I was greeted by a booming “Hey!” as I yanked open the freshly painted red door to the Windmill Lounge on Wednesday afternoon. I couldn’t see the face behind the voice (my eyes were adjusting from the bright glare of the sun to the dimly lit bar) but I knew that it belonged to Louise Owens. “You want a drink?” she asked as I approached the bar. I hesitated, but only briefly. I was, after all, in one of the best cocktail dens in Dallas.
She mixed me her namesake drink, The Louise: vodka, orange juice, strawberry nectar, ginger, and mint syrup topped off with sparkling wine. Seemed fitting at the time. We took a seat at a table in the back corner as Billie Holiday serenaded us from the jukebox.
She and her now ex-husband Charlie Papaceno opened the Windmill Lounge in 2005. Charlie has since parted ways to open a business of his own, but you can find Louise mixing drinks at the Maple Avenue dive on any given day of the week. “There’s nothing in here without a story” she explained as she glanced around “from the toast points to the curtains.”Full Story