Home Iconic bar First Look: Mayer’s Garden gives iconic name to new Henderson Avenue bar

First Look: Mayer’s Garden gives iconic name to new Henderson Avenue bar


If you were a younger person living in Dallas in the late 1800s, Mayer’s Garden could have been one of your hangouts. According to archived stories from the Dallas Morning News, Mayer’s Garden has been described as “Dallas’ premier resort”. We’re not quite sure what that means, but the original venue on Elm Street featured live animals, live music, and beer flowing seven days a week.

Fast forward to the end of 2021 and a new Mayer’s Garden has opened on Henderson Avenue and hopes to bring that same spirit of rejoicing to the space that was once occupied by Jake’s Burgers. Dallas restaurateurs Austin Rodgers and Garrett Mayer are behind the new establishment, which is nestled among other popular spots like High Fives, The Whippersnapper, The Old Monk, and Spider Muprhy’s, among others.

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Inside the Mayer Garden, warm woods and numerous plants soften the industrial aesthetic.

Chris Wolfgang

Rodgers, who also runs the Alamo Club on Lower Greenville, told the Morning news that he was looking for a historic name for his new business. With partner Mayer coincidentally sharing the same last name (there is no connection), the fit was perfect for Mayer’s Garden.

We stopped by Mayer’s on a recent Monday to check out the new space. You won’t find a zoo like you did in 1881, but the new iteration has a modern industrial interior that blends seamlessly into the interior and exterior, thanks to massive garage-style doors that open up the patio onto the dining room. Inside, the main dining room has plenty of warm wood tables and caramel-colored chairs, which soften the industrial tones. A massive TV sits on one wall but is surrounded by wrought iron shelves filled with plants to reinforce the name of the garden.

   Chris Wolfgang" class="uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle"> Click to enlarge If you can avoid laughing by ordering a bowl of "nuggets", you are a better person than us.  - CHRIS WOLFGANG

If you can avoid laughing by ordering a bowl of “nuggets”, you’re a better person than us.

Chris Wolfgang

We sat at the L-shaped bar topped with concrete and browsed the menu. The shareable section of the menu opens with half a dozen items, with choices like devil’s eggs, hummus, or an elote dip that pushes the boundaries of the usual bar far. We wanted to try the elote dip, but our friendly bartender told us they didn’t have any left for the evening. In its place, we started with an order of taquitos ($ 11) filled with smoked chicken and longhorn cheddar cheese, then topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and a sweet lime cream.

Our eyes were also drawn to the menu section called “Nuggies,” which admittedly is a word we don’t often see on menus. Nuggies are chicken or portobello nuggets, breaded and fried, then served in the bowl with two dips from a quartet of choice. Intrigued, we opted for the more traditional chicken nuggies ($ 11) and left in awe. Each bite of wet chicken was encased in a golden fried envelope that managed to be crisp all the way to the bottom of the bowl without getting soggy. Odd name aside, a bowl of addicting nuggets is easily enough for two people to share.

Click to enlarge Mayer's Garden's BLT is revisited with a fried green tomato.  - CHRIS WOLFGANG

Mayer’s Garden’s BLT is revisited with a fried green tomato.

Chris Wolfgang

The rest of the menu is fleshed out with a selection of salads and sandwiches, including a nifty take on the traditional BLT ($ 13) that accompanies a fried green tomato and adds a savory Old Bay remoulade. We also tried the blackened cod tacos ($ 13) and found the fish to be fresh and flaky, but the blackening rub could use a bit more kick in our opinion.

For a Monday night, Mayer’s Garden sported a decent-sized crowd. While Monday night football Broadcast on television, young professionals in collared shirts and fitted pants appeared to make up the largest percentage of clients.

Rodgers and Mayer envision Mayer’s Garden as a place to play, and it’s easy to see the allure of meeting up in Mayer’s Garden with a group of friends. Solid food choices and a trendy space add to the appeal, and when spring arrives we can see the Mayer’s Garden patio as a great place to eat and drink on Henderson Avenue.

Mayer’s Garden, 2422 N. Henderson Ave., 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Tuesday Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. – Sunday midnight.