Prime patio weather might have passed us by in, oh, May, but people in Dallas still love drinking their booze outside. Fortunately for us, the weather gods have seen it fit to bless us with a respite from the heat in the form of a summertime polar vortex. That means that for one brief, shining moment local happy-hour connoisseurs have their chance to shine.
They're not alone, though: A great patio offers the comforts of your favorite bar as well as the musical stylings of the city's best bands. Dallas bars are pretty skilled at booking good up-and-coming acts, and these patios are some the best places to unwind with your favorite adult beverages and a great show.
Pecan Lodge 2702 Main St., Dallas
Everyone's flocking to Pecan Lodge for the great barbecue, but the live music on the restaurant's Back Porch is a great way to eat your way into a meat coma while enjoying some good tunes. There's live music on most Friday and Saturday nights, and you can verify whether or not there's going to be a band on the Pecan Lodge website. Order a beef rib, down a few pints of the restaurant's signature Four Corners Boss Lady beer and enjoy the typically rootsy musical stylings at this Dallas dining institution.
Sundown at Granada 3520 Greenville Ave., Dallas
Being next door to one of the city's most beloved music venues makes listening to up-and-coming bands on the chill patio at Sundown at Granada a no-brainer. There's something different going on every day at Sundown, and you'll find musicians of all genres on the schedule, including indie, blues, rock and reggae. There's also a full menu of healthy, organic food to make you feel a little better about all those beers you're going to drink.
Common Table 2917 Fairmount St., Dallas
Sure, Uptown may not exactly be your scene, but the Common Table has a little something different than your average dude-bro infested bar. Indie bands are usually on the bill, but you can hear plenty of local variety like upcoming acts Rania Khoury and Vanessa Peters on Thursdays and Saturdays. There's also a very good possibility that the Common Table will be tapping some rare or new-to-the-scene beer, which is the best kind of added bonus.
The Foundry 2303 Pittman St., Dallas
This Bishop Arts bar's patio stage is constructed almost entirely from wooden pallets and is easily the coolest patio stage in town. Oh, and that's before considering that some of the best local and national indie acts play it regularly. It may be technically more of a music venue, but these small and intimate shows coupled with great booze and food from Chicken Scratch make it worthy of inclusion on this list.
Truck Yard 5624 Sears St., Dallas
Practically all of Truck Yard is a patio, even if you're sitting indoors, and there are few places that are better set up for thirsty music fans to sit back and enjoy some great tunes. The concert schedule here is a little erratic and difficult to track down, but you can check out their Facebook page to see who's playing when. Besides, maybe it's best if music just spontaneously appears when you're heading down there for one of those epic cheesesteaks or a Frozen Trash Can Punch daiquiri.
Lee Harvey's 1807 Gould St.
The interior of Dallas' favorite tiny dive bar doesn't exactly have room for a stage, but the patio is the perfect place for musicians to set up shop. Unlike some of the places on this list, Lee Harvey's is the least pretentious place on the planet, so you won't feel guilty about showing up in your ratty Ramones T-shirt. In fact, you may actually be one of the best-dressed people there.
Woodshed Smokehouse 3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth
Tim Love may be taking a lot of flak for being a celebrity chef douchebag these days, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't know his way around a great restaurant-slash-live music venue. The huge garage door-looking windows at Woodshed Smokehouse lift to reveal a patio with a gorgeous view of the Trinity River and you can listen to live music here almost every day of the week. Keep tabs of who you're seeing, too; you may just see them performing in much bigger venues someday soon.
PhD 1400 W. Davis St., Dallas
The patio at PhD, or Pour House Dallas to the uninitiated, would be worth a stop with or without live music. Fortunately, they have great bands and solo acts on Friday and Saturday nights. PhD is the kind of place where you can watch the Rangers play (if your heart can take it) while you get nice and buzzed to the sweet sounds of a new singer-songwriter.
The Rustic 3656 Howell St., Dallas
When a Texas country superstar like Pat Green is part-owner, you know that The Rustic is going to be a good place to see some live music. Known as "Pat's Backyard," the stage here is big enough to accommodate hundreds of people who want to listen to some great talent that isn't on most people's radar just yet. You'd think that The Rustic would stick to country, but there are plenty of folksy singer-songwriters for those of you who don't like too much twang.
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McKinney Avenue Tavern 2822 McKinney Ave., Dallas
McKinney Avenue Tavern is kind of a parody of itself at this point, but it doesn't mean that the patio there has gotten any less cool. It's prone to be infested with people who still wear Axe Body Spray and Affliction T-shirts. At the very least, live karaoke on the patio on Friday nights is the best kind of unintentional comedy, and there's occasional live bands on Thursdays and Saturdays, so it's still well worth the trip for any Dallasite.