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You've got to hand it to the frat-boy entrepreneurs behind the bar that, for a few months at least, occupied the space that once housed the Orbit Room. Rarely, if ever, has a drinking establishment cut so quickly to the chase. With such a can't-miss name, we can't believe Beer Goggles, you know, missed. They should have just named it Roofies or Date Rapists. We're sure they considered it.
This little bar tucked away in a strip mall is a real charmer. Its atmosphere is more like a dim, elegant, quietly chatty bar in New York than anything else you'd find in Dallas, and we mean that in a nice way. Owners Bradley Johnson and Andy Krumm opened this establishment on April 7 of this year, and already it's become one of the favorite watering holes of the Oak Lawn set. Serious money was spent on the interiors, furniture, and, most especially, the lighting (which makes everyone look no older than 30!). It has a valet parking service to make parking a little easier for its patrons. But the real reason that people keep coming back is the fantastic music they play seven nights a week till 2 a.m. The singers (including veteran favorites Linda Petty and Sandra Kaye) and musicians playing in this tiny bar keep the atmosphere lively but intimate.
We don't know about you, but we're tired of seeing groups of women stagger out of bars with the girl in the center wearing a sweater full of condoms. Isn't there a more tasteful way to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a friend than making her feel like a hooker? The groom gets his fill of those at his party. Fortunately, there are alternatives for observing this happy event. The S&S Tea Room in Inwood Village is a nice restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. It also makes a lovely location for women to get together and celebrate the upcoming joy of their soon-to-be-married friend. Save the cheap Greenville Avenue bars for after the divorce.
It's one of those signs you think you've misread, but no, it really says Topless Motors. Then you think, "How clever, they must specialize in convertibles." No, they pretty much just sell junky old cars at rock-bottom prices. This is just 100 percent pure Madison Avenue-style marketing at its low-rent best: got you, caught you and reeled you in like a dancer at the Million Dollar Saloon.
It takes a while to get out to Van Zandt County, located about 50 miles east of Dallas, but it's no wonder you find so many people who have or want a country place there. Parts of it roll like the prairies and are filled with just enough pines and oaks to provide scenery and greenery. The locals say the southern part of the county is the prettiest. So next time you head out to Canton in search of a wagon-wheel table (or whatever) at First Monday Trade Days, head south of town for a taste of Texas countryside.
OK, so controversy over the government actions against the Branch Davidians is fading from the mainstream. Reports clearing the feds of the most egregious accusations have surfaced, and civil trials have fizzled like wet fireworks. The fact remains, the siege of Mt. Carmel was a definitive moment in U.S. history, a debate flash point over freedom of religion and the responsibilities and limits of government. The place is beautiful and eerie, and the characters who flock there are intriguing and relevant. There is something pure about going to a place that has no signposts off the highway, no official markers or souvenir shop. It's simply the Place where Something Happened, undistilled and unvarnished. The real pain in the ass is knowing how to get there. Here are directions: Take Interstate 35 to North Loop 340 and turn eastward. Continue to FM 2491 and turn left onto it. Follow it to Double E Ranch Road. Turn left onto Double E Ranch Road. Follow it approximately 1/4 mile to the entrance of Mt. Carmel on the right. You'll see a rebuilt church and a small building where David Koresh's mother sometimes lurks.
Bent low by generations of scampering feet and hands, the trees at Tietze seem specially designed for piñatas and blindfolds, but get there early. Tietze is a popular spot, and you could find yourself up against a wedding picnic or a wake.
Riceboys, beware. Your suped-up Geo Metro SiR or Toyota Corolla VTEC isn't going to cut it here. You'll find hordes of Honda Preludes, Acura Integras, and supercharged Ford Mustangs speeding up and down these streets looking for a race. Rev your engine, and you're ready. The mufflers are big, the exhausts are loud, and the cars ride low. Go quickly, though. God and the Plano police willing, after this the dragsters will be looking for a new neighborhood to endanger.
Owner Doug Henry has a reputation among some musicians for not always following through with his promises and doing business at the expense of others. While that may be true, Henry's club has a reputation for being the best place in town to see and hear the blues, a place steeped in tradition but not overwhelmed by it. Since moving across Commerce into its present location, Blue Cat Blues has gotten even better, offering more room to dance, better food, and the same quality blues acts Henry has always booked. People might not like the way Henry does business, but you can't criticize the results.