One of the biggest complaints I hear about Dallas is that we’re all just a bunch of self-centered, clique-obsessed, pretentious jerkholes. Well, that’s all true. Every city has jerkholes, though.
But for every yuppie driving a Benz or a Beamer (gross) in Dallas, there’s a laid-back counterpart, usually hanging out at some dimly lit, sexy watering hole. Yeah, I said sexy.
1807 Gould St
Dallas, TX 75215
Monday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Saturday: 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
“This place seems cool. I don’t see any douchebags here,” a friend said on a recent trip to Lee Harvey’s. And that sums it up really well, which is great since describing its charm isn’t always easy. Some people can’t even get past the Lee Harvey’s name. It’s not like the guy worked there. (He didn’t, right?)
And then there’s the whole south Dallas thing. In comparison, a gaggle of drunks in Uptown seems far more threatening.
The sooner you get past all that, the sooner you can imbibe on the cheap while watching a free show from a local band, courtesy of Lee Harvey’s.
The Amsterdam Bar
831 Exposition Ave
Dallas, TX 75226
Sunday – Saturday: 2:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
“Chill” is the one word that defines the Amsterdam Bar. On Monday nights, Amsterdam is host to jazz jam sessions with Shelley Carroll, a North Texas master of music. It’s no wonder it feels like a bar in the Big Easy, aged flooring and all.
And if you intend to show up for jazz night, you best brush up on your jazz slang. Here are some terms to get you started: “bread” (money), “breaking it down” (cutting loose), and “barn burner” (a classy woman). Thanks, Google.
The Pavilion (formerly Barbara’s Pavillion)
325 Centre St
Dallas, TX 75208
Sunday – Saturday: 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
The Pavilion is part dive and part gay bar minus the excessive flamboyance. I’m not saying this place doesn’t have flamboyance, because it actually does. I’m saying it’s got the right amount.
If you’re looking for strong drinks that won’t dip into your Xanax budget, the Pavilion is your bar. If you want to get hammered with total strangers while they belt show tunes on a makeshift stage next to the bar, well, now you know where to go.
Cock & Bull
6330 Gaston Ave
Dallas, TX 75214
Monday – Thursday: 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
The Cock & Bull has some of the best bar chow around, and that’s probably what’s been keeping its patrons so happy. If you get a chance, make out with their French dip – it’s one of their best. (It’s a shame the menu isn’t available online.)
It’s a small bar, so getting chummy with the person next to you is inevitable. The place is just so damn quaint. I imagine it’s what a small pub in London must be like.
3510 Commerce St
Dallas, TX 75226
Monday – Friday: 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 7:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
When it comes to decor, the Double Wide holds its own. The whole bar, inside and out, is a work of art. From the scattered toys on one side of roof to the tornado sculpture on the other, Double Wide is trailertastic.
And if you’re looking for some bizarre musical acts, check out their calendar – they feature some whacky shows.