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Longtime Dentonite plans to expand bar scene
H. Drew Blackburn
Senior Staff Writer
Some nights at Oak Street Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor on 308 E Oak St a sturdy man with a full beard can be seen playing ping pong under faint lighting. John Williams, lifetime Dentonite and owner of the bar, spent his teenage years at Denton Ryan High School and graduated from UNT in 2004. Since his days at UNT, he’s been part of the city’s bar scene.
“I worked at Lucky Lou’s through college and a little bit after,” Williams said.
After working at Lou’s he opened up Oak Street Drafthouse because he felt that the square area of Denton was trending upwards. Oak Street Drafthouse has 24 Texas-brewed beers on tap and 24 craft beers from around the world.
“They have a great selection of beers,” psychology senior Forrest Lane said. “Although other places have a pretty good selection too. I like the feel of the place.”
Williams said the environment at Lucky Lou’s is a little different than at Oak Street.
“I think the whole clientele, having to deal with more mature grown up people, is easier,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about fights or people throwing up on your feet or stuff like that. You have to actually have a conversation with people. That’s what the plan was.”
Williams will be opening another bar this summer at 117. E Oak St. called the East Side Social Club. He looks to have 50-60 Texas Craft beers on tap.
“You’ll be able to come into this area as a craft beer geek and be able to get pretty much everything made in Texas on this block,” Williams said.
Oak Street Drafthouse will be hosting Denton based craft brewery, Armadillo Ale Works’ launch party at on March 1. They’ll be releasing a beer called “Quakertown Stout,” Williams said.
“Having the launch party at Oak St was an easy choice because it’s our favorite craft beer bar in town and only a block away from Quakertown Park,” said Yianni Arestis, one of the co-owners of Armadillo Ale Works.
Arestis said that Williams and Oak Street Drafthouse are to credit for expanding beer palates across the city.
“There is so much variety in beer and I’ve seen people change their minds when they find their style, whether it’s their first blonde, lambic, stout or IPA,” Arestis said.