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 growth of culture on South Lamar in Dallas over the last few years has resulted in great restaurants, great concert venues, great retail and this little gem: Brooklyn Jazz Café. Home to some of the region's established and most talked-about jazz and R&B artists, Brookyn Jazz Café has live music almost every night of the week, as well as a $3 martini "Super Happy Hour" on Wednesday nights and a Sunday brunch. You'll typically hear a wide variety of smooth jazz, blues and old-school jazz, and you might even be inspired to get out of your seat and dance. Whether you're a seasoned jazz connoisseur or an entry-level jazz-head, you're sure to find something you'll enjoy at Brooklyn Jazz Café.
OK, so Gloria's isn't your typical reggaeton-pumping Latin club, but when it opens its dance floor each Friday and Saturday for an all-night salsa dancing sweat-fest, it's tough to find a more electric place anywhere in town. Whether the amazing Cuban band Havana NRG or the delicious (and deceptively strong) margaritas remove the most inhibitions, it's hard to say. To be certain, though, the opportunity to dance with beautiful women is enough to inspire any guy to learn as much as he can at the salsa lessons they start the night with. And look out ladies, because there are plenty of seasoned salsa pros out there ready to sweep you off your feet.
Here's our kind of drinking game: Order an uninitiated friend a cocktail or, better yet, whiskey on the rocks at The Loon. Then sit back and watch your pal's face as he has an internal debate about whether to say something to the server, like, "Excuse me, ma'am, but I didn't order a triple." The Loon, with its homey, pretense-free and clean but divey ambiance and satisfying food, doesn't need such enormous drinks to keep patrons coming back, but we're sure not complaining. A damn-near-tumbler-sized pour of booze makes us that much happier that we chose a quiet bar full of old alkies over some hip club-kid destination.