When I first moved to Dallas a few years back, Lower Greenville Avenue was a mess. The sidewalks and street had been obliterated and you couldn't walk anywhere without circumnavigating a construction barrier. Business cried out with banners hanging from their storefronts. "We're still open," they pleaded, hoping customers would keep them afloat until the construction was finished.
Meanwhile, city hall and the neighborhood association were waging a war against undesirable bars and night clubs using special use permits, and everyone was getting caught in the cross-fire. For some time, many of the storefronts along the street were shuttered. Many still are, but a lot of exceptional bars and restaurants have opened in the meantime.
Through it all, Libertine Bar (pictured above) has been serving up an eclectic list of local and international craft brews alongside a menu of bar food that has kept locals coming back night after night. Richard Sipovic was recently hired as chef, and he continues to elevate the menu.
If the pedigree of your beer doesn't matter and you've already eaten, you might consider the Single Wide, where you can swill from cans and channel your inner trailer park.
Or if you prefer your trailer trash outside, just head to the Truck Yard, just down Sears Street. In addition to drinks they've got ice cream from Carnival Barker's, a killer cheese steak and up to three food trucks that constantly rotate through the back lot.
Halfway down Greenville Blind Butcher takes bar food to the next level as a self-professed meat mecca. The menu features sausages that are cranked out in the kitchen, and it doesn't hurt that they serve beer by the liter. Plan accordingly, you'll likely spend some time here. And tell your vegetarian friends there are at least a few options, including the mushroom poutine pictured above.
There's some great ethnic food tucked into this cluster of restaurants and business. Qariah Restaurant and Lounge is a casual Lebanese cafe and lounge at the southern end of the strand. Come here for grilled meats and Mediterranean salads and be prepared to bring your own booze if you intend to consume alcohol. If you forget, the Bottle Shop is right up the street.
Nora will seduce you with Afghan cooking and the best roof deck in the neighborhood. Grab a seat next to the railing and watch Greenville Avenue unfold below you. And if you're craving sushi make your way to Teppo for some of the best sushi and yakatori in the city.
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When you get tired of sitting, stop into Steel City Pops and grab some impossibly smooth, frozen fruit on a stick. You won't be the only one walking down the street with a sour cream and cherry or an avocado pop, as evidenced by all the drips and drops on the sidewalk. If you want your sweet course without the brain freeze, Dude, Sweet has a store right across the street.
For all the great restaurants on Greenville, none of them stay open as late as Greenville Avenue Pizza Company, and as the clock approaches 3 a.m. this will be your only option. There's something special about a pizza shop full of drunks in the early morning, though, and if you're one of them, say, sitting on a barstool near the ovens eating a massive slice with a bottle of hot sauce in your hand, you'll fit right in. Just be careful, because it's unreasonably hot when it emerges from the oven and if you're overly enthusiastic there's a high degree of likelihood that you'll wake up with the skin seared from the roof of your mouth. (Not that I have any experience with this.)