The ultimate Dallas barhopper’s guide

You drink too much. If you are the average Dallasite, you spend more than $400 a year drinking in bars. To be exact, a total of $421.86 is spent on drinks in bars for each man, woman and child in Dallas. Since most bars are pretty good about not serving 10-year-olds, that means some of us are drinking a lot more than our share. But enough of that depressing stuff. You can think about that after New Year’s, when you’re making all those resolutions you’ll never keep. This is the season to celebrate, to party. And what better place to revel than that ubiquitous American institution, the bar. If you’re like most Dallas bar patrons, you know maybe five or six mainline bars (élan, 8.0, the Stoneleigh P, etc.) and very little else. But why spend your $421.86 in one or two places? Why not branch out, reach out and kick back for an adventure? In our undying spirit of public service, the D Magazine staff has put together for you the all-time, complete, comprehensive, cosmic guide to the bars, taverns and just plain dives of Dallas. During the past few months, we unleashed every available staff member into the streets of Dallas and instructed them to go to as many bars as humanly possible. Now we know what’s out there; we know where to go to have a good time. And if it’s anywhere near Dallas, we’ve been there. Several times. The result: One hundred of Dallas’ most memorable (we didn’t say classiest) drinking establishments. And you better believe this project has taken its toll.

The key to finding good bars -once you’ve set your mind to venture into unknown waters – is just get out there and experiment. Take a few chances; risk a few limbs. Go places you’ve never dreamed of setting foot in before. Get that old ticker racing.

But perhaps you aren’t quite sure you’re ready to brave that vast frontier known as “Dallas After Dark.” You were just getting used to that little bar down the street. All the more reason to stop going there. Who needs routine?

But you don’t necessarily have to summon your courage and head for an evening of who-knows-what. We’ve already done that for you. We’ve been through it all. we’ve been thrown out for walking in the wrong door; we’ve even skipped a few doors (every project has its limits). We’ve had some good times and some not-so-good times. We’ve seen some good entertainment and some really bad entertainment. But we’ve done our job and we deserve a break. Now it’s your turn.

So have a good time.

Let’s party.

[1] Longhorn Ballroom. So what if it’s crowded, smoky, the cover’s too high, the tourists are too many: This is Bob Wills’ Longhorn Ballroom, the place for kicker dancin’, beer drinkin’ and hell raisin’. You’ll fit in whether you can dance or not, and you might as well plan on coming home with purple toe-nails (those rhinestone cowboys can be real nails (those rhinestone cowboys can be rear oafs). No one should live in Dallas and not go to the Longhorn at least once: It’s a Texas tradition. 216 Corinth.

[2] ElGHT-O. It’s amazing what a little honest promotion can do for a place. When the Eight-O first opened, it was plugged as the “in” place for struggling artists, bohe-mians, punk rockers and any other social misfits who happened to stumble in. It was a great place for people-watching, listening to one of the best jukeboxes in Dallas, and discussing the meaning of life and other such esoteric trivialities. Then an entire army of preppies decided that Eight-O was The Ultimate, and things went downhill from there.

Researchers for this article were Rowland Stiteler, Chris Wohlwend, Amy Cunningham, Greg Jones, George Rodrigue, Michael Ber-ryhill, Henri Rix, Kathy Hampton, Hancel Deaton, Ellen Mansoor and Lisa Broadwater. It was written by Lisa Broadwater.

Now, everybody at the Eight-O wants the preppies out (it’s so obvious you can feel it in the air), which doesn’t seem to faze the preppies in the least. The management has even tried outright rudeness. That didn’t work, either. The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh, suite 145.

[3] WILD CROWD INN. imagine Gene Autry kissing Gary Cooper on the neck. Imagine Clark Gable holding Alan Ladd’s hand. There you have the Wild Crowd, a place frequented by homosexual hombres who like to two-step. The age range is surprisingly broad – probably from 27 to 55 – and the tone and temperament are fairly sedate. The room is constructed like a corral with an open dance floor in the center. Men sidle up to the rough-cut bannisters and assume poses like those you see in Marlboro ads. Who knows, maybe the West was this wild. 2515 N. Fitzhugh.

[4] ADAIR’S. Now, this place has got class: torn U.S., British and Texas flags pinned to a wall; two-tone harvest gold and beige vinyl booths; thousands of spitwads clinging for dear life to the ceiling, miscellaneous graffiti covering several walls, gobs of gimme hats tacked to the wall behind the bar; Roy Rogers’ “Happy Trails” on the jukebox. Just about everybody’s welcome here: goat ropers, down-home boys, SMU football players, Joe Average middle class, disco cowboys, preppies. And even though Adair’s has reason to be smug, the atmosphere is as carefree as we could have hoped for. Not that Adair’s is mellow -far from that; Adair’s is for good, clean hell-raisers who are just out for a good time. 3903 Cedar Springs.

[5] HOLLAND’S. Don’t be deceived: Al-though the neon sign outside may beckon you in for a beer, this isn’t the kind of place in which most folks would prefer to spend too much time. After parking in the bar’s makeshift gravel parking lot on the side of the building, we ambled in by way of the dilapidated front door and were immediately assaulted by the lone beer maid whose first spoken (actually bellowed) words were “Where did you park?” “That way,” we motioned, toward the side of the bar. She then proceeded to pace back and forth behind the bar, slamming longnecks down on the counter and waving a fist or two at us. According to her, if you park by the side door, you’re supposed to enter through the side door; and if you park by the front door, you should enter through the front door. We had no idea. But we’re no dummies; we took our cue and exited -by the side door, of course. 1223 Industrial.

[6] GERTIE’S. Ever hear of a place where absolutely no one really belongs? That’s Gertie’s. It’s a jumble of Ted Nugent groupies, high school dropouts, serious rock ’n’ rollers and pure punkers. You’ll see longhairs wearing black T-shirts and faded flare-leg Levi’s, and slender young girls in skin-tight knee-length jumpsuits and razor haircuts. You’ll see clean-cut (well, almost) collegiate-types, and old, worn-out beer-gutted country boys. Live bands belt out rock ’n’ roll full-blast in front of a usually crowded dance floor. But it’s tough to tell just how well the patrons appreciate the music because many of them are zoned-out most of the time. We couldn’t even escape without one last reminder that anyone can call Gertie’s home. As we walked out the front door we were greeted by a young man who wanted to save our souls from eternal sin and damnation and show us the way to eternal life. Praise the Lord. 4125 Lemmon.

[7] ROXZ. Like most of the primarily teen-aged night spots on Northwest Highway, Roxz cards every entering man and woman (girl and boy?). But unlike many of the others, Roxz (Rox-zee) has a dress code. Once you pass inspection and are allowed inside, you’ll find all kinds of mirrors and flashing lights to distort truths. And the multilevel dance floors and drinking areas form an interesting sort of maze (try breaking up and seeing who can reach the bar first). As we innocently observed the bar’s numerous activities, we found ourselves under the wing of a young man who called himself “Sparks” (he never tells girls his real name). Sparks was extremely curious as to why we were taking notes. We abruptly informed him that we were with the health department and did he work here? Undaunted (and more than a trifle drunk), Spark’s next question was whether we fainted after having sex; his women always faint, he said. No, we admitted, uh … at least not lately. 2829 West Northwest Highway.

[8] JOE MILLER’S. If your criterion for the worth of a bar is determined by the strength of its drinks, then Joe Miller’s will be your unanimous choice for the best bar in Dallas. Drinking one of Joe’s vodka tonics is like getting shot with one of those sedative guns they use to drop elephants in the wilds of Africa. Three drinks and you qualify as legally dead. Joe’s is an insiders’ bar; for years it has been the favorite media hangout. If, on any given evening, you can’t find Alex Burton, John Anders, Dick Hitt, Tony Garrett, Billy Porterfield or Sam Attlesey in here, Joe will gladly deed the place over to you. A true indicator that this place is strictly an after-work gathering place is the fact that it’s closed on Saturdays and Sundays. 3531 McKinney.

[9] COWBOY. One thing that Cowboy is not is a place for cowboys. It’s much more aptly suited for guys who think they’d really like to be cowboys, and girls who think that men who walk like cowboys are neat. It is, however, somewhat reminiscent of a cattle drive: Every inch of floor space -whether for dancing, sitting or standing -is occupied at all times by large, obnoxious beasts who breathe heavily down each other’s necks and occasionally emit strange noises. 5208 Greenville.

[10] ELAN. In case you didn’t know and are consequently extremely bourgeois, that is a little e,l-a-n. Ay-Ion, for all you native Tex-ans. This is the spot in Dallas to drink, dance, mingle, play backgammon or just generally stand around looking beautiful, exotic, vogue and yes, rich. This is probably as close to Hollywood as Dallas will ever get -at least, we certainly hope it is. 5111 Greenville.

[11] RODEO DALLAS. Before Rodeo Dal-las was Rodeo Dallas it was the No. 3 Lift. Before that it was something else and before that it was probably something else. The result is simply the same old atmosphere and clientele (early-high school) revamped a bit to keep in step with the going trend. When we visited, the bar was big-city c/w disco: lots of prairie skirts and fancy cowboy boots, mon-ogrammed tooled-leather belts, 10-gallon Stetsons dripping with feathers, and frequent offers to tour the town in someone’s pickup. But who knows, fads being fleeting, by the time you read this, Rodeo Dallas may have gone punk. 2829 W. Northwest Highway.

[12] LONGNECK MINING COMPANY. This may have been the most interesting stop in our tour of Lemmon Avenue lounges. The atmosphere is late-Sixties funk and the beer is 45 cents. The jukebox contains such cult figures as Janis and Dylan and the Doors, and the bearded pool sharks aren’t above belting out a verse or two every now and then. The hit of our evening, though, was “Mean Matthew,” the 16-month-old son of one of the barmaids. Actually, Matthew wasn’t mean at all. We sort of liked him. And we got to see quite a bit of him, since his playpen was right behind the bar. Wedged between Matthew’s playpen and the exterior wall is a sheet of plywood, from which a stream of roaches bubbled, one every few minutes. Feeling festive, we soaked a napkin in our Budweiser and took aim, missing one of the little critters by mere inches. One of the waitresses took a bead with her pencil, but decided to spare the animal’s life. We respected her for that. 5334 Lemmon.

[13] TEXAS FEVER. To put it politely, this place smelled like someone’s damp and dirty socks. The bar used to be called The Gold Rush, and from the looks of things, the boom’s over. The huge two-story interior was virtually vacant when we visited (yes, it was a Saturday night); in fact we weren’t sure the place was even open when we first walked in. Then we located what little crowd there was – clustered around and on the peeling parquet dance floor. The meager group of regulars systematically performed several c/w line dances – even when the music switched to disco. Well, you do the best with what you’ve got. 3120 W. Northwest Highway.

[14] GREENVILLE AVENUE COUNTRY CLUB. Oh, what warm and wonderful memories we associate with the GACC. When it first opened several summers ago, we loved lounging beside the backyard swimming pool on sunny Sunday afternoons, sipping cold beer and scanning the most recent copy of The New York Times. Maybe we were so fond of the GACC because it made us feel like members of a real live country club (except there weren’t eight-year waiting lists, anybody could join and we didn’t have to do tacky things like “sign in”). But lately, GACC’s well-published success has caused us to love the country-club life a little less; the clientele seems to have turned from low-key to luridly uptown. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times. 3619 Greenville.

[15] Strictly Tabu. The Tabu has an easy, no-problem intimacy that can only happen with time and the right crowd (the kind of atmosphere that new bars spend big bucks trying to buy, only to discover that they’ve wasted their time). You’ll find the best pizza in town here, although the other food entries are only occasionally noteworthy and the drinks are average. Sometimes the music (jazz) gets in the way, depending on who is playing. 4111 Lomo Alto.

[15] TEXAS TEA HOUSE. The Tea House is a friendly, rowdy, trendless, prep-less c/w spot to drink beer and enjoy the harmony-lacking but good-natured Will Barnes Band. In other words, it’s a great place to take a bunch of friends to get drunk. The beer is cold, the crowd is always rowdy and the bleachers (this is strictly a beer garden) aren’t too bad, unless the night is chilly. 3402 Kings Road.

[17] BILLY BOB’S TEXAS. It was only a matter of time before someone built a c/w nightclub bigger than Gilley’s; it’s perfectly logical that they built it in Fort Worth. Billy Bob’s has 42 bar stations, six shops, two restaurants, seating capacity of 6,000, real cowboys riding real bulls in a stockyard arena and some of the biggest names in country music. 2520 N. Commerce, Fort Worth.

[18] STONELEIGH P. What can be said about the Stoneleigh P. that hasn’t been uttered already? Suffice it to say that more advertising campaigns, radio jingles, magazine articles, films, poems and paintings have been planned in this L-shaped room than in any other public or private Dallas chamber. Restaurant analysts could study the P. indefinitely and never figure out it’s formula for success because, basically, it has none. The P. breaks all the rules -the beer is sometimes less than teeth-cracking cold, the drinks are too small – and yet people continue to be seduced by the low-key intelligence of the place. 2926 Maple.

[19] Waylon’s High Country. The only thing Waylon’s has to do with Waylon Jennings is that his songs are regularly reproduced here by young, green entertainers who have neither the character nor the voice of the master. Waylon’s is a brightly lit, spacious honky-tonk perfect for North Dallas cowpokes who think that Cowboy is a put-on and that real blue-collar dives are bad places to pick up girls. 6844 Twin Hills.

[20] Red Barn Saloon. No, this isn’t the Longhorn Ballroom, but if you ask many of the Red Barn’s customers on any given night they’ll probably tell you differently. Not that this place looks like the Longhorn or has the same atmosphere as the Longhorn; it just happens to be lucky enough to be located next door to the Longhorn. Consequently, mobs of two-steppers wander in by accident, assuming that they have at last arrived at the world-famous institution. But even if the Red Barn weren’t kissin’ cousins with the Longhorn, it would still be a great place to park your Stetson and play a game or two of pool. 200 Corinth.

[21] Cafe Dallas, If you’re out to pick up someone and you can’t do it here, there’s got to be something wrong. This place is literally overflowing with eager young (well, maybe not quite so young) swingles in all shapes and sizes. Anything is “in” here; as long as you act like you belong, you will. And Café Dallas does have one of the best sound systems in Dallas; if you like to dance (anything from disco to New Wave to rock) and don’t mind a few indecent proposals, you’ll enjoy Cafe Dallas. 5500 Greenville.

[22] Waldo’s Bali Hai Club. This bar, home of the 60-cent draft beer and half a dozen patrons who seem to live here, looks tough. All those gun rack-equipped pickups in the parking lot can be a bit intimidating, but the service was friendly and we were left alone -even though we did look ex-tremely white-collar. The decor is early-dirt, so we hesitate to recommend Bali Hai to those of you who believe that cleanliness is next to godliness. 515 S. Industrial.

[23] The Village Station. This place is everything a great discotheque should be: The sound system is spectacular, the light show is dazzling and the people on the dance floor couldn’t give a flying flip whether you’re gay or straight just as long as you stay out of their way. The music is so exhilarating that it will pump adrenaline through your veins; and the women’s room is marked “Women Only,” a nice touch since some gay bars are vague as to where you go and why. 4001 Cedar Springs.

[24] The Sock Hop. This place obvious-ly originated as a Fifties nostalgia bar in which the girls wore poodle skirts and white bobby socks and the guys had greasy hair and wore black leather-jackets. What it has turned out to be is a pleasant, blue-collar singles bar, with music provided by the likes of the Neon Glo Boys, a rhythm and blues band with a Boz Scaggs-style sound. Customers at the Sock Hop seem to be predominately regulars, although newcomers are not shunned. 2946 W. Northwest Highway.

[25] BAGATELLE. If you’re tired of your rowdy friends and would like to slip into a plush, dark booth for a smooth drink and a little intimate conversation, this is the place. What you’ll find at Bagatelle is good food and great jazz. Karen Edwards sings and plays the piano Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights; and the Paul Guerrero Jazz Quartet performs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 4925 Greenville.

[26] CARMINE’S BAR AND LOUNGE. Words cannot convey the flavor of this Northeastern-ethnic bar, if only because our visit involved so much whipped cream. Gus (who is from Chicago) kept zapping this lady from New Jersey with pressurized dessert topping from Tom Thumb. To our amazement, the lady zapped Gus right back, taking only minimal pains to spare us noncombatants. Sandy, who is from New Jersey and runs the place, couldn’t control things and watched helplessly as six cans of whipped cream were spewed around the smallish lounge, sparing only the jukebox. Which was okay since the carpet already was spotted from last week’s whipped-cream-and-toilet-paper fight. We considered dashing over to Tom Thumb for our own ammunition, but the wedding guests from New York, armed with two cans each, had already bought the whole supply. 6754 Greenville.

[27] DIAMOND JIM’S. What a great place to get picked up! It’s not as pretentious as Cowboy, it’s not as overdone as Cowboy, and it’s got basically the same things to offer its patrons: pseudo-Western surroundings, lots of floor space to two-step or swing dance on, and oodles of available singles. We especially like the huge windowsills that line one wall. They’re perfect if you’d much rather sit back and just people-watch, something that’s quite entertaining in itself. We couldn’t believe some of the lines we heard here; more importantly, we couldn’t believe they actually worked. 5601 Greenville.

[28] ANDREW’S. The best way to describe Andrew’s is that it’s sort of like cod liver oil: best when taken in extremely small doses. It’s just that everything here is so cute; the cute little drinks (some are unbelievably potent) that have cute little names, the cute little waitresses in green and red plaid wrap-around jumpers, the cute little tables in the cute little courtyard. And in the midst of all this cuteness is a not-so-hot performer (usually accompanied by a guitar) trying to sing mellow oldies-but-goodies to a cute crowd most of whom couldn’t care less. 3301 McKinney.

[29] Old Church. When The Old Church was first the Old Church it was an old church. It was quite a hotspot; on Monday nights you would have thought the place was a fraternity house, it was stocked with so many SMU students eager to mingle and slam down cheap (75-cent) drinks. Then popularity waned, and the Old Church was no longer the Old Church. Prufrock Inc. stepped in and tried to turn the old church into a new posh, California-style wine bar (Hollywood and Vine). To the corporation’s dismay, the remaining customers kind of liked the place the way it was. Now the Old Church is the new Old Church and the world is at peace again. Although the interior is a little too clean and new-looking for our tastes, this Old Church is really quite a lovely place to enjoy a drink. 4501 Cole.

[30] The Railhead. From the size of the crowds, you would think this was the only bar in Dallas to offer live entertainment without a cover charge. The place begins to fill up by 8 p.m., sometimes earlier (depending on who’s playing), and almost always is standing room only. The Railhead usually features good local talent; primarily comedians and popular music copy artists. One band worth seeing is Dash Riprock and the Dragons, a copy band that plays everything from the Fifties through the present (equipped, of course, with the appropriate garb of each era). But no cover also means expensive drinks and mediocre service. 6919 Twin Hills.

[31] SUNDANCE KID. Referring to this bar as the roughest, toughest gay bar in Dallas doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous, it just means that it’s a hard-core “leather” bar filled with husky men in vinyl jackets and jeans secured with chain-link belts. Women may find themselves uncomfortable with the whole scene here. There is, for example, no door to the men’s room; it’s simply hidden in an alcove. On the brighter side, one nice man did introduce himself to the woman in our group in an attempt to make her feel more at ease; they chatted for about 10 minutes. But that was about it: There’s no dancing, no comfortable seating, no filly-fallying around; just standing and staring. 4025 Maple.

[32] THE HOP. The Hop, a longtime Fort Worth institution, has pizza, spaghetti and all kinds of music, ranging from a new rock group that sounds promising (the Blue Cats) to country-folk songwriters like B.W. Stevenson and Steve Fromholz. The atmosphere is low-key and comfortable (if TCU has any nonconformists, this is probably where they go). 2905 W. Berry, Fort Worth.

[33] Greenville Bar and Grill. Closet claustrophobics take heed: This place is always packed. It’s billed as Dallas’ oldest bar, and from the size of the crowds, they’ve all been here since the place opened. Although you may feel sort of like an outsider your first time here (it could’ve originated the phrase “neighborhood bar”), it’s only a matter of time before you’re old hat. But if you have a particular aversion to standing elbow to elbow in a crowded room for hours, this probably isn’t the place for you. 2821 Greenville.

[34] BALBOA CAFE. Not intending to be uncomplimentary, we find this place a bit like an old shoe: Nothing we haven’t stepped into a hundred times before, but often a comfortable and form-fitting relief. It’s more cafe than bar, with good sandwiches, plentiful servings and beer-batter onion rings. The Greenville Avenue location includes a patio for balmy nights, but only a small bar. 7015 Greenville and 3604 Oak Lawn.

[35] NFL. This is a true Irish pub, but you’ll like the NFL (Nick Farrelley’s Lounge) whether you’re a preppie, a goat roper, a longhair or just sort of an average Joe. It’s a friendly neighborhood spot that’s known to get a little rowdy at times; perfect for drinking a few beers, dancing to some old Irish folk songs or playing a game or two of darts or pool. 3520 Oak Lawn.

[36] 605I CLUB. This is still the place in Dallas for jazz, from the real thing to the “fusion” efforts of some of the younger groups. The drinks are substantial and reasonable, the atmosphere is cozy (if a bit too Formica-Fifties) and the music is generally exciting. 6051 Forest.

[37] POOR DAVID’S PUB. It’s easy to by-pass this grimy little bar on your way to somewhere else, but if you’re looking for decent live music, that may be a big mistake. Sure, Poor David’s is tiny, grungy and has absolutely no stage. All the better to concentrate on the music, which more often than not, is definitely worth hearing. The crowd is uncategorizable, and the atmosphere is one of unexpected intensity. 2900 McKinney.

[38] THE QUIET MAN. A great little un-obtrusive neighborhood bar, the Quiet Man is especially popular with the blue jeans and work shirt set. It’s about the size of the men’s rooms at D/FW and is dimly lighted, but the crowd is friendly; even the cockroach at our table was friendly. When we visited, our entertainment was provided by KEGL and by Kenny, a young longhair skilled enough to play Missile Command all night for a single quarter. The Quiet Man is an ideal place to talk (except outdoors during rush hour) and nurse a cheap drink. 3120 Knox.

[39] POPSICLE TOES. This place has just enough sleaze to be taken seriously as a jazz bar, but not so much that one must shower after leaving it. House bands include Buster Brown, a fusion unit, and Phyrework, which can do credible knock-offs of everyone from Boz Scaggs to George Benson. But we’re a little worried about the saxophone player; someone should feed him. And if you’d rather hear yourself think, there’s a large open-air patio out back. 5627 Dyer.

[40] BAR TEJAS. At first we thought Bar Tejas was perfect: the casual neighborhood feel, the enormous windows, the neon and marquee lights beaming in from the Mexican-American movie theater across the street. Then we realized that there’s something about the harshness of the acoustics and the height of the ceiling that makes this an extremely uncomfortable place in which to be drunk: The table setup is just too spartan. It is, however, a nice place to frequent during the day; and on Sunday evenings, there’s chamber music. 2100 Greenville.

[41] The White Elephant Saloon. In 1887, Luke Short, then the owner of the White Elephant, shot it out with a former U.S. marshal. Now the Elephant has c/w music six nights a week and a lot of tourists trying desperately to learn to two-step on a small dance floor. It’s not a bad place, though, to escape the higher cover charges and mammoth crowds at Billy Bob’s across the street. 106 E. Exchange, Fort Worth.

[42] Robbie’s Lounge. Robbie’s opened in 1956 when Oak Cliff went dry. It’s strictly a blue-collar neighborhood beer-and-setups place, owned and operated by Robbie herself (she may remind you a bit of your great-aunt Effie or cousin Mildred). The interior is a dreary industrial green and is embellished with lots of Budweiser promotional pieces, an electrical meter and an old space heater. 1200 S. Industrial.

[43] The Filling Station. If there’s a single style of license plate, oil-company symbol, mechanic’s tool or gas pump reference that’s not in this building, we’d be surprised. In fact, unless you work at a gas station or have a fetish for cars, you may OD on all the memorabilia after several visits. But still, this is a pleasant place to grab a hefty burger and listen to some decent live music (usually pop or c/w). 6862 Greenville.

[44] PlAF’s. The age of romance is not dead, it has just moved to Piaf’s. This place is simply dripping in mood, from the gentle music playing over the sound system to the dimmed lights overhead to the fluffy chairs scattered around the courtyard. But the mood can be spoiled if the kitchen gets busy; hectic waiters and noisy bartenders just shouldn’t figure into the picture. 4527 Travis at Knox.

[45] The Wine Press. Obviously, The Wine Press is a great place to sample wine (the wine list consists of page after page of Californian, French, Italian and German wines). But unlike many other wine bars, The Wine Press also serves a full range of cocktails. There’s also a great secluded second-story loft, which conjures up images of being hidden in Grandma’s attic. 4217 Oak Lawn.

[46] ALCATRAZ. What with all the mir-rors and flashing lights, this place looks more like a strange fantasy land than the island prison that (we suppose) is its namesake. Most of the men here look like they lift weights in their spare time, and many of them are so impressed with their own physiques that they dash around the club shirtless. The sign over the threshold of the front door forewarns patrons that women must wear “feminine attire” and men must wear “masculine attire.” Alcatraz wins the “Is nothing sacred?” award for a careful notation on the same sign: No Bare Butts. 5404 Lemmon.

[47] THE BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB. a beery, multiracial shack, a bit reminiscent of the rock ’n’ rollin’ Fifties, this place features bands like Little Johnnie Red and the Roosters, and the Juke Jumpers. Spontaneous dancing is encouraged; but some sort of quota system of no more than 15 TCU preppies inside at a time needs to be enacted, or before long they’ll drive down the property value. 3515 Home, Fort Worth.

[48] The Cherry Tree. The only thing really worth mentioning about this typical neighborhood bar is the variety of selections available on the jukebox. Choices range from Big Band sounds to “Rumble” by Link Wray to “I Can’t Get Started” by Bunny Ber-rigan and “Let’s Get Drunk” by Jimmy Buffett. You might have a hard time getting drunk if you have a sensitive nose; the smell of rosewater disinfectant is so overwhelming that you can barely taste your beer. 7717 Inwood.

[49] PJ’s. Although PJ’s caters mostly to a lunch and supper crowd, it happens to house one of Dallas’ better bartenders: Joe Benitez. Formerly with Cafe Pacific, the Ana-tole and 10 years as beverage manager at Los Angeles’ Biltmore Hotel, Joe can fix a drink that could tempt even a teetotaler. He’s already known in Dallas for his coffee drinks, and with the arrival of his foreign-made espresso cof-feemaker, his kava drinks are the best. 5410 E. Mockingbird.

[50] FOXHUNTER CLUB. As the name implies, this place’s main draw is foxes (we kept looking over our shoulders for Dan Akroyd and Steve Martin). The drinks were reasonable and the entertainment was stimulating. The strippers flirt fairly openly and mingle with the goggling, predominantly male audience. Foxhunter also has an ample pool room, should that be your inclination. 9515 Overlake.

[51] PAPAGAYO. Contrary to popular belief, John Travolta is alive and doing well inside Papagayo. This is a great place to take someone you don’t really want to talk to; you’ll never be at a loss for words because the music is so loud that you can’t think, much less hear. Music fluctuates from rock to disco to soul to New Wave to just plain weird. And the dance floor is always entertaining, whether you’re simply observing the agile young gymnasts or you’re out there on the dance floor yourself. 8796 N. Central.

[52] EIGHTH DAY. This is probably the liveliest of Dallas’ non-disco gay bars. One reason could be the presence of several gay go-go dancers, barely clad in “T-bags” (male g-strings), who warm things up with their uninhibited bumps and grinds. And for those discriminating guests, the management has provided a partitioned-off quiet room in which patrons can watch the action next door while conversing. 2509 N. Fitzhugh.

[53] STAN’S BLUE NOTE. Stan’s is a fine place to go for a beer or two and maybe a few games of shuffleboard, but it’s not comfortable enough for your more long-winded guzzlers. It’s equipped with the usual token pool table, neon beer signs and various warnings from the management; there’s even a barbed-wire fence out front, but you have to look hard to see it. Dorothy, the sturdily built manager, has a reputation for ordering the rowdier souls out the front door. And they go, too, no fuss. Dorothy ain’t one to be messed with. Period. 2908 Greenville.

[54] ABERNATHY’S. This is the most successful of four successful restaurants (the others are Shaw’s, Bluebonnet’s and Bogart’s) owned by Fort Worth native David Shaw. When it opened four years ago, Aber-nathy’s was the first of the good basic fern bars in Fort Worth. Consistently good burgers, nachos and salads, as well as just-right drinks, keep the TCU and young business crowd satisfied. 2859 Berry, Fort Worth.

[55] La Greta’s Lounge. The red and black decor is uncomfortably similar to pizza-parlor chic, but our spirited waitress and the reasonable prices helped bring us out of infrared shock. There’s a dance floor, an occasional live band and two pool tables. There’s also a free buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 2006 N. Industrial.

[56] PEPPER’S. Lucky for this place, it’s near the longest stoplight in Fort Worth, which makes it a great pit-stop for burgers and chili. Entertainment (Monday through Thursday) includes up-and-coming songwriter Sean Walters, composer of such songs as “Rosarita Rodeo” and “The Lost World Dance.” Friday night is jazz night. 3002 W. Seventh, Fort Worth.

[57] Comedy Corner. This isn’t such a bad place to catch semi-big name comedy acts if you don’t mind a lot of smoke, a $5 cover, a two-drink minimum and a waitress who automatically assumes that your change is her tip. Rows of comedians in their own rights fill the audience while various comedy acts of fluctuating quality take the stage for short sets of stand-up humor. One guy suggested that we buy Hare Krishna book covers for protection in airports. Clever. 8202 Park.

[58] Mad Hatter’s. This bar is worth a visit just to see its incredible collection of hats. The place is set up on two different levels (pool tables and electronic games downstairs; bar and mingling area at street level), with all kinds of hats everywhere. But the downstairs, which is generally extremely dark and smoky, can get a little spooky-looking; sometimes it resembles a dungeon when viewed from the top of the stairs. 7001 Fair Oaks.

[59] Cardinal Puff’s. We could really learn to love Puffs if we just didn’t have to put up with so many obnoxious SMU socialites so often. Puffs is comfortable (especially the beer garden outside), soothing (perfect if you need to unwind after a tough day) and cozy (decidedly dark and intimate after the sun goes down). But we get so tired of having to cope with mobs of cocky collegiates that we’ve all but given up hope. 4615 Greenville.

[60] Charley’s Seafood Grill. If you order a Dinkel Acker, a Harp or a Dortmunder Union, you won’t get strange looks. Just a beer served in a frozen mug. Charley’s has the largest selection of beers in town, with 40 selections including 27 imported brands. And since the bar’s attached to a great seafood restaurant, you can feel comfortable taking children here, too. 5348 Belt Line, Addison.

[61] SASSI’s. This is more or less a lesbian bar, but a few men are known to frequent the place, too. It’s equipped with a dance floor, a pool table and a bar that serves up good, stiff drinks. Some of the characters here look as though they could play the lead in a Fellini film, but everyone is friendly and open and pleasantly pleased to meet you. 4516 McKinney.

[62] Lakewood Yacht Club. Don’t be fooled by the name of this friendly neighborhood bar. (There’s no yacht-sized body of water within miles). But the drinks are consistently good and strong. And if you’re stumped for conversation with your date, you can always feign interest in the hundreds of press photos that cover the walls. 2009 Abrams.

[63] Jennie Bears. You’d better love beer, c/w music and SMU if you plan to venture into JBs because that’s about all it has to offer. Interior design follows the early-dump motif. This is an especially good place to go if you want to fight or pick up football players. 5627 Yale.

[64] PEABODY’s. An oasis in the jungle that the Oak Lawn area has become, Peabody’s is a cozy straight bar, especially popular with the on-the-way-up Volvo-driving crowd. Lots of plants, overstuffed furniture and spirited drinks make for an easy, neighborhood atmosphere. And the nachos aren’t bad, either. 4216 Oak Lawn.

[65] LEMON TWIST. Here you can watch the color TV, drink an expensive beer ($1.25) and -if so inclined -get a shoeshine. The crowd is friendly and, on the night we were there, included several unattached women. Check it out if you’re ever in the neighborhood, but we can’t say this place is worth leaving Car-rollton for. 4305-A Lemmon.

[66] UP YOUR ALLEY. They’re saying The Alley just isn’t the same since Bowley and Wilson flew the coop. Most likely, that all depends on your musical preference. The Alley still features live music (rock ’n’ roll, when we visited), but the humor is decidedly less colorless. 5645 Yale.

[67] THE LANDING. A moderately sleazy disco that ranks third on our list of good gay clubs (under Village Station and Alcatraz). The differences are subtle; for instance, you’re probably more prone to get burned by someone else’s cigarette on the dance floor here. The people are a little raunchier, but it’s still a good place to dance. The best event of the week occurs on Sundays and Wednesdays when the club is the site of a Las Vegas-style drag show. 2609 N. Pearl.

[68] SAN FRANCISCO ROSE. It’s after 1 a.m. on a Saturday night (Sunday morning) and the Rose is not only hopping, it’s bordering on rowdy. Points go to the kitchen for serving good, crispy fries and hot sandwiches at that late hour. San Francisco Rose isn’t exactly conducive to romance, but don’t tell that to the couples on the couches, who couldn’t be more enthralled with each other. 3024 Greenville.

[69] CLUB DEVILLE. This is a friendly little bar, where everyone seems to speak Spanish and know a lot about baseball. Beer is cheap (65 cents for a mug of draft), though the selection was limited to Miller or… Miller. The Deville has a good, honest dark-wood atmosphere, with two pool tables and a crowd that knows how to use them. 3415 Mahanna.

[70] Playboy of Dallas. Slick and easy, this Playboy Club is not at all like its overall image. It’s a good late-night place with plenty of action right up until closing time. And the drinks are as healthy as their famous servers. 6116 N. Central Expressway.

[71]| CLAUDIO’S Bar. Despite the fact that the male members of our party were all frisked at the front door and the females had to surrender their purses for inspection, we sort of liked this primarily Mexican disco. The beer was cheap, the music wasn’t too loud and the clientele was quite friendly. 2506 Knight.

[72] TIM BALLARD’S An odd sort of place, Tim Ballard’s has an early-Mafia atmosphere and a chef who knows all about down-home Texas cooking. The entertainment runs toward Las Vegas slick. 3524 Inwood.

[73] KNOX STREET PUB. A Dallas bar tradition when we first visited Dallas several years ago, this is where we were taken by our hosts. We liked it then and we still like it. It’s a no-pretense establishment with an old-wood and fern atmosphere and help who immediately make you feel at home. 3230 Knox.

[74] OUR PLACE THE PIANO BAR. If you’re interested in hearing a little piano music, head on over to this place where Helen Blodgett will sing you a tune any time between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., any night of the week except Sunday. Our Place, owned by Vick and Ann Plummer, is a family-type old-fashioned piano bar that is comfortable and fun. 7612 Lemmon.

[75] BlRRAPORETTl’s. Although this is primarily an Italian restaurant (with an Irish bar, no less), Birraporetti’s has a great happy hour: all the free pizza you can eat. Consequently, crowds begin to form about 4:30, when downtown begins to empty and SMU fraternity boys begin to wake up. The drinks are reasonably priced and the atmosphere can be whatever you want it to be, but things die down fairly early here (usually after all the pizza is gone). 9100 Caruth Plaza at Park Lane and Central.

[76] Chelsea Corner. Here you can get a mug of Heineken for $2 and a varied assortment of wild-sounding grogs that are likely to put you under the table. One, the Over Under Indian Leg Breaker, includes tequila, rum, sour mix and grenadine. Normally a rather complacent place, things liven considerably when one of the numerous local bands takes to Chelsea’s small stage. The only problem with this establishment is parking. We had to circle the block twice, which can get kind of messy with one-way streets and all. 4830 McKinney.

[77] CLUB SCHMITZ. D Magazine has done a lot to ruin this place – raving over it in previous issues and bringing in a crowd of fun-seeking preppies as a result. But Club Schmitz is still one of the best beer joints in Dallas (no mixed drinks, just setups and beer). The place has one of the best c/w jukeboxes in the city, as well as some decent chili and greaseburgers. 9661 Old Denton Highway.

[78] GORDO’S. This is categorically, une-quivocally and completely the best bar in Dallas for watching the Cowboys games. For some reason, nobody has discovered that Gor-do’s offers a perfect Sunday afternoon combo: cold beer, hot pizza and a gorgeous and gargantuan television set. Doubtless now that we’ve told the world about it, Gordo’s won’t be the best bar for television watching anymore, because there will be a crowd in front of the tube. So don’t go there. 4528 Cole.

[79] HOT KLUB. Dallas’ premier punk showplace is frequented by a mean bunch whose idea of a good time is “slam dancing,” a rough and tumble dance based on two moves: push and shove. A trip to the bathroom was an adventure in itself. Whatever you do in there, don’t touch the floors. 4350 Maple.

[80] THE PALM BAR. a beautiful place to have an extended series of drinks after work if your job’s downtown. As hotel bars go, it is the most upscale around here. The walk through the lobby of the redecorated Adolphus is worth the excursion, and if you prefer open spaces, you can have a drink served right there. Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce.

[81] NICK’S UPTOWN. Nick’s is the ideal place to cut loose, just be yourself and have a wild time. The club is reminiscent of a huge rec room (it used to be a grocery store) with a stage tucked away in one corner and a bar running along the opposite wall. And if you feel the need to get up and move, there is a designated dance floor. 3606 Greenville

[82] GRANNY’S DINNER PLAYHOUSE. Granny’s isn’t the place to go for the best meal in town, but it is usually a good place to catch an entertaining, often bawdy, well-choreographed show. You might consider eating dinner elsewhere and catching the late show on Saturday night. 12205 Coit.

[83] BAILEY’S. A sport-lover’s bar, Bailey’s is a good meeting place for Village-area friends. A comfortable, après-ski atmosphere with lots of area singles congregated around the TV during sporting events. 7001 Fair Oaks at Holly Hill.

[84] TINGLES. The decorator here made an effort to get this place to look like elan: macramé wall hangings, lots of plants and subdued, sexy wall colors that will warm up even the sallowest of complexions. The hostesses wear turquoise Qiana scooped-neck long gowns. Come on, gals, this is 1981. Dunfey Dallas Hotel, 3800 W. Northwest Highway.

[85] Endicott’s Ore House. A great review, even from a crusty Fort Worth native who could have had steak and beer, instead, at Cattlemen’s. Bright-checked tablecloths, a well-done, but not over-done ore house theme, and always good burgers, drinks and full-course meals. 7101 Calmont, Fort Worth.

[86]Hippopotamus Bar. a small, narrow and chic hotel tavern, Hippopotamus is decorated stylishly in red, black and chrome. Potted palms give the place a little bit of a “Casablanca” feel, but the strictly business atmosphere will keep you from believing you’re anywhere but right in downtown Dallas. Bradford Hotel, 302 S. Houston.

[87] Vickery Feed Store. The biack-and-white tile and wood, and the spare use of old-time decorations and photos in this recently converted feed-and-seed store make for a nice, down-home atmosphere. The imported beer selection is extensive (they don’t have Smith & Sons Olde Peculiar, but they do have plenty of other exotics). And there’s a deli counter in the back. 6916 Greenville.

[88] J.R.’s. This gay bar’s advertising slo-gan is “Boy, I sure would.” Keep that in mind. J.K.’s is a long, narrow, extremely crowded place that seems to attract an effete, intellectual – specifically male – crowd. Lots of Ralph Lauren sweaters are slung about the shoulders here. 3923 Cedar Springs.

[89] Blossom’s Downstairs. Upstairs is a restaurant, but downstairs are drinks, dancing and music by groups like King Cobra, the Juke Jumpers and Fort Worth Cats. This seems to be coming on strong as one of Fort Worth’s hottest spots. 5201 Camp Bowie West, Fort Worth.

[90] Top of the Dome. The best thing we can say about this bar is that it doesn’t cost $1.50 to ride up in the elevator to get there anymore (it’s in the top of Reunion Tower, for anyone who doesn’t already know that). There is one other interesting point: Since the place revolves, everyone gets a front row seat (there is a live band sometimes) sooner or later. Reunion Tower, 300 Reunion.

[91] ST. MARTIN’S. We’ve yet to find a more romantic bar than St. Martin’s; it’s small, dark, candle-lit and cozy. Music is frequently provided by a three- or four-piece chamber music ensemble. And even if you don’t have a main squeeze, St. Martin’s is worth a visit for the food alone. 3020 Greenville.

[92] BELLE STARR. Not quite pretentious enough to compete with Cowboy or sleazy enough to compete with Diamond Jim’s, Belle Starr has become a real haven for semi-urban cowboys and cowgirls who just love to two-step and polka (this place is equipped with a huge dance floor). So far, it’s established a respectable following. 7724 N. Central Expy.

[93] THE GRAPE. A European-style “Hemingway” bar was added on to the restaurant for diners awaiting tables, but this is a quiet and relaxing place to try later in the evening for a soothing glass of wine. 2808 Greenville at Goodwin.

[94] THE COCKPIT. If you’re interested in what’s happening in the air, The Cockpit is the place to go. This is where lots of airline employees hang out; even a few top aviation executives have been known to stop for a drink or two. The Cockpit is usually jumping with action and gossip. 3708 W. Northwest Highway.

[95] Lillie Langtry’s Saloon, shirt-sleeve comfortable, Lillie’s probably comes closest to the kind of neighborhood bar suitable for the flannel-shirt-and-plain-old-blue-jeans (as opposed to designer jeans) crowd than anything else in the Village area. There’s a wide jukebox selection, too. 6923 Greenville.

[96] WILLIE’S. It’s nice to know there’s still an oasis where you can get a beer for less than a dollar and eat your weight in free sandwiches while listening to Tammy Wynette on the jukebox. You get all this and darkness: Willie’s is the dimmest place in Dallas, the perfect setting to take that date you don’t want to be seen with, develop photographic film or test your luminescent watch. Willie’s serves only beer and wine, but what do you expect with a free lunch? 1105 S. Beacon.

[97] The Green Glass Bar. Tucked beneath the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas, this place is like a humble West Texas beer joint inside. Entertainment centers are a couple of coin-operated pool tables and a country ’n’ western jukebox. If there is any significance to the name of the place, it is not apparent. Good place for a quick quiet beer. 400 N. Lamar.

[98] The Champion Lounge. Con-veniently located just a stone’s throw from the Greyhound bus station, this trendsetter can be as tough at night as its name implies. But during the day it’s just a convenient place where downtown businessmen looking for a quick, non-pretentious beer can settle down to the quiet serenity of a dark vinyl booth. 100 Jackson St.

[99] TGI FRIDAY’S. Many a marriage has been maligned inside these hallowed halls. For a while (before the advent of disco and urban cowboys), this was the best place in town to mingle with the masses; it’s still incredibly popular with the after-five I’m-staying-late-at-the-office crowd. 5500 Greenville and 5150 Belt Line.

[100] THE MONOPOLY. Call it a formula fern bar; call it a downtown haven for executives on expense accounts. It’s probably both of these, but it’s also one of the better downtown bars by virtue of what it offers: moderately priced, relatively good food and long hours. This is one of the only downtown, non-wino bars you’ll find open after dark. 609 N. Harwood.


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