Best Blues Club 2010 | Pearl At Commerce | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

There's something perfect about the marriage of the blues and a well-stocked drinking establishment. On one side of the room, people express their anguish on guitars and other folk-based instruments. On the other side, patrons drink their woes away. Thing about Pearl At Commerce, though—everyone seems to be having a good time, and their burgeoning music scene is a reflection of that. The concert calendar features a nightly rotation of the area's top blues performers as well as national touring artists. While you can still get well-oiled on strong cocktails, the overall feeling here is happiness, which is somewhat at odds with the idea of the blues, but the folks at Pearl like it that way.

One of our favorite bars in the world, the Libertine has racked up awards for everything from Best Bar, Period to Best Bar Food (twice) to the very esoteric Best Place To Take The Marquis De Sade. And while it still richly deserves all of those accolades and more, we've got to spread the love. So this year, we salute the Libertine's happy hour. A flat dollar off beer, wine and liquor from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays makes it a bit easier to justify that Satan Red Belgian ale or shot of scotch. Or if you're feeling like a flapper girl, already reasonably priced classic cocktails like the Pimm's Cup are half off. Which leaves you that much more scratch to buy your buddy the Marquis de Sade a hanger steak sandwich.

It used to be that if you wanted to hear music in Uptown, your choices were a DJ's selection of club house or a guy with an acoustic guitar playing "American Pie." Now, thanks to the booking of Chelsea Callahan, you can hear live, original music in the least likely of neighborhoods. Better yet, the Wednesday night shows—which have included Doug Burr, RTB2, Glen Farris and other local favorites—are free. The only thing that could make it better would be if they happened more than once a week.

House of Blues
courtesy Lorena Davey
The Balcony Club

It's not just the multitude of phenomenal shows that the Granada Theater's booking agents bring to Lower Greenville that makes the renovated movie theater such a delightful place to catch a concert. Sure, that's part of it, but it's not the whole shebang. See, the Granada's great for a multitude of other reasons too: the friendly staff (deemed "serenity guards" rather than security guards), the pretty-darn-awesome food menu (we recommend the tacos) and, let's face it, the gorgeous old theater feel. And maybe it's cheesy, but we're also suckers for the whole feel-good vibe the theater puts out there—a sentiment best represented by the script painted above the venue's stage that reads "Love Yourself." It's the kind of thing a doting parent would tell their children. This is Dallas—we do love ourselves. It's time we told the Granada more often that we love what it has to offer, too.

It's hard to find a local website that focuses exclusively on local music. Bloggers and editors cover a hodgepodge of local goings-on mixed with interesting national stories. My Dallas Music is no exception, but what sets it apart is the depth of its local coverage and the social media aspect of the site. It's fairly new, but My Dallas Music has established itself with its solid coverage of the Denton music community with its previous project, My Denton Music. The new site features accurate concert reviews, in-depth feature stories and interviews with artists. It gets users plugged in by allowing them to create their own profiles, and keeps them updated with a relevant concert calendar that highlights upcoming shows. Creating a profile at My Dallas Music promises that you'll be up on local and national music news.

You know the old stereotypes about strip clubs. They're dark. They're seedy. They're fun. But when push comes to shove, they're filled with awkwardness and regret. Hold up, though, fans of naked women: Those sentiments don't apply to The Lodge, except for the fun part. Designed to look like a ski or hunting lodge, the place isn't your run-of-the-mill black-room-with-silver-poles establishment. No, this one has wood furnishing everywhere, and it's complemented by stone and brick adornments. It's tough not to be taken aback by it, actually, even if that's not what you came to see. Speaking of what you came to see, though: The ladies? Well, they're pretty nice, too. The Lodge, vehement in referring to itself as a "gentlemen's club" as opposed to a strip club, holds itself to a ridiculously high standard. The classy vibe of the place just trickles down throughout the entire establishment—and it seems to apply to the ladies, who walk around the place in gowns, rather than G-strings. It's just, well, tasteful, that's all. Tasty, too, by the way: The menu's legit. We recommend the club sandwich.

Sure, it's primarily a country bar with a huge wooden dance floor, line-dance lessons and DJs who spin a variety of classic, new and crossover pop country. But with six separate bars in this enormous Cedar Springs staple, it's not just urban cowboys having a good time. There's plenty of twang to satisfy the regulars every night, but the late-night high-energy dance music sets on weekends offer them and their country-challenged friends a break from the boot-scootin'. ManCandy Retro Sunday nights are all about having a blast from the glow-stick past, and four weekly karaoke nights give you a chance to show off your best impression of George Jones or Willie Nelson–or Lady Gaga or Mick Jagger, for that matter. If that doesn't do it for you, maybe the Mr. and Miss Roundup, Miss Gay Texas and bear competitions, or the Cowboys game-watching parties will. The crowd is primarily gay dudes, but fun-loving lesbians and breeders with a taste for country music—or those who just like to have a good time—are made to feel just as welcome.

The Goat

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