar and not a regular full service bar. At the time I started this venture I was living in Dallas Texas and working for AlphaGraphics in Carrollton. We started doing printing for a new Brewery named Bitter Sisters. This was my introduction to craft beer. After visiting the brewery for a delivery and indulging myself in their tap room I became hooked on Craft beer and a regular at the brewery. Now my brother Danny and I were on the hunt for craft brewers in Dallas Fort Worth.
During that hunt I found Lakewood Growler in Dallas, a craft beer only bar. The cost of a beer and wine only permit is 1/3 the cost of a Mixed Beverage permit in Dallas County. The beer and wine permit was only $2,500 in Dallas County. WOW I could afford to open a Growler bar. So in 2015 I started my hunt for a location in Dallas. But as you can guess, a bar can be rather expensive venture to open and a bit tricky with local laws.
While looking for a location for my growler bar in Dallas, my brother and I came up to Sherman for 903s 3rd Anniversary party. We had a great time and met a lot of good people at the 903 Brewery. In most of the conversations I had at 903, the topic of opening a Craft beer bar almost always came up and most everyone ask me, “why don’t you open it up here, we would love to have in Sherman or Denison”. Both cities met the legal requirements for us to open a bar without having to have food service. We (my brother Danny and I) made many trips up here from Dallas looking for a location and stopping in at the 903 Brewery to drink beer and chat with Jeremy Roberts about our plans.
But what made the difference for us was William Meyers with the Denison Development Alliance.
Not only did he show us various location but he gave us different funding options and ideas. We met other small business owners and explore the various funding options from the city with William. We felt like the people and the city of Denison both wanted Green Growler to be a part of the community. Unlike in Dallas where I felt that they could care less about a new small business opening up. In the end William hooked us up with Josh Massey and the Rail Yard on Main Street in Denison. Josh was creating a space for new small restaurant owner to create successful and he let Green Growler be the first to sign a lease with the Rail Yard on the new space. If not for the City of Denison, Denison Chamber of Commerce, and Josh Massey Green Growler would not have made it through the Pandemic and for that we are forever grateful to be a part of this community. So Why Denison, because I was asked to open in Denison and be a part of the community. Then once opened the Denison Chamber of Comers held a ribbon cutting ate Green Growler to welcome us to the city. Also the permit was only $900 in Grayson County and that helped.
- Dennis McCabe
No, I don’t know everything about beer, but I do know some beers taste better in different seasons. There are 5 beer styles that taste best in the winter and two of them are favorites of mine. Stouts and Porters, an Imperial Beer and a Winter Warmers are 3 of the winter styles. Now, Bock beers and Barrel aged beers are the other two and are my Favorite winter beers. A Bock Beer is lager that generally takes extra months of largering (cold storage) to smooth out such a strong brew. Bock beer in general is stronger than your typical lager (higher ABV), more of a robust malt character with a dark amber to brown hue (color). Hop bitterness can be assertive enough to balance, though must not get in the way of the malt flavor, most Bock beers are only lightly hopped. I do not like Bock beers with any hoppy bitterness to them at all. The most popular Bock beer in Texas is Shiner Bock. Now on to barrel aged beers. In the Craft beer world the most common barrel used is a whiskey barrel from a local whisky distillery. By law, bourbon barrels (BBL) can only be used once, which creates an incredible supply of them. A lot of them head to Mexico for tequila to age in, as well as Scotland for scotch to be aged in. Until recently, when the draft beer world started Barrel aging beer in them. When a beer is aged in a BBL, the beer will pick up the flavors from the whiskey, the char and Oak flavors in the barrel. You will find more Stouts and Porters age in BBLs. Lakewood Brewing’s BBT (Bourbon Barrel ages Temptress) you will find Hints of burnt sugar, vanilla, oak, toffee, and caramel coming from the barrel aging. Lakewood Brewery also uses Wine and Tequila Barrels for gaging their Anniversary beers. All Barrel age beer are a bit pricey due in part to the cost of the barrel, loss of beer during aging, and a lower volume of beer available. Like with wine and whisky expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $16 for a glass of BBL aged beer. So look for Bock beers coming this February and come give them a try.
How far would you drive for a good craft beer? With that said let's begin by saying everything is bigger in Texas. With many counties in Texas being larger than some entire states in the country, Green Growler Defines local as the DFW and Texoma area. With only one brewery in Denison that distributes, and 2 breweries in Grayson County that distribute, logic to me is just over an hour drive away. So that covers about 17 counties in all, including Dallas and Fort Worth. With 40 plus breweries in this area, the majority of which either have a distributor or self-distribute, that's a great area to call local. So if you’re in our local area, come by and grab a local “Say When” beer brewed in Denison and chat for a bit.