BEST DEBUT FILM 2020 | Channing Godfrey-Peoples' Miss Juneteenth | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Vertical Entertainment

Fort Worthian Channing Godfrey-Peoples grew up celebrating Juneteenth with her family, taking in the cultural significance of the holiday's traditions and reserving special attention to the Miss Juneteenth pageants. In her debut film, Miss Juneteenth, Godfrey-Peoples' honors those early impressions by imagining the lives of a former winner and a reluctant contestant. The film tells the story of Turquoise Jones (played with flawless subtlety by Nicole Beharie), a former pageant winner who struggles to make a living and whose dream is to pass on the crown to her teenage daughter, who's uninterested in pursuing the title. The film unfolds slowly, dragging the viewer into a visual folk song sizzling with the subtext of the hardships of motherhood and poverty and the bitter aftertaste of missed opportunities. It's ultimately optimistic in its metaphorical message of seeking out hope for a better future. Miss Juneteenth was fittingly released on June 19 at the peak of this year's civil rights protests. Its timing couldn't have been better.

Ribs Man

Skateboarding is always entertaining for those of us who have zero capacity to glide gracefully, let alone jump, with a wheeled artifact, but one local skateboarder has captured our attention and our unending curiosity. A mysterious skateboarder dressed like a skeleton, known as Ribs Man, has become the Banksy of the skateboarding world, at least in the sense that nobody knows his, hers or their true identity. Over the past four years, Ribs Man has earned a huge online following by posting videos of his skateboarding prowess as he wheels around — and above — Dallas. Ribs Man's identity has become a tireless guessing game for the skateboarder's followers, but it's a secret the skeleton will likely keep in the closet.

courtesy Mutt's Canine Cantina

You can bring both your two- and four-legged friends to this off-leash dog park-restaurant mash-up. Dubbed the canine cantina, Mutts is the best place to sit back, grab a bite, sip a smooth adult beverage and let your pet mingle with other pets. You'll want to swing by during Mutts' "Yappy Hour" for cheap cocktails and draft beer and look out for events like breed meet-ups at their Dallas and Fort Worth locations.

Chris Wolfgang

This sports bar doubles as an adult arcade. Pingpong tables, dart and shuffle boards are set up inside Sidecar Social where patrons can order cocktails, beer and wine from one of two onsite bars. If these games aren't your thing, grab a few pals to play bocce ball or foosball. But if you're just looking to stuff your face and knock back a few drinks, you can find a spot in front of one of the bar's 18-foot televisions. On TVs this big, you can see where players cut themselves shaving the morning of the game.

Jay Clipp is a 15-year career DJ. Clipp has performed with DJ Spinderella, RC and the Gritz and Erykah Badu. He's also spun for the likes of Dave Chappelle, Jay Z and LeBron James. A little over five years ago, Clipp began teaching music production courses through his Keep Spinning DJ Academy, making music education a passion of his. Clipp continues to be one of Dallas' envelope-pushing DJs.

Meagan Solomon

Some of us just don't seem to have been raised right. Luckily, there's Christina Moreland, whose cartoons are accompanied by the simple messages our parents should have instilled in childhood, tried-and-true bits of advice such as "Learn to listen," "Call your mom," and "Don't be racist." The artist's work became an instant favorite among music scene figureheads like DJ Sober. Moreland's newest work is a politically relevant alphabetical series. "A is for arrest the motherfuckers who killed Breonna Taylor," "B is for Breonna's killers still haven't been f*ing arrested" and so forth. With a nostalgic Mr. Men-like aesthetic quality, Moreland's cartoons offer those lessons that need not only to be repeated but drilled into our minds, reminding us to eat our veggies and to uplift trans voices.

Megan Pavey

There aren't many venues that can say they book some of the best rock bands in town and have had Tenacious D make a cameo appearance during a local set. Three Links can. Building on the grave of what was once Deep Ellum's La Grange, Three Links opened over seven years ago and has been a staple of the local rock scene ever since. Three Links hosted one of the last shows in Deep Ellum, featuring bands Highlife, Calculated Chaos and Periods, before the city shut down for the pandemic. During the COVID closures, Three Links still hosted shows the club livestreamed on their Facebook page. When Three Links reopens, the city will finally be able to get back to rocking.

Brandon Hicks

Chasity Samone is a veteran, activist, actress, model and, earlier this year, she became our official pinup fantasy by becoming a Playboy Playmate. In February, the publication featured Samone on the cover of their "Equality" issue. Samone has positioned herself as more than a sex symbol. Her aspiration is to join the City Council and advocate for marginalized communities. Samone's brand of sex appeal doesn't simply cater to the relentless male imagination but lies in her freedom to choose to do what she damn well pleases by celebrating her own body without shame. The model's outspoken about letting future critics know that her Playboy shoot will not deter her career in politics. She's said the experience of posing nude is "liberating," pointing to the fact that art has featured nude women since the beginning. The statuesque beauty was raised in a Baptist family as one of a batch of 12 and joined the Army like her father. If her looks don't kill, she's also trained to kick your ass.

Nick Rallo

This Deep Ellum honky tonk might as well be a local music landmark. One of the oldest bars in Dallas, the country music watering hole has seen the likes of Jack Ingram, Deryl Dodd and members of The Chicks. The first iteration of the venue was opened up in the early '60s on Cedar Springs by owners S.L. and Ann Adair. Adair's moved to Deep Ellum about 20 years later, where it has sat on Commerce Street ever since.

Jason Roberts

Odd fellows, vagabonds, rabble-rousers and revelers all came together to bring a taste of New Orleans to the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. That is how district business owners Amy Wallace Cowan, Jason Roberts and Corey McCombs would describe themselves. In a short walk between their other creations, Odd Fellows and AJ Vagabonds, sits the trio's brainchild, Revelers Hall. On the weekends, the house band's performances usually pour out onto the sidewalk in front of Revelers Hall, but pull up a chair for some patio joy.

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