24 Hours of Drinking in Dallas

A swing around the clock in some of our favorite places to drink.

24 Hours of Drinking in Dallas

7:33 a.m.

The Goat

It opens at 7, but my all-too-kind date — who set an alarm to join me, with only breakfast tacos and dubious company to show for it — and I are the only people inside The Goat until just past 8, when a middle-aged couple takes the stools down the bar. A few more trickle in over the next couple hours. It's probably safe to say they didn't crab walk over from the CrossFit studio.

Being at a bar this early is less like being at a bar and more like watching people work while you sit on your ass drinking. You feel guilty not pitching in, moving a chair out of the way as they sweep or offering to slice up a few limes. But showing up this early gives a peek at its inner workings, the things you don't notice when you're taking a shot of courage before the karaoke host calls your name: the rattle of quarters in a coin-counting machine as a coin-op employee tallies the proceeds from the small assortment of eight-liner games; the bar manager across the table, doing paperwork of his own; the endless swish of the broom as a worker seems determined to take as long as possible sweeping the floor. The lack of urgency is a stark contrast to the hurried whatcanIgetcha you're used to.

The bartender, Jeremy, in his ponytail and Duck Dynasty T-shirt, says it usually doesn't pick up until about 10 on weekdays. Weekend mornings will bring in 7 a.m. customers still keeping the party going from the night before, but during the week the only early drinkers are Baylor workers coming off night shifts and an ex-Marine whose stories Jeremy never tires of.

It's slow enough and quiet enough — nobody feeds the jukebox this early — for conversation. I ask about the newish sign by the front door: No Vests, No Colors, No Clubs. It's to dissuade biker fights. Gypsies and Wolverines would occasionally stop by, but it was Scorpions who were the problem. The younger ones, he's quick to add — the older guys were respectful but the new guys were trouble. Since they put the sign out a few weeks ago, they haven't had any issues.

There are a handful of customers by the time Live with Kelly and Hey That's Not Regis comes on at 9, or 9:15 going by the bar's always-fast clocks. We watch for a while, even playing along with the show's insipid game "Guess the Glass," wherein contestants identify the celebrity in a photo as he or she is slowly revealed, eyewear first. It'll be 10 soon, and the lady with the broom still hasn't finished.--Jesse Hughey

7248 Gaston Ave.; thegoatdallas.com

9:36 a.m.

The Londoner

The stubborn wooden doors containing the morning's entertainment won't even open for half an hour, but tensions are already high. Getting to the Addison Londoner early on big match days is necessary. Demand for seats in this smoky, dark, unreconstructed piece of British nostalgia far outstrips supply, to the point where I once watched a game from outside the bar in the stifling heat, only able to listen longingly to the sheer mayhem unfolding inside.

The doors are gingerly pushed open by a slight blonde waitress, and the rush for seats is on. It's coffee all around to start, but only until the clock strikes 10, which is by coincidence both kick-off time and the hour at which alcoholic beverages are first permitted. The hubbub will only grow as the taps start flowing and more jerseyed bodies file in, pressing against each other in search of real estate. Smoking is permitted inside, so the bar soon disappears under a haze of coffee and nicotine, and kick-off time for both sport and drinking is greeted with a harried waitress slowly making the rounds. It could be any hour at all in here.

She's generally ignored, of course, as the first chant of the day goes up. Drinking with British soccer fans is not like drinking with other sports fans. There's chanting, the wittier and more derogatory the better, and the proximity of the groups of fans soon brings out lurid chants in which dozens of grown men band together to wish death upon an entire group of people, or just joyfully curse at them. Once, at a game here between the two Manchester clubs at another ungodly hour on a Sunday, I saw a full-on conga line winding through the entire bar in celebration of the surely imminent death of one team's 70-year-old coach.

The soccer is uneventful today, but the drinking and smoking help the atmosphere reach a fever pitch the games themselves can't. Watching these colors being beamed over an ocean from 5,000 miles away at what is now 11 on a Sunday morning should be a dissociative experience, one that is jarring in its manufactured fakeness. It's not. It's just like watching soccer in any packed bar in the world, only this time a whole day of drinking and the endless possibilities of that stretch in front of you. Although the soccer season just ended, the drinking has only just started.--Gavin Cleaver

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10 comments
Ashleigh
Ashleigh

Where I live its safer to order alcohol and get it delivered!! London is a scary place at night! I have used the same company for years http://www.booze-up.com never let me down!

wendy
wendy

In the UK there are a lot of places that sell alcohol 24 hours a day. Just take a look at 24 Hour Alcohol for example. I don't think that many people really drink alcohol early in the morning but it's nice to have the option. We are all adults after all!

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

You have to get up early in the morning to drink all day.

Steve
Steve

Drinking between 2AM and 4PM is gross.  People who use the word "daydrinking" are fucking scum.

JustSaying
JustSaying

Actually, that rave shit happens at the Fare Room which is an all nude BYOB strip club next door to Cabaret Royale. I have always wondered how they handle the switch. Do a bunch of bouncers come in at 2am and round up the horny old drunks like the Polish Jews in Schindler's List? Or do they allow them to stay while the place gets filled up with scantily clad 18 year old girls on molly? And just how can you tell the difference between an old drunk having a heart attack/seizure and an old drunk dancing to that music? I guess no blowpops or glowsticks means you leave in an ambulance.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

@JustSaying This is a very important correction, and also filled my head with various unwanted early-morning images. Thanks, Kenny Powers. 


JustSaying
JustSaying

@Anna_Merlan Well you are the one that wrote the original piece that filled my head with troubling images, dearest Anna. Now I really want to know how they get the strip club patrons out and the EDM kids in or if they all just hang out together. I want to know if it looks like a law and order SVU when the black light hits the floor, walls, and chairs. I want to know what it looks like when an old guy in Bermuda shorts and black socks dances to dubstep. So. many. questions.

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

@JustSaying Didn't see anybody that looked like a strip club patron still hanging out, so they must have some sort of incredibly orderly procedure in which the old dudes are herded out before the girls in dayglo everything are ushered in. Just seamless. 

The walls, chairs and floors looked no worse than in any other strip club. Better than some. I sat in a an armchair at the Clubhouse one time that was just incredibly crusty all over the arms. THE ARMS. How does that -- never mind. 

 
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