Mac’s Southside, the newest addition to the Cedars, is a neighborhood dive that has it all: plenty of beers on tap, a pool table, comfy couches around a big screen, piping hot pizza, and even a resident bulldog.
• Atmosphere: Mac’s is an expansive place, with unfinished floors, exposed brick walls, and hanging light fixtures that resemble upside-down umbrellas. A few neon bar signs flicker from corners of the room. A blue-hued mural of Downtown Dallas decorates the back wall; opposite the long, well-stocked bar is a portrait of an English bulldog. The place itself is overwhelmingly comfortable—drinks are reasonably priced, and it’s the kind of place where you can settle in, sip a brew, and not worry about much. But if you get bored just sitting around, there’s a pool table, a dart board, and a shuffle board.
It’s very chill, as all good neighborhood watering holes should be, without a hint of pretension.
• What to Order: When I checked out Mac’s, Bishop Crackberry, Community Mosaic IPA, and Deep Ellum Dallas Blonde were among the beers on draft. Still, most of the patrons were sipping from cans—the selection of which includes local favorites like Four Corners as well as tried-and-true brews like PBR and Coors Light. There are no crafty cocktails here. (“We’re a dive—that’s kind of our thing,” one waitress told me.) But the friendly bartenders will be happy to pour you something tall and strong. Also: ZaLat is Mac’s next-door neighbor, so you can order a pizza with all the fixings and have it brought to you right at your bar stool.
• Who’s There: The crowd is strongly local, as if a lot of folks just walked over from their houses or apartments for a cold drink. There were couples, sports fans, groups of older people, and at least two children. A guy with a ponytail and a woman in a Steelers tank top played pool while their young son snacked on pizza, a woman in a shiny mini skirt sat chatting with the bartender, and two sports-watching groups soon consolidated into one. Importantly, there’s also a bulldog who likes to hang out here: His name is Mac, and he kind of owns the place. (Though I was told that he spends most of his time sleeping on the couch, and when he’s not doing that, he stays busy hoping for a bit of misplaced pepperoni.)
• What I Didn’t Like: That time I was standing near the front of the bar and a couple came in and tried to order a pizza from me. I guess I looked a little too comfortable.
• What I Did Like: Precisely that: The comfort. This is a place where people wear T-shirts and yell at their teams on TV. It’s very chill, as all good neighborhood watering holes should be, without a hint of pretension.