Look, fellow smokers, it's probably for the best we can't smoke indoors at shows any more. It was pretty sad for everyone, and dry ice is much less life threatening, probably. If you want to have some of the ol' tobacco, there are many solutions around Dallas, all of which involve blowing smoke into the sky.
So what makes a good smoking patio? Well, it must be roomy enough that you're not making your non-smoking friends sad when they politely accompany you outside. It must be conveniently located near the actual concert. It must be shady, because the summer is no good. It should look nice, because smokers are fickle and need shiny things to entertain them.
5. The Granada Theater
You'll always meet whoever you came to meet on the Granada Theater patio, conveniently located directly outside the front door of the venue and occupying the area from the doors to the road. It would extend further, only there are cars. There's an ATM, there are neon lights, sometimes there are randomly-placed chairs, and it's not cramped because it's just a very large sidewalk. Hurrah!
4. Three Links
Bench seating for a sense of community, a musician's shed, smoking patio merch tables, a door into Fuzzy's Tacos that looks surprisingly similar to the two doors back into the venue, newcomer Three Links has it all. Where else can you go from a punk show into a Tex-Mex restaurant by mistake? Really, if this smoking patio was a bit larger it would be an absolute winner.
3. The Loft Just the best view of any patio in Dallas, some pretty awesome benches, the bar being right there, copious space, people-watching in the parking lot, if the Loft was actually used for concerts more than once a month it'd be the best in the city. You can take one of the most lackadaisical smokes of your life out here.
2. Double Wide
In comparison to the Loft, the Double Wide patio is buzzing all the time, and it's especially handy because the smoking patio is much bigger than the titchy bar itself. The murals are awesome, the seats are toilets, there's a weird cage thing going on, everyone who goes to the Double Wide smokes anyway. Watch out for the drink-resting shelves, though, they're not exactly straight, as you will learn to the cost of your Yoohoo Yeehaw.
1. Club Dada
The indisputable king of all Dallas smoking patios, Dada's patio is outrageously large, has enough seating for a party, several levels, a stage, attractive lights on trees that you Americans like so much, several entrances and exits, and it's just plain nice. It's so nice that, between songs, non-smokers will go out there to drink. That's the ultimate seal of approval for any smoking patio, and that's why you can't top Dada. Shame about the bathrooms, though.