Lockwood Distilling Company’s owners Sally and Evan Batt planned on hosting a grand opening event, but the crowds beat them to it. Since launching a soft opening in November, guests have been hot-footing it to Richardson’s newest neighborhood watering hole.
“We wanted to do something where our friends can celebrate large and small victories, somewhere we would want to hang out,” Evan said.
The concept behind Lockwood is simple: Combine house-made spirits with a menu of chef-crafted dishes designed to complement the drinks. Throw in a casual, welcoming vibe with an eclectic mix of music and, well, you get the picture.
Evan started working in the alcohol business when he graduated college. Over the years he helped bring new vodkas to Texas and learned the ins and outs of the business. For his next act he wanted to do something for his hometown. He saw the explosion of beer and wine bars around the country and figured that spirits were the next big thing.
Lockwood Distilling Co. makes its namesake rum, vodka and gin. So far, the Hibiscus Basil Lemonade made with hibiscus-infused vodka and basil simple syrup has been the most popular offering. In fact, demand has been so strong that Evan decided to put it on draft to make life easier for bartenders. Wine is also available, but don’t expect beer. And for those that forget, the WiFi password – seriouslynobeer – is a reminder.
What visitors can expect is a rotating mix of spirits. One thing Evan enjoys most about his new gig is being able to create what he wants. Tentative plans call for cordials and may even include absinthe down the road. He loves experimenting with ingredients as wildly varied as potatoes and ciders. He sees them all as opportunities for new fermented concoctions.
“We can get weirder and weirder if we want to,” Evan said. “We might get lucky and find something totally different that hasn’t been done before.”
Of course, drinks are only half the story at Lockwood. The menu is the work of chef Justin Box who conveniently lives around the corner. He’s well-known in the Dallas food community, having cooked at places like Café Momentum and the Dallas Farmers Market.
Lockwood’s General Manager Chad Julka had worked with Justin for years and introduced him to Evan. After hitting it off, Justin was soon cooking up a mix of Southern influenced dishes inspired by his grandmother and other top chefs he has worked with over the course of his career.
“I get to be part of something bigger than myself,” Justin said. “I just can’t see this two blocks from my house and not be a part of it.”
Among menu favorites are the Texas Kobe Beef House Burger with caramelized onions on a brioche bun, the popular Big Vegan with smoked carrots and baby kale, and a Grazing Board charcuterie mix.
“We knew we would have the support of our neighbors and friends, but I think we didn’t realize how much support we would have from this neighborhood and the City of Richardson,” Sally said. “We enjoy bringing the community together.”Lockwood Distilling Company >