Best Place to Go After You Go Out 2004 | Down Bar and Lounge | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

You've done the warm-up. You've done the workout. Now it's time for the cool-down. And Down, once again, is your best bet. After a night of drinking/dining/dodging bullets in Dallas, you've grown weary. You've watched various Barbies hook up with various Kens. You've spilled various drinks on various designer jeans. And you've rubbed elbows till they're damn near raw. So now make your way over to Down, where you can sit, relax and actually enjoy your drink--instead of cradling it in your hands in fear of sloshing out what you paid too much for in the first place. The nightlife can be brutal, but Down can pick you up.

We work hard here at the Dallas Observer. We're constantly working. It's work, work, work. Yup, that's us. That's the service we provide to you, dear reader. The problem is--at least for the singles among our number--that doesn't leave us much time to get out there and meet people. Which, in turn, means that our chances of procreating are decidedly less than the rest of the population. Some might say that's because the majority of the people who work here are losers who seldom shower, but that would be unfair. (The losers part, anyway.) Ah, but there's hope for us yet. No matter how pathetic we are, even we can still get a date through It's Just Lunch. Tell them what kind of time you have and what kind of person you're looking to meet, and they'll hook you up. But some advice: Shower first. It helps, believe it or not.

Maybe that sounds like a give-up to you, the ultimate no-shit statement. (Or perhaps you would have preferred our initial answer: anywhere that leads out of Dallas.) So let us explain. We have a 1-year-old kid who didn't sleep the first, oh, 11 months of his existence, and when he did sleep it was only in his car seat, which meant plenty of days and nights spent rolling through this town looking for something to entertain our eyeballs to keep them open. No matter where we were, we always ended up circling the lake. Always. Didn't matter what time of day or night. And it wasn't just round and round and round till he woke up; that would have gotten old. No, we cruised up the side streets and down the roads to nowhere, through the Lakewood neighborhoods dotted with historic homes and fields that led to horse stables and every other nook and cranny we could find. Spend enough time over there and Dallas starts to look a whole lot prettier, because it looks like another city--one with a view. Even now, when the kiddo's wide awake, the family cruiser will find its way over to Forest Hills or Casa Linda Estates or Lake Highlands just to see what's happening in a neighborhood so much prettier than ours and yours, unless you're lucky enough to live in a Dallas with scenery.

Readers' Pick

White Rock Lake

Frozen drinks generally suffer from two problems: Heavy ice content waters down the alcohol, and men holding one start to question their own sexuality. No problem. Ciudad is an Oak Lawn establishment, and Republic sits in Uptown, where straight men commonly disguise themselves as characters from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Republic offers some astonishing drinks. They use fresh fruit in their purees and mix in premium spirits--Vox Raspberry in the frozen raspberry version and Smirnoff Orange Twist in the mango limeade drink. They also do a unique frozen mojito. For a guy sending drinks to a woman, they're perfect: sweet, but hiding a subtle little punch. If a man settles down with a magenta, pale orange or dull lime-colored slurpee...ah, hell. It's Uptown, and you never know. Ciudad, meanwhile, sells a unique thing called a Pom Pom, consisting of pomegranate and pineapple laced with a hefty dose of tequila. The pineapple adds a touch of sweetness to the more exotic base flavor, and the tequila, oh, the tequila. A few of these will really, mess you up.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Sometimes a restlessness plagues the mind, while the body is content to do absolutely nothing but sit, listen to music, maybe eat, definitely drink. Yeah, and smoking's on the list of vices, too. After the eyes adjust to the dim lights of the Landing, it becomes apparent that being there is like being at home, but better. Come in post-softball or in Prada and feel comfortable in the cushy booths nestled under beer lights. It doesn't matter that there's laundry to be done or mail to be opened. Once inside the Landing, the spell has been cast and all anyone can do is relax, have a drink and enjoy the Etta James, George Jones and Iggy Pop on the juke. See, at home, one might be distracted by productivity and sacrifice some important lounging. At Lakewood Landing, Lucille still calls to us from the frames on the wall, urging us to de-stress and unwind.

OK, we promised a few months ago we'd address this, and now it's time. Anywhere you go these days, you see young straight girls getting their drink on, then grinding each other on the dance floor. On its surface, this seems like a fantastic thing. OK, it is a fantastic thing. It's the good by-product of our society becoming Porn Nation, U.S.A. Casual and accepted bisexuality among women who leave the bar with men. The only problem is, it may be too widespread. One example: When we were at The Green Elephant earlier this year, we saw a dozen or more SMU girls doing this to each other. Turns out they were all straight, and all said they like to put on a show for the guys. But be careful, ladies. If you do it too much, it loses its danger, its sense of daring, its coolness. Of course, it's still hot. Don't get us wrong.

Best Reason to Come to Work Monday With a Wicked Hangover Wearing Sunday Night's Clothes


Most Mondays are a useless blur of team meetings and breakout meetings, with the occasional impromptu meeting to break up the monotony. No one gets any work done. So why not sit there with a churning stomach, a pounding head and the nauseating stench of stale smoke? Besides, you have other things to worry about, such as the name of the person you left asleep back at your apartment or the location of your car. "Naked Sunday" at Nikita forces the dying hours of the weekend to cling for a few more breaths. At 10 p.m. they dim the lights and crank the volume. Crowds pour in, vodka sloshes, soft-core porn appears on two flat-screen monitors and, for a moment, Saturday night returns. Patrons know that Monday lurks at 2 a.m., so they beat it back with the only weapon they have: massive doses of alcohol. Do Naked Sunday right and you won't think about the workweek until after you figure out where you are when the alarm rings Monday morning.

Late, late, late, 11 p.m. or later, load up your friends, your family if you have one, definitely the kids, and take them all to Ciro's on Midway Road just south of Belt Line. You'll join large gatherings of Middle Eastern families, many with kids, who have come to enjoy wonderfully fresh hummus, baba ghanouj, chickpea and olive mezze and falafel sauce, live music and some of the best belly dancing this side of Cairo. Between performances by professional dancers, many families get up and dance with each other. It's easy: Lift both arms over your head, snap your fingers and make big circles with your navel. Who knows? Someone may show up the next day at your parents' house and ask for your hand in marriage. Worth a try.

Yes, the drive from Dallas is tedious. And getting back to town can be flat-out perilous. But for music geeks, Hailey's in Denton has the best booking in town, hands down. Last year's shows included such buzz acts as The Wrens, Liars, TV on the Radio, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Iron and Wine, Mates of State, The Unicorns, The Walkmen and Bonnie Prince Billy. The list goes on and on. Not only is Hailey's sound and lighting excellent, but the club is freaking comfortable. We know, we know: That's so not rock. Whatever, dude. Some of us actually believe live music shouldn't come with bruises and spilled beer. Speaking of beer, however, Hailey's has 52 kinds on tap. And if the music's crummy, which it usually isn't, there are two pool tables in back that don't even interfere with the band. That way, everybody can do their own thing--sit back or rock out, play snooker or get snookered--without ruining the show for anyone else. Brilliant, isn't it?

Readers' Pick

Gypsy Tea Room

2548 Elm St.


For a rumor to really catch on, it must contain elements that the public finds plausible. That's why "George W. served his country" works--most people understand that by reneging on his National Guard agreement, he saved thousands of American lives, both in Vietnam and at training sites around the United States. Geez, imagine him in the cockpit of a fighter, a place of actual responsibility. So when dismissed staff members (so the story goes) started a rumor that Republic had become a gay bar, people believed it because: 1. It attracts a "diverse" crowd (you know what we mean), and 2. it's difficult to tell the difference between gay male and Uptown male, anyway. Same hair, same costume, same facials. Oddly enough, the rumor worked in reverse, as hordes of stunning females descended on Republic in the wake of the "gay bar" tale. After all, women feel comfortable among the alternative set.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of