Best Of :: Bars & Clubs
"Joyful" is the only word to describe Dallas Eagle on a busy Saturday night, as the jock-strapped bartenders spin bottles next to a packed dance-floor. Meanwhile, leather-clad patrons gather underneath trees strung with Christmas lights out on the spacious back patio to engage in heavy flirting or maybe some light bondage. The Eagle's been a well-loved institution for more than 15 years now, giving the city's leathermen and -women a place to call their own. These days, they'll usually welcome an outsider with a fair amount of good humor, provided that you at least attempt to adhere to the dress code (if leather's not your thing, at least scare up a black tee, some tight jeans and a pair of cowboy boots). Try not to gape like a yokel at any flogging or spanking taking place, and tip your mostly naked bartender, please.
The Lodge is, without qualification, the nicest strip club in Dallas. Hell, maybe even in Texas. For starters the dancers are absolute knockouts who don't just mount the stage and shimmy out of lingerie. They wear ornate, theme-driven costumes. They dress up as pixies. They juggle fire. They emerge from a cave facade, surrounded by vaguely unsettling stuffed animals and lacquered cedar boughs. Their chef, a legit culinarian the club plucked from Terrilli's, roasts a flavorful prime rib. The club is clean, comfortable, even refined, as far as strip joints go. The Lodge isn't really for 18-year-old first-timers to carnal commerce. It's for men and women who want to drink good hooch, dine well and enjoy the gyrations of some of Dallas' most beautiful dancers.
Sons of Hermann Hall is one of those venues that feels untouched by time, and that's a good thing. The rumors that it's possibly haunted only add to the allure, and with more than 100 years of history thumping around in those walls, seeing a show there just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. (Or is that something ... else?) We love the upstairs room, especially now that Parade of Flesh has started booking shows there, but catching a show in the downstairs bowling alley is an added bonus. More of that, please.
Truluck's on McKinney Avenue (situated between Hotel Zaza, the Crescent Hotel and Hotel St. Germaine) features a daily happy hour during which people frequently wander over from their hotels for some cocktails and crab. During the happy hour, everything at the bar is half off (we recommend the dinner martini, made with Belvedere Intense and blue-cheese stuffed olives). There is also a special happy hour menu that boasts everything from crabcakes and shrimp to Kobe beef sliders and a goat cheese plate. More often than not there's a couple of out-of-town guys dressed to the nines sitting at the bar all by their lonesomes. All you have to do is make some small talk to get them to share a bite of their award-winning chocolate cake and, who knows, maybe if you play your cards right, they'll buy you a half-priced cocktail.
If you like your women scantily clad, covered in tattoos and sporting the trendiest hair styles, you might want to hang out at the Double Wide. The bar, located on the cusp of Expo Park and Deep Ellum, has something going on nearly every night of the week, from live performances and karaoke to cheap drink specials (like Sunday's $3 you-call-its), and is normally packed with whiskey-slinging, tight-pants-wearing hipster types. So how do you knock the socks off your hipster dream lover? Start by offering to buy her a Yoohoo Yeehaw or pickle-back shot (both drinks are popular with the regulars), then let her bum a cigarette (or the entire pack, for that matter) and then, to seal the deal, whisper these magic words into her ear: "Need a ride to the afterparty?"
The historic Oak Cliff theater boasts a roster of some of the hippest events in town. Pair that with a damn good bar that serves everything from canned beer to Prohibition-era cocktails and you have yourself a Dallas hipster den. So, whether stopping by Texas Theatre for a psychedelic DJ set, the Geeks Who Drink trivia night, or to check out your favorite cult classic film on 35mm, chances are you'll bump into a hipster dreamboat before the night's end.