This is the latest installment of Barfly, which spotlights Texas bars, from classic watering holes to new hot spots.

Bar: Ruins

Location: 2653 Commerce, Dallas

Owners: Dan Murry, Abram Vargas, and Peter Novotny

Opened: April 2018

The Story: Exposed brick notwithstanding, there’s nothing run-down about Ruins, the latest Deep Ellum venture from the creators of the popular Armoury D.E. Although its name is inspired by Budapest’s “ruin pubs”—abandoned buildings transformed into watering holes—the bar and eatery serves Latin American fare. Peruvian beverage director Christian Armando Guillén and his team, including bar manager Josh Back, have designed the Ruins’ cócteles de casa around a vast collection of agave- and cane-based spirits. 

Ambience: The patio offers prime crowd watching, while the back room features live music on weekends and special events on other nights.

What to Order: The Wall-arita, a blend of mezcal, tequila, passion fruit, and peppers swirled with chicha morada (a purple corn–based Peruvian beverage), comes frozen or on the rocks; either way, it’s delicious. The old-fashioned-esque You Brown, You is spirit-forward with a touch of tropical sweetness. See the recipes for both below.

Pro Tip: Ruins opens at 11 a.m., giving you plenty of time to avoid the Deep Ellum crowds if you wish.


1 ½ ounces Ilegal mezcal
¾ ounce Mi Campo tequila
¾ ounce passion fruit syrup
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
Tajín Clásico seasoning, for the rim
¼ ounce chicha morada (Peruvian nonalcoholic beverage made from purple corn, pineapple, cloves, and cinnamon), for swirl
Orchid flower and pequin peppers, for garnish

Combine first four ingredients in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds. Rim glass with Tajín. Fill glass with fresh ice and strain into both glasses. Swirl chicha morada around the edge of glass. Garnish with orchid and pequin peppers.

Created by Christian Armando Guillén

You Brown, You

1 ounce Sierra Norte yellow-corn whiskey (Oaxacan)
1 ounce Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum
½ ounce Caffe del Fuego (coffee liqueur)
½ ounce Giffard coconut syrup
3 dashes Peruvian bitters
Colombian cacao shavings and orange peel, for garnish

Stir all ingredients in a mixer. Serve in a rocks glass over over one large ice cube. Garnish with cacao shavings and orange peel.

Created by Christian Armando Guillén

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Agave de Vida.” Subscribe today.