How Eric Tschetter took his successful FW sports bar Pour House to the Cliff


PENNE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS | PhD sports bar owner Eric Tschetter holds a spicy pasta, one of the upscale twists to a menu that also features traditional sliders, opposite. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

sports logoEric Tschetter can tell you the day when he decided what he needed to do.

For a decade, he has owned The Pour House, a Fort Worth sports bar. For virtually all of that time, however, he’s lived in Dallas. The commute for work didn’t bother him much; it was the commute when it came to having fun.

“My partner and I were having brunch in Oak Cliff, with the intention of driving over to Pour House in Fort Worth,” he explains, “but we had been drinking and really just wanted to stay someplace closer.” But nowhere in the immediate area offered the combination of athletics, snacks and gay-friendly atmosphere he wanted.

“We thought, ‘Why can’t we watch sports right here in the Cliff?’ It was football season!”

That was 2011; in less than a year, Tschetter had his wish — and he’s the one who made it happen. PhD (a clever twist — it stands for Pour House Dallas) opened on Davis Street across from the Kessler Theater last fall, just in time for the start of football and to watch the World Series. Oak Cliff finally has a place folks — gay and straight — can nosh on burgers, beer and wings while rooting for their favorite teams.

Doors opened on Sept. 7 and they secured their liquor license on Oct. 7 — which is good for Tschetter, because that’s what he loves best about being a bar owner.

“My favorite part is the tasting of the beers,” he says, noting that PhD carries many local microbrews, including ones from Four Corners, Deep Ellum and Oak Cliff Brewing. But he also likes the socializing. “It’s nice getting to try something different every day,” Tschetter says. “It’s an interesting people-friendly job.”

Tschetter is especially glad his gay neighbors who enjoy sports have a place they can feel comfortable south of the Trinity.

“I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 10 years, and we’ve seen a lot of gays and lesbians here, but I didn’t know just how much until I opened here,” he says. (Just listen to the music over the speakers to detect the gay sensibility — there’s everything from Queen to Madonna.) Tschetter has also recently started showcasing live music, with singers from the community on Friday and Saturday nights, and he hopes to have a DJ for brunches as well. And with the weather warming up, he expects the patio will get popular.

dining2“We can enclose it and it’s heated in the winter,” he notes, but Dallas is all about patios.

The food consists of a lot of traditional pub grub, though there are some interesting twists. The kitchen offers three kinds of wings (honey barbecue, Buffalo and teriyaki), plus Texas faves like King Ranch chicken and fish tacos; a plate of deluxe nachos can satisfy a lot of hungry mouths. (Half-price happy hour prices on appetizers and cocktails are also a lure.)

And, of course, PhD also has weekend brunch. Face it: You can’t be gay, even in Oak Cliff, without a Sunday Funday.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 5, 2013.