Denton Dram: RT's Game Day Blood Mary

When venturing beyond The Square or the very drinker-friendly crowd of Fry Street, it’s important to know that Rick and Trey’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill (RT’s) is a must visit destination. Whether it’s for the game on Sunday or just a casual pint during the workweek, this modest Denton bar is a hotspot for good drinks, great people and top-notch pub food. Being among the best sports watching venues for Dentonites on game day, Valerie James and Clarissa Madl put together a Game Day Bloody Mary that is not only delicious but also dressed to impress. 

RT’s Bar is the type of place you have to know about. A short drive from Downtown, it’s an oasis for those seeking a comfortable social atmosphere that is fun and pocketbook friendly. There’s something very authentic about the vibes at this local gem, whether it’s the nightly Block Party feel of it or the welcoming staff who make everyone that walks through the door feel at home. “We try to take the time to get to know everyone who comes in here,” James says, “So when you walk in it’s a very relaxed ‘Cheers’ kind of feel.” There’s entertainment as well: pool tables, a shuffleboard table and darts, not to mention TVs that line to walls ensuring you always have a good seat. A patio stretches out back with tables that are usually pushed together to accommodate growing groups of friends as more people arrive throughout the evening. Even when you’re enjoying a beverage outside, the bartenders regularly move through the crowd and take drink orders. It’s a rare instance at RT’s to be empty-handed for too long. “Our service is different than other places,” Madl says, “I don’t know a lot of bars that come around to the tables like we do and ask if you need another drink.” Continuing to provide a sense of camaraderie and family-like closeness, the regulars even refer to RT’s as “home base.”

It’s true that RT’s isn’t known for their cocktails, but their staff consists of knowledgeable veteran bartenders that have been slinging drinks around Denton for many years. With the new addition of the Game Day Bloody Mary, they’re putting themselves on par with some of the most impressive cocktails you’re likely to come across. For starters, its appearance alone is enough to make you double take. Chockfull of garnishes, this Mary boasts a tall skewer of goodies that consists of a Lil Smokey sausage, a cube of sharp cheddar cheese, a cocktail onion, olives, a baby dill pickle, a pepperoncini and pickled okra. If this weren’t enough, they’ve added a strip of bacon, a jalapeno Slim Jim and a spicy green bean all finished off with a lime wedge and traditional salt rim. Madl tells us about her inspiration, “I was up in Wisconsin, and every bar up there has a ‘game day Bloody Mary,’ and they all claim to have the best one. You go in and see they all have these crazy skewers of stuff. So I thought about it one day, why don’t we do that?” Doing it they certainly are, and well. Once you’ve taken in the sight of this monstrosity of a beverage, the taste doesn’t disappoint. The flavor is hearty but not overwhelmingly thick, just plain refreshing. A perfect blend of salt, spice and a punchy note of citrus. “It’s got tomato juice, jalapeno juice, fresh lime and lemon…” James says. “And a secret blend of spices!” Madl chimes in. One secret ingredient that James let slide was a quick pull of Guinness in to the shaker at the end that provides the Bloody Mary with a rich taste both savory and satisfying. “It’s kind of like cooking,” James says, “I make them how I’d make them at home.” 

Beyond this amazing new cocktail, there are countless reasons to stop into RT’s bar. Drink specials that change throughout the week, live music on Saturdays and comedy shows every three months are a few, and you’ll never pay a dime at the door when you’re stopping in--always free to come join in on the fun! Their kitchen offers up some of the best bar food in town, everything prepared in-house whether it’s a dressing, salsa or queso made from scratch to their freshly cut hand-battered onion rings. Join them this Saturday for their annual Halloween Party where there will be raffle prizes and an award for Best Costume. Open

RT's is located at 1100 Dallas Drive, in Denton, Texas. 

Photos by Lauren Coe
Header image design by Brittany Keeton