Eno’s Pizza Tavern opened to the public July 11, 2008. The next day, a TV reporter stopped by to ask how small, local businesses were surviving the newly felt ‘Great Recession’ of 2008. Our response was a two-part plan not just to survive but thrive: first, position Eno’s around other small businesses such as craft breweries and local purveyors; second, become a community cornerstone. From day one, Eno’s opted to focus solely on craft beer, which was unheard of in the Dallas market in 2008. Some customers walked out because of this decision, while many others embraced our focused offering and helped start the movement toward local craft beer in the metroplex. We were determined to remain focused on helping out other small businesses whose values of high quality, locally sourced ingredients we shared. We featured local made sausage, locally grown herbs and vegetables, honey made in our ZIP code, and bread baked fresh around the corner.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008, is the next date seared into the history of Eno’s. A chance was taken on our, then little known, neighborhood and it was decided that an election day party would be held on the street in front of our little establishment. Thousands flocked in front of Eno’s, and for many of those folks, it was the first time they experienced the wholesome familiarity of the Bishop Arts District. That night, Eno’s sold out of everything -- including bar olives. It was a major turning point for Eno’s and the community.4015
Eno’s established one of the premier homebrew competitions by creating Brew Riot. The first ever Brew Riot homebrew competition in Oak Cliff happened on July 7, 2009, in celebration of our first anniversary since opening. We started with five homebrew teams in the back parking lot. Members of what would become Four Corner’s Brewery competed and won the People’s Choice award. Many other local breweries in the metroplex can trace their origins to this friendly little competition. Over time, Brew Riot has grown to 65 teams competing and an estimated 3,500 enthusiasts in attendance.
Eno’s is for families. The first ever iBike Rosemont, an initiative to promote bicycle ridership with a local elementary school (Rosemont Elementary), rode into Eno’s on May 28, 2010, with only a dozen kiddos for a free house-made root beer float. Since then, we have rewarded over 1,000 elementary students who bravely battled the difficult weather and terrain to ride their bikes to school each day of the week leading up to the 1.3-mile ride to Eno’s for a delicious root beer float led by the local fire department in an antique fire truck.
Eno’s proudly sponsored and helped organize the first Bastille on Bishop Festival on July 14, 2010. Despite doing “everything wrong” (having a French festival on a sweltering 97 degree Wednesday afternoon in July) estimated attendance was over 3,000, and it has grown dramatically each year since.
Garret Oliver, The Brooklyn Brewery’s head brewmaster and one of the foremost authorities in the world on the subject of beer co-organized with us a five-course beer dinner in the Eno’s upstairs Pub on November 17, 2011, for forty lucky attendees. We created six off-menu specialty pizzas that featured amazing local ingredients like East Dallas Jimmy’s Hot Italian Sausage, Local Yocal Beef Short Rib, cheese from Scardello, and community grown heirloom tomatoes.
Eno’s has since spearheaded or materially supported countless other local and community enrichment initiatives. We are constantly increasing our community collaborations to enhance our food and beverage offering.