Best Of Dallas

Best Of Dallas' 2015 Bars and Music Winners Are Full of Fresh Blood

The Dallas Observer's 2015 Best Of Dallas issue hits newsstands today and it really couldn't come at a better time. We've done a lot of talking lately about how things are looking up in Dallas nightlife, especially with the influx of bars (and people) in Deep Ellum. But as a quick look through the winners in this year's Arts & Entertainment categories suggests, Deep Ellum's not the only neighborhood flush with fresh faces. They're popping up all over North Texas.

One of those awards has seemed inevitable for the past six months: The Bomb Factory, which opened its doors back in March and took the honors for the Best Live Music Venue. It's an impressive space, one that not only raises the bar for concert venues and adds a long-absent large-cap room to Dallas' most important music 'hood but is also an awesome piece of reclaimed architecture. More of this, please.

But The Bomb Factory isn't the only new venue to catch our eye this year. Up in Denton, Harvest House opened at just about the same time (coinciding with the return of 35 Denton, in fact), and its combination patio, beer garden and live performance space got the nod for Best Patio. Even further off the beaten path is Pariah Arts, which established itself as one of the city's most interesting underground spaces over the winter and picked up the Best DIY Venue honors. (Vice Palace sneaked in, too, despite not having a mailing address.)

Most interesting may be the emergence of a whole new neighborhood, North Dallas. Hell, the neighborhood itself even got its own award as the Best Emerging Music Neighborhood. Two venues in the area got their own love too, though: Josey Records was a no-brainer for Best Vinyl Record Store after opening last fall (just missing out on consideration for 2014's Best Ofs) and attracting music heads from all the over world who want to check out its stellar selection. A little more of a sleeper was Best Dive Bar winner Velvet Elvis, which has been a gem of North Dallas since before the boom but suddenly doesn't feel so far out of the way.
Another development that's good to see: Some Latin bars getting thrown into the mix. This year the Best Ofs include a new Best Latin Club category, which went to New West up on Northwest Highway. Another Latin bar, Ojos Locos, was our pick for the Best Sports Bar in Dallas. If you're not watching the Cowboys at this place, you're doing sports wrong. Just saying.

Of course, there are also the music categories themselves. These are inevitably fewer in our Best Of issue thanks to the Dallas Observer Music Awards, which is where we primarily showcase local artists. But a couple newbies made a splash here anyway: Leon Bridges' Coming Home won Best Local Music Release while Post Malone's "White Iverson" got a nod as Best Viral Song.

There will be plenty more on the music awards front soon enough, with an official announcement regarding the 2015 DOMAs due in the coming weeks. Keep a look out right here for that announcement. In the meantime, spend some time getting to know the full list of Best Of Dallas 2015 winners.
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Jeff Gage
Contact: Jeff Gage