Dulce Vida's most striking feature is a mural on the side of the building, painted by an artist known as Birdcap, who my drinking companion happens to know. The mural is pretty impressive, and was apparently commissioned by a marketing company representing Memphis tourism. (I've never been to Memphis, but now I want to go and see Elvis's Cadillacs, so I guess the ad campaign worked.)
The place was fairly quiet when we came in; an older guy with a graying mullet sat across from us at the bar, while a few hipsters in cycling gear took up a table, a bro-esque group of young dudes that probably lived in the nearby Parkway apartments (or some other bro-friendly dwelling nearby) played pool in the side room, and a few middle-aged couples stared at their phones over drinks.
But the place continued to fill, with a white-bearded man wearing an outfit that made him look like a caricature of an American tourist, a family in for dinner, a girl who kept having her friend record her twerking moves (probably for Snapchat purposes), and a cadre of revelers decked out in red, white and blue, clearly on some sort of USA-themed pub crawl.
The decor at Dulce Vida is busy and leans toward baseball, with one wall covered in chalk art advertising Rockies games, along with a list of the many types of available mules. Behind the bar, there are so many liquor bottles on display that there's even a ladder for bartenders to get the ones on the top shelf. There's a game room beside the bar with billiards, foosball, Pacman and Bonus Hole.The covered back patio is spacious, with enough room for cornhole, but it was empty on this particular day. Inside, some of the booths are covered in canopies that add an interesting touch.
Specials like sixty-cent wing Wednesdays bring in customers looking for cheap food, and brunch is also popular, with $10 bottomless mimosas available from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m on the weekends. On weekdays Dulce Vida is open from 11 a.m. to midnight, though the bartender says that sometimes closing time varies based on business. As the bar is tucked into an oddly quiet block just beyond the city center, it's understandable that things aren't always rowdy here after dark.
But after a downtown festival, on a quiet afternoon or after a long day at the office, Dulce Vida is a pleasant enough place to pull up a barstool, grab some creative bar grub for lunch or brunch and meet an interesting assortment of Golden Triangle regulars. And maybe plan that trip to Memphis.