By Scott Zenreich
We here at Theatre Three are constantly trying to bring you better. Better plays, better production value, and a better overall experience. We believe that concessions are a factor in what is an enjoyable evening. We have upgraded our selection of beer and wine with the help of Scott Zenreich. Here is what he has to say about the process.
Hello, my name is Scott. I’ve spent the last few months collaborating with the staff at Theatre Three to make some changes in their bar that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Aside from my work in the theatre, I have spent much of my life as a waiter and bartender in some pretty great restaurants. Currently I work at Macellaio, David and Jennifer Uygur’s newest spot in Bishop Arts. There are a lot of parallels I could draw between artists: directors and chefs, winemakers and playwrights. In any case, going out to eat and seeing plays are two of my favorite ever things to do. And when you go see a show at Theatre 3, you’ve chosen to spend your valuable time, when you could be doing literally anything else at all, and I want to honor that by offering you delicious things to drink.
In my experience, theatre bars can be pretty sad places. And it’s no one’s fault. Producing plays is difficult and takes a lot of resources, and it is more than understandable to prioritize what is happening onstage. However, I feel the most successful theatre organizations live in the details and think about what their guests experience from the moment they step into the space.
When I first approached Christie Vela, Associate Artistic Director, about possible changes in the bar, she was eager and excited by the idea. She then told me about some logistical limitations, which basically meant that all wine had to be sold in smaller, single serve portions. Selling by the glass out of full size bottles was not an option. Personally, I like a good challenge and my research led me to wine in cans.
Canned wine is, admittedly, a mixed bag. Many wineries are embracing the trend, and it’s increased the accessibility of their products to market. I met with several distributor friends I knew from my restaurant life and tasted as much canned wine as possible. Some jobs aren’t really so bad. The great majority of what I tasted, I didn’t think was very good. In reality, I feel many wineries are canning their left-over juice for their less discerning buyers who may be clubbing or glamping. But there were also others who surprised me. And I am so happy to be able to showcase what I’ve found.
So allow me to re-introduce you to the bar at Theatre Three, where you can see a play and drink a can. Maybe it’ll be an albarino from a small producer in Lodi, California. Maybe it’ll be a malbec/bonarda blend from Mendoza, Argentina. We decided to keep the list small and focused. There will be a sparkling wine, two whites, two reds, a cider, and four beers. Speaking of which, the beers will now all be local to DFW. The list will change with the season and with what’s available, and there will be additional featured options that relate specifically to what’s playing onstage. Be prepared for punny names.
Cans of wine are 375ml, which is half a bottle, or two plus glasses, so please plan and drink responsibly. For me, that’s the perfect amount to drink and watch a play.
Also, your purchase will now include a Theatre Three branded cup so you can take your drink into the theatre with you. Gone are the days where you arrive five minutes before curtain and have to shotgun a beer in the lobby. When you bring your cup back to the bar for a refill, you’ll get a discount each time. Thanks for caring about the environment with us.
Improving the quality of product in the bar is an ongoing process. So expect an upgrade in the snacks selection soon.
To be honest, I have ulterior motives. I have big dreams of my own to found a theatre company that features an amazing bar. Elevating the offerings at other regional theatres is wonderful practice and I continue to learn a lot. I’ve also worked as a consultant in this way with Amphibian Stage and Stage West in Fort Worth. If you’re a D-FW theatre that always thought your bar could be better but don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out.
Also, when you drink at Theatre Three’s new bar, I want to hear about it. What did you like? What did you wish were different? This is an ongoing conversation, and I promise I’m listening, and I’m an advocate for you.
So please go see as many plays as you can at Theatre Three this season. And when you do, don’t forget to get a drink in the lobby. I hear you can also pre-order what you want for intermission. Thanks for being an arts patron in this crazy world we live in. You deserve the very best.