Dallas Observer

Leela's Wine Bar is a Pinterest board come to life. Since 2018, the wine bar has been a trendsetter by raising the standard for a well-executed design concept. Located in the former Crown and Harp, the industrial building has been transformed into an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for Dallasites to enjoy a well-crafted espresso martini while getting Insta-worthy snapshots. When it comes to a theme, no one does it better. Tastefully, Leela's has made Christmas, Valentine's Day and even Bachelor Mondays an experience to remember with theme-specific. visually appealing cocktails and decor. For its sixth decor pop-up, Leela's is teaming up with The Planting Hand to present "Summer House." Charge your camera battery and get there early. It is a guarantee that Dallas will be lined up out the door. The wait can be up to three hours on a weekend night, but it's well worth the exquisite vibes.

courtesy of @adriantorres_art

Prominently displayed on the wall of a building at Pearl and Elm streets is a colorful homage to three of pop music's biggest stars: Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Billie Eilish. The lifelike mural close to Dallas' Deep Ellum entertainment district is sure to grab the attention of even the most jaded of city-dwellers. The artist, Adrian Torres, told the Observer in April that he'd created the massive triple-portrait as part of 42 Murals, a project that helps elevate local artists' profiles by giving them a space to display their gifts. Hopefully, life will imitate art someday and the three pop stars will unleash a collaboration.

Dallas Observer

Want a chill time where you can relax and watch the sunset or some birds? This is not your place. Go here when you're ramping up for an evening. The employees always seem happy to be there, the patrons as well. The food is big and grandiose, like foot-long fried cheese sticks. And even when this place is packed before a game or show, the bartenders push drinks out quickly. The rooftop just brings all these things together with a view. Happy times.

Some of us will never be asked to be onstage, and that's OK, though it might be the reason we pay for expensive weddings full of people we don't really know. We want attention and a spotlight, no matter how brief. Karaoke allows everyone to seize the spotlight, and there's no better place to do karaoke than at a gay bar. If drag queens aren't cheering us on, we're just not interested. Barb's, the Oak Cliff dive bar, is still the best spot for karaoke. Because that's what Saturdays are made for, to butcher Mariah Carey just for the joy of loosening our vocals. The neighborhood bar has a mod look and a Cheers-like ambiance, where you can show off your excellent or terrible singing among friends who won't judge too harshly.

Mike Brooks

Get your groove on over at Havana, where DJs spin the latest in reggaeton, bachata and Latin and Spanish hip-hop. With fairly inexpensive cocktails and a large dance floor, Havana is a transcendental experience, where it's easy to get lost in the rhythm. Plus, Havana regularly brings in Latinx and Hispanic drag queens and musical performers. You may want to get to there early, as the line to get in is usually wrapped around the block on weekends. But after a night out of dancing and partaking in pure, joyful festivities, you will quickly realize why.

If you want some context on what's going on in Dallas politics and local government, you'll want to tune in to Loserville, a podcast currently hosted by former City Council member Philip Kingston and former Greencastle, Indiana, City Council member (now Dallas resident) Tyler Wade. The podcast has had a few different names and gone through several iterations. Radio personality TC Fleming started it as a solo interview podcast called All Dallas Politics Is Local. This was a spinoff of another podcast called It's Just Banter. Fleming asked Kingston to temporarily take over All Dallas Politics. After the 2019 City Council election, Kingston and Fleming decided to work together on Loserville. It would usually include Kingston and Fleming discussing the Dallas news of the day and would occasionally include guests. Fleming took a step back from the podcast when other commitments came up, and Wade was his replacement. If the city manager seems like he's on the verge of losing his job, or there's some zoning case drumming up local controversy, you'll likely hear about it in detail on Loserville.

Jacob Kepler/The CW

A magician doesn't become a master by fooling his audience. A magician becomes a master by fooling other magicians. Dallas magician Zak Mirz did just that to two of the world's most knowledgeable magicians. Mirz appeared on The CW magic series Penn & Teller: Fool Us in which the famed Las Vegas magic duo watch original magic tricks performed by illusionists from every corner of the world. Then they try to figure out how the trick is done using Teller's storied knowledge of magic secrets and techniques and Penn's booming voice and expressive vocabulary without revealing how the trick is done to those who don't know the lingo. Mirz, a native of Iran who used magic from a very young age to cope with the tragic loss of his father, performed a card trick with host Alyson Hannigan using a deck of cards and a very sharp knife that she used to cut to the predicted card. Penn & Teller thought they had the trick figured out, but Mirz told them they were wrong, earning him two dropped jaws of shock, a cloud of stage confetti and the show's fabled "Fool Us" trophy with the "F" and "U" in big, red capital letters.

Will Mecca

North Texas is known for its excellent metal scene, thanks in large part to mammoth acts like Power Trip and Creeping Death. So, merge those two powerhouses together and you've got yourself the region's best new metal supergroup: Fugitive. With a different tuning and Motörhead-esque tempo, Power Trip guitarist Blake Ibanez tapped into a new sound with this latest venture. In addition to Creeping Death drummer Lincoln Mullins, Fugitive's live lineup includes members of Skourge, ANS and Impalers. Look out for the band's EP, which promises to include a cover of Bathory's "Raise the Dead." This group is destined for metal greatness.

It's times like these, when there's talk of teaching "opposing perspectives" of the Holocaust, that it's so essential to visit museums like this one. Those who spend time at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will learn the true story behind one of history's darkest hours, as well as about human and civil rights on a national and global scale. The museum has the mission of combating indifference, prejudice and hatred, and it underscores the strength and resilience of those faced with the unthinkable. With both permanent and special exhibitions, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is a valuable Big D cultural institution.

Jonathan Rizzo

This non-collecting art museum has built a reputation for its edgy, engaging programming (up now: Shephard Fairey's first-ever solo Texas show). Under the leadership of executive director Carolina Alvarez Mathies, the Contemporary has also become the place to take a sound bath, shop local artisans, catch a live DJ set and even get a mini tattoo. The DC Summer Series of events has been a wild success among the young and cultured, so here's hoping there are more artful parties on the fall calendar to keep those weekends interesting.

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