Cold Beer Company in Deep Ellum is hoping to pour you a tall glass of something frosty come Friday

By Robert Wilonsky

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The before and after: 3600 Main used to house Vern's Place, but it's now the Cold Beer Company

The late, great Vern’s Place on the outskirts of Deep Ellum lives again — as the Cold Beer Company, which hopes to open its doors by the end of this week.

Says co-owner Carter Voekel, if today’s final inspection goes as planned, “we might kick the doors open and see what happens” on Friday, the start of the long holiday weekend. But first thing’s first: Voekel and co-owners Kelly Wesner and Gabe Whatley are in desperate need of barbacks — “stat,” says Voekel. Just pop by 3600 Main as soon as you can.

And when you do swing by you’ll note that the building looks more or less like it did way back when. It’s a different color, sure, and they’ve made a few modifications, adding two garage bay doors that open onto the patio, a pass-through bar window and a small addition out back that houses the walk-in, the office and a kitchen about the size of a food truck’s. But other than that, he says, “it’s the original building” that’s been there since 1938, when, so the story goes, it opened as a barbecue eatery. (The rafters are still slightly grease-stained above where the Vern’s buffet line used to stand.)

It’s certainly a great location, sitting all by its lonesome more or less sandwiched between the Double Wide and the Sons of Hermann Hall. There’s plenty of parking.

“It’s neat being a freestanding building,” says Voekel. “There aren’t a lot of those down here. It’s a great outdoor space, and there’s not a lot of that in Deep Ellum unless you’re a rooftop. But we’ll be here at night, and people will come in and stop by and say they’re glad we didn’t tear the building down. There’s a lot of history here.”

Of course, that’s not the headline here. There are 24 beers on tap, and the offerings will rotate on a regular basis — save for the Guinness tap, which ain’t going anywhere ever. There will also be “a little north of 40 bottles,” he says. About 70 percent of the offerings will be the usual suspects brewed locally: Peticolas, Lakewood, Community, Four Corners, Deep Ellum, Martin House Brewing Company (whose strangely wonderful Salsa Verde is on tap for a short time) and so forth.

The bar’s also fully stocked with many brown and clear alcohols. For now, the freshly minted menu lists six cocktails, among them: The Vern, a Bloody Mary “with a soul food feel,” says the menu.

And there will be food, about 15 offerings in all: “Mainly four different kinds of hot dogs, five sandwiches, one salad, one desert and five appetizers,” Voekel says. Among the items: the Old Vern dog (with brisket and barbecue sauce), the Mega Meatball sandwich (featuring homemade Waygu meatballs), house-made pickles and even a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. There’s also a late-night menu featuring sausage and cheese kolaches — two per order, four dollars. “So grab a sandwich, have a hot dog, have some bar trash to munch on, grab a beer and sit on the patio.”

Alas, there’s no fried pork chop, a Vern’s staple. Perhaps a petition drive? Or a Kickstarter. Something.