Best Genre-Bender 2021 | Post Malone | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kyle Gustafson

OK, we admit it: We were a bit skeptical when we learned the Grapevine-raised "White Iverson" rapper Post Malone dabbled in country. But our boy pleasantly surprised us when he played a couple of tunes during a March virtual concert hosted by Texas actor Matthew McConaughey. In the livestream, Malone positively nails two covers: "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" by Brad Paisley and Sturgill Simpson's "You Can Have the Crown." Honestly, the dude's as gifted a country crooner as he is a rapper, and he's a badass guitarist, too. Posty better giddy-up and record a country album.

Almost one year after announcing their closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Free Play Denton rises again, this time at a much better location (though not necessarily so for parking). The bar/arcade takes the place of the old Abbey Inn building on Denton's downtown square. An opening date has not been set as of press time, but owner Corey Hyden has updated fans of the extensive building renovations underway and what folks can expect, including the addition of a kitchen. Having one of the best beer and arcade game selections in town, Free Play Denton's reopening gives gamers something to look forward to.

Courtesy Alexandre's

After a 14-month closure, Alexandre's returned in May, kicking off Derby Day with refreshing mint juleps. These are just one of many craft cocktails on a robust menu curated by owner Lee Daugherty. Music videos from the '80s, '90s, the aughts and today play on multiple television screens, and guests can chat at lowly lit, intimate booths or at the long bar. Alexandre's has weekly series of live music, karaoke, and watch parties for sporting and political events. Soon, guests can enjoy food as Alexandre's expands into the abandoned doughnut shop next door. This semi-hidden gem of a watering hole truly encapsulates the inclusive spirit of the LGBTQ+ community.

Who would've guessed we'd find a natural waterfall in Frisco? Or a house made entirely of pink decor in Dallas? Or a coffee shop devoted to Harry Potter? TikTok user @mycurlyadventures has an eye for must-go spots all throughout Texas. She's even put together a guide to 50 different trips you can take throughout the state, all of which are under $50. Traveling may be difficult right now, given we're still in the midst of a pandemic, but @mycurlyadventures' feed shows us that some of the best spots are just a quick drive away.

When The Circle returned for a second season, Lee Swift, 58, played the game and played it well. Catfishing as a 24-year-old named River, Swift had to update his lexicon to match that of someone less than half his age. Taking lessons from his niece, he was able to pull off the Gen Z act long enough to land himself in fourth place. But it was his kindness, sense of humor and iconic outfits that won our hearts over. Not to mention, his loyalty to his fellow Dallasites Terilisha and Khat.

Karlo X Ramos

Founded by DJ Blake Ward, Disco, TX is an escape from the douchey frat bros who lurk around Dallas dance floors and an adventure to a world of magic, dance, art and sexual fluidity. Performing across various venues throughout Dallas, including Double Wide, Bowlskis and InterSkate, Ward hardly ever does the same theme twice, allowing for each Disco, TX event to make for an experience of a lifetime. Plus, Ward always makes sure to show love to local creatives by showcasing a variety of bands, drag queens and food trucks.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

This question applies to many things in life, we know, but why play regular basketball when you can play (wait for it) drunk basketball? Nothing brings out our inner heroes like drinking into a magical, sweet delusion when we believe ourselves capable of things we couldn't even manage at our most soberly coordinated — like dancing or talking to others. The Grapevine is an ideal spot to drink (and/or) attempt to conquer an outdoors basketball hoop, or simply to make new friends. It's an equal parts quaint and lively dive bar with a massive patio with large picnic tables perfect to keep socially distant (even in non-pandemic times). Nothing beats the bar's friendly atmosphere, where your enthusiasm for athleticism will likely be met if not with cheers, at least with no booing.

Let us accept our fate as millennials, that as the brokest generation it's unlikely we'll ever earn a million non-inflation-adjusted dollars in our whole lives. But just because we aren't (and again, probably will never be, sorry) millionaires, that doesn't mean we can't live like one. Or at least, that seems a prevalent new school of thought among decidedly non-economists. Thanks to the generously complicated world of credit debt, you too can float along living large and paying the minimum and letting future you deal with the aftermath. If you're looking for like-minded ilk with whom to flex your last purchases and talk brand names, the Tower Club is simply climbing with the sort. The Downtown Dallas club is on a 48th floor, so let the stunning city views make your debts seem but a small blur beneath who you really are at heart: a man or woman of wealth and taste.

Tami Thomsen

A lot is expected of musicians these days. They need to deliver sonically and have a hypnotic stage presence while finding us online. Medicine Man Revival frontman Keite Young happens to be great at all those things. The soul-rock singer's exuberant onstage star power translates well to the still portraiture displayed on Instagram. Young's photo layouts are as exciting as his projects — collaborations with seemingly everyone from Leon Bridges, John Mayer and Bobby Sessions. As a style icon, Young inspires us to look our best, but his strongest influence lies in his activism. Young uses his blessed vocals for good as an advocate for social causes such as Black Lives Matter, often posting truth bombs to his stories that'll shatter anyone's deep-seated ignorance.

You may be a 30k millionaire, but Dallas is rampant with the real thing, so get yourself one. Let the gold-digging begin where X marks the spot at the Rosewood Mansion, a restaurant and bar in the luxury Uptown hotel that's as sophisticated as your taste and pleasantly laid back, just like your ambitions. If you're on a Monroe/Grable/Bacall quest to marry a millionaire and want to meet your future benefactor, erm, spouse, without the aid of online dating sites, then meet-cute them spontaneously at the Turtle Creek hotel. And if your hunt yields no prey, you can always stick around for a chill jazz show and really good food.

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