So we hear there's a little basketball tournament in town this weekend. Every hotel room in Arlington is sold out. Jerry World will be hoppin'. It's a commendable salute of solidarity with your alma mater. And we know you're going to want to really make the most of your vacation in the fine city of Arlington, so we've outlined some good spots for pre- and post- dribble festivities.
If Your Shirt Is Starched If you're keeping it strictly classy (of course you are), Piranha Killer Sushi is probably the best place for drinks in an upscale-ish atmosphere in Arlington. They have great wine by the glass, fantastic sushi and on occasion an acoustic guitar strumming in the corner. The large deck out front is great when the weather's nice, or stalk a seat at the sushi bar inside.
The newly minted R Bar and Grill is now open inside the Hilton at 2401 East Lamar. They have a craft cocktail menu and draft beers, plus locally inspired chef-driven fare from chef Michael West. (Party tip: Try anything that has "Jimmy's" next to it.)
A Bit Low Key, But Fun Old School Pizza and Suds is a restaurant a bar, however, the actual bar is separated from the dining area. They have a big tap wall with ample flavors and thick gooey pizza. The patio out back is spacious.
Geographically speaking, there's a small collection of restaurants and bars in central Arlington on Abram, J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill and the crème de la effin' crème are the Irish Nachos. They're the stuff of legend, girth and sweat pants. Plus beer. Lots of it.
Even if you're from not-around-here, you still might have heard of Twisted Root, which is walking distance from Gilligan's, from their appearance on Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dive's (the original Dallas spot). The Arlington outpost has a trailer park theme-the bar is an actual RV. They've been touting some bacon-flavored vodka as of late (house-made) and also have a Twisted Mule craft cocktail on tap. Oh, and big kid milk shakes. Treat yourself.
Hiding behind Twisted Root is Hooligan's, which is probably the best beer bar in Arlington. It's new and the dark, heavy wood gives the place a classy cave vibe. There's also a smoking room and a small patio, which they share with Twisted Root.
Just a bit up the road is Grease Monkey Bar and Grill. Order a fat greasy burger, perhaps some sweet potato tater tots and eat on the patio or at the bar that spills out onto the sidewalk. They'll run shuttles to AT&T stadium during the NCAA tournament, which is an awesome amenity. Grease Monkey also often has live music, but will probably have the games on their huge-screen TV all weekend.
Louie Louie's Piano Bar at Lincoln Square is where you'll want to go if you have no shame, or enjoy watching others lose theirs for sport. Good times. They don't open at 8 p.m. and Lincoln Square has a shuttle to AT&T Stadium.
Dive Bars Milo's is easy to miss. Just look for the short, long baby blue building. Unless it's dark out. Then, good luck. You'll find it if it's meant to be. The jukebox is wide-ranging and worthy a stroll through. Check out the patio out back if you're feeling sporty (corn hole and ring toss). And the bar can take care of anything else you need.
Cave's Lounge is dark, the jukebox is loud and the customers can be both. Cave's has an appreciation for local craft beers, fancy martini's and an off-beat sense of humor. The porch out back is a little less intense, but the retro chairs leather around the bar are hard to resist.
If you're homesick and perhaps hankering for some homemade chicken and dumplings, head over to the one of the oldest dive bars in Arlington, Marie's Pearl's Cherokee (are you following all those apostrophes?). Marie herself will probably take care of you there.