New downtown Dallas restaurant at Statler hotel revives fugly retro era

Let’s bring back the ’70s, said no one who lived it the first time around. But Scout, a restaurant newly opened at the Statler hotel in downtown Dallas, is reviving that era in all its avocado-and-rust glory.

Scout is more than a restaurant: It’s also an entertainment venue with 12,000 square feet that encompasses four bowling lanes, pool tables, foosball, ping-pong tables, a stage set for live entertainment, shareable menu items, communal tables, and interactive games. It’s aimed to serve as a destination for birthdays, girls nights out, and corporate events.

Scout joins the three existing Epic F&B concepts located within The Statler hotel: Overeasy, the upscale diner serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7 am-10 pm; Bourbon & Banter, the underground cocktail lounge speakeasy; and Waterproof, the pool bar.

Like all of the other Statler venues, Scout was developed by Epic Food & Beverage, owners of Bolsa. A release describes it as being “inspired by a sense of adventure, with ties to American national parks and elements of camping woven throughout.”

That sounds reminiscent of The Theodore, the NorthPark Center restaurant opened by the same team in 2015 — described as being inspired by “the spirit of the iconic Teddy Roosevelt and an era of American history full of wonder and discovery.”

Scout has ’70s-era decor with plaid forest green wallpaper, wood furniture, and textured earth-tone fabrics, combined with what they call “modern facets” such as a neon sign reading “Booze & Shoes” located above a satellite bar/bowling shoe rental counter in the back of the hangout. Does Epic F&B not know that neon dates back to the early 1900s?

The menu from Graham Dodds — who serves as culinary director for all Epic F&B concepts at The Statler — features chef-driven soups, salads, and entrees that evoke a sense of Americana and nostalgia. Retro-inspired starters include smoked ham & sunchoke dip served with braided pretzel bites. Three interactive dishes are portioned to serve the whole table: fajitas, fried chicken bucket, and a fish taco kit.

Desserts include cherry cobbler topped with one of chef Dodd’s famous biscuits, and churros served with marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, and prickly pear nectar.

The bar program is led by beverage director, Kyle Hilla, a CultureMap Tastemaker Award winner for Best Bartender. There are nine cocktails including Hilla’s take on a margarita, with tequila, Cointreau, agave, lime, and a hibiscus ice cube that filters into the drink as it melts. The Hummingbird is a floral French 76 with vodka, crème de violette, lemon, lavender bitters, and bubbles.

Three of the cocktails are available in shareable pitchers. There are also 20 draft beers, wine, and craft beer growlers.

Scout will be open Monday-Thursday from 4 pm-midnight; Friday from 4 pm-2 am; Saturday from 11 am-2 am; and Sundays from 11 am-midnight. Kitchen will close at 10 pm weeknights and 11 pm on weekends.