My friend was running late.
So I sat on the bench outside The Tipsy Oak Ice House and waited. As I waited for her, I noticed that even as I looked at the construction site across Front Street I found it calming. A quiet place in the middle of Arlington.
I watched as the eatery filled inside with groups of people and people found places to gather outside in the appealing patio area with a small, live music stage.
It felt comfortable to be there, like Tipsy Oak has been part of Arlington’s backbone for decades – not just one year.
The Tipsy Oak opened in 2018 and gave Arlington a hangout place that felt more like someone’s backyard than a
As I waited for my friend to arrive, I saw a business meeting, a large gathering of close friends/possible family, a group of millennials rushing to make happy hour and enough jovial dinner parties of
all ages filling the Tipsy Oak.
I couldn’t wait to get a cocktail and enjoy the ambiance that existed outside of the view from my bench.
My friend arrived and we sat outside. We had a bit of a rocky start (a couple of large parties were seated before us and we got lost in the shuffle), but it turned out to be what I imagined – a casual, comfortable and cool place to spend with friends. We even had another friend join us. It reminded me of family bbqs during the Texas evenings with great food.
We tried poutine for the first time ever and loved that confusing combination of fries, brown gravy, cheese and cheese curds. And the smoke gouda queso? I could have eaten an alarming amount of that. The place has specials brightly scrawled on a blackboard, and some of them – hello, Monte Cristo – have enticed me to plan a repeat visit.
The bar menu is stocked full of local beer and liquor, and Tipsy Oak has some signature cocktails. The Blueberry Lemonade cocktail is fantastic, made with fresh blueberries and blueberry vodka. The Patio Club Special is also a fun vodka and rum drink.
But man, want a local beer? This is a place to get it. They have about 25 local beers available, and some of them from microbrewers from North Texas. And a few from the brewery down the street – Legal Draft Beer Company.
Local music plays in the patio area frequently, so even if you are not in the mood for gravy fries, you can pop by Tipsy Oak after exploring the reinvention of E. Front Street.
Front Street is the future of Arlington. With all the new ways to spend an evening just down the street from each other, this slice of downtown has become a great meetup spot of any type of group.
You can throw axes, drink from tiki cups, taste fresh beer, eat tacos and rent a desk – all without having to drive a car.
But before doing that, take a moment to enjoy the Texas sunset with a cold beer at The Tipsy Oak.
Sara Pintilie is a distinguished writer, editor and photographer who calls Arlington home. In her column, she offers a millennial’s take on things local.