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First Look: Locals Lounge

Locals also has a beer and wine retail space

Just opened in Farmers Branch, Locals is both a beer and wine shop (with a tasting bar) with a next-door cocktail lounge. Before Locals opened, there really wasn't anything like this in the area. 

The Locals shop is bright and airy. The wine and beer has a beautiful counter, where you can enjoy a glass, surrounded by excellent, hand-selected wines. Locals can hold up to around 4,000 bottles, but as of writing, there are around 2,000, with over 300 different varietals. I was surprised at the series beer selection, too. Local's self-described "wine wizard" Britt Wallace, an experienced sommelier, says that dark beers are customer favorites and that there are plans to install taps. 

Next door is Locals Lounge, which is a fantastic place to have a cocktail. The menu is tight and classic with the likes of old fashioned, negroni and paper plane. But the way those are executed is both excellent and thoughtful. The negroni, one of the best you'll get in North Texas, is made with the all-natural, Italian red bitters Cappelletti instead of Campari, is only a tinge red. Unlike Campari, it's a fortified wine and, in Locals' negroni, balances perfectly with the dry gin and Dolin Rouge vermouth. The result is glorious. 

But what if you want something else? "Ninety percent of what we do is off-menu," says Blake Weaver, from behind the bar. Just tell him what you like, and he'll craft a heavenly concoction.

And if the drinks weren’t impressive enough (they are!), Locals’ most expensive cocktail on the menu is $10. Most range between $7 and $9 — an amazing deal considering how some bars and restaurants don’t flinch at ask $18 and up for a drink. Visit Locals on weekdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for happy hour deals: $1 off cocktails, $2 off craft beer, import beers for $4 and domestic beer for $3. 

Locals does serve charcuterie boards — also, one of the best we've had — that change on a weekly basis. "We're not looking to compete with the surrounding restaurants," Wallace says. "We want to complement them." Locals is a perfect place to grab a drink before or after dinner, or just hang out and munch on charcuterie. Or, you can always grab a bottle of wine or beers to go. 

Considering that Locals is a few doors down from Chef Tiffany Derry's Roots Southern Table, Local is a welcomed addition to Farmers Branch's growing food and beverage scene. 

“Our mission was to create a space that serves as a haven of connection and a catalyst for friendships and shared memories, so we are eager to open our doors and invite our friends and neighbors in for a one-of-a-kind experience,” Traci Williams, co-owner of Locals, previously said in an official statement. Mission accomplished. 

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