Industry Alley

Dallas’ cocktail ‘godfather’ takes leave to help ailing dad, hands bar reins to tiki tandem

Industry Alley
Industry Alley owner Charlie Papaceno.

Visit Industry Alley these days and you might notice a couple of new faces roaming the bar: Marty Reyes and his wife Jen, who goes by the catchy moniker Jen Ann Tonic.

Dallas cocktails
The laid-back Industry Alley reflects Papaceno’s easygoing personality and is an industry favorite.

Known around town for their occasional “Swizzle Luau Lounge” pop-ups, the jaunty tikiphiles and bar-culture enthusiasts have taken up temporary residence in the Cedars neighborhood watering hole. They’re filling in for owner Charlie Papaceno, elder statesman of the Dallas cocktail scene, who’s taking a two-month sabbatical to be with his 91-year-old father in rural New York.

“My dad is having some health issues and I’m going up there to care for him,” said Papaceno, who opened the low-key, classics-minded cocktail bar after leaving the venerable Windmill Lounge in late 2014. “He can’t be alone if we want to keep him in his house.”

Industry Alley tiki
Noted tikiphile Marty Reyes, right, and bar manager Mike Steele play Skipper and Gilligan at an Industry Alley tiki party in June.

While he’s gone, Papaceno is leaving his bar in the hands of the Reyes tiki tandem and bar manager Mike Steele.

The Reyeses say they’re humbled by the chance to oversee a place helping to infuse new life into the area and don’t plan to alter the laid-back, jukebox-and-pool-table feel that’s made it a bar-industry favorite. However, an actual kitchen is on the way along with a seasonal drink lineup, and an off-menu tiki selection may find its way into existence for those who carry the torch.

Papaceno hit the road Tuesday on his way to Warwick, the town where he grew up, and says he’ll be with his ailing dad through the holidays, at least.

“It’ll be nice to spend the last days of his life with him,” he said. “There’s been too many years apart for too many fathers and sons.”

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