Tuesday, November 17, 2020

On Pegasus City's spiffy new downtown drinkery

Pegasus City's downtown taproom sits across from the Magnolia Hotel, home to a modern-day
rooftop installation of the city's iconic red Pegasus (All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The last time beer production took place in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the country was just coming out of the dark period of Prohibition. A number of breweries and brewpubs have resided in other areas of downtown, specifically in Deep Ellum and the West End, but Pegasus City Brewery's new satellite at 1508 Commerce St. is the first brewery to open in the vicinity of its location since the mid-1930s.*

Given the history, it seems appropriate for Pegasus City to be the one to bring beer operations back to this part of the city, seeing as how the brewery's branding is done in the Art Deco style. The movement, which originated in the 1920s, continued to develop while rising in popularity during the 1930s.

Equally fitting is the building itself, and its proximity to where a modern-day version of Pegasus City's namesake takes flight. Part of a complex of structures associated with Dallas Power and Light, the Art Deco skyscraper housing Pegasus City Downtown was constructed in 1931. 

Not only that, it sits cater-corner to the Magnolia Hotel. First known as the Magnolia Petroleum Building, it was the original home of the city's iconic red Pegasus (the company's logo) installed in 1934. A new winged-horse sits atop the building today, where it now watches over the area's newest brewing operation.

And like they say, sometimes things just come together.

Enjoy one of Pegasus City's 18 beverage options while seated in socially-distanced spaces inside and out.

Moving on to amenities, Pegasus City Downtown features a taproom, patio and small-batch brewhouse. Naturally, the inside is adorned with Art Deco elements, the decor complemented by period photographs and antiques. Beer and sodas are poured from 18 taps behind a bar centering the space, with the production area visible through a large-paned window off to the side. Seating options are socially-distanced due to prevailing conditions related to the pandemic, but this allows for the creation of nice little nooks where visitors can enjoy a pint with a bit of relative privacy.

Outside, you'll find an expansive patio with views of the Magnolia Hotel and other surrounding structures. Once again, seating is dispersed, and it's worth noting this area filled up quickly on the day of my visit. I arrived just as Pegasus City Downtown opened at 2 p.m. on a Sunday, and all seats were taken within the hour.

Regarding consumables, beers currently on tap represent familiar favorites, so site exclusives are still in the works. The taproom also offers small bites, non-alcoholic drinks and dog treats as options for patrons and their pets, respectively.

As far as an overall impression, Pegasus City Downtown is quite an upgrade compared to the Tiny Tap at the brewery's production facility in the Design District. The spot is impressive to say the least, being a unique and stylish setting that surely stands out among taprooms in North Texas. Indeed, walking in you almost wonder if there ought to be a dress code, but rest assured casual attire is welcome here - all the better if your t-shirt is stained with Pegasus City beer.

* Schepps Brewing Corp. operated at 1076 Young St. near present-day Pioneer Plaza from 1934-1939. The company was succeeded by Time Brewing, Inc. (1939-1941) and Dallas-Fort Worth Brewing Co. (1941-1951). Another brewery existing close by was Simon Mayer's Berliner Weiss Beer Brewery (1894-1899), part of Mayer's Garden at the intersection of Elm St. and Stone Pl. (this site now occupied by Santander Tower).

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