Straight truth about Crooked Tree

Elizabeth Mitch, Staff Writer

Crooked Tree is a favorite study spot for UD students. Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.

Kristyn Bartley was working at a bank when she joined Sarah Momary to open a familiar study spot — Crooked Tree Coffee House. Tucked away in a little house, Crooked Tree is a cozy getaway with soft couches and friendly baristas. For many people it is a home away from home, only a 20-minute drive from the University of Dallas and a short walk from Klyde Warren Park or the Dallas Museum of Art. Crooked Tree isn’t just competition for Starbucks; it unites excellent coffee and atmosphere into a miniature getaway with a special story.

According to the coffee shop’s website, it was founded in 2008 by Kristyn Bartley and Sarah Momary.

“I had just been working at a bank, and kind of looking at a bunch of different businesses, and you know, doing the financials and stuff like that. I had always been interested in opening up a business, but just wasn’t sure what I wanted to get into,” Bartley said. “[Sarah] was a nurse, and she had worked in coffee shops all through college and nursing school. [She] was starting to feel like she’d love to go back and do that, and we just kinda put our heads together on what it would look like to open a coffee shop together, and take it one step at a time after that.”

Even the name of Crooked Tree reflects the homegrown nature of the shop.

“We liked the idea of kind of the broader sense of humanity gathering together, and we liked the image of the tree that is kinda (sic) crooked and a little bit quirky, a little bit off balance, you know, but kind of a representation of people — our brokenness, but the way we grow and live together,” Bartley said. “It’s fun to see who’s gonna (sic) walk in the door next, and the different types of interactions that go on, from business meetings to friends reuniting, or families coming in together … also the staff has been just so much fun, and the kind of family environment that they’ve created over the years.”

The sense of community that Crooked Tree fosters doesn’t end with the customers they serve. As stated on their website, Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters provides most of their coffee, and their tea also comes from a local company, Zakti. Even their pastries come from local businesses such as Empire Baking Company. Crooked Tree’s commitment to buying local ensures that the coffee house supports the Dallas economy and hardworking Texans. The coffee house also supports local musicians and hosts concerts every now and then.

“We’ll have musicians on Friday and Saturday nights … nobody typically very big,” Bartley said.

However, enjoying a cup of java while listening to an up-and-coming guitarist might just be a UD student’s dream evening.

With all the different drink options Crooked Tree has to offer, it might be mindboggling to try to choose just one. We asked Bartley for a recommendation.

“The Cappuccino,” Bartley said. “It’s a classic, but I think we do it so well, and our baristas are super skilled, so they usually have some wonderful latte art, and then the taste is just awesome.”

According to their website, they are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. most days of the week, with slight variations on weekends. If you need another reason to try Crooked Tree, download the “College Discounts” app for 50 percent off one item. Next time your inner coffee lover yearns for a change from the Cap Bar, Crooked Tree just might be your answer.


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