Many of Dallas’ most popular bars are known for being grimy and grungy. Stained carpets, peeling paint and cracked upholstery on banquets that are falling apart; all are hallmarks of true watering holes. But there may be no more harrowing experience than when it comes time to brave the bathroom. Sometimes it's a matter of cleanliness, but quite often these ladies rooms entail insanely long wait times, graffiti that reads like a novel, inadequate lighting and major inconveniences, like, you know, a lack of toilet paper. These 10 bars' ladies rooms are the worst of them all in Dallas. (And stay tuned for our list of the city's worst men's rooms, later this month.)
10. The Grapevine Bar
A sign on The Grapevine Bar's bathroom door does its best to help patrons, with written instructions on how the commode should work. “BATHROOM STALL INSTRUCTIONS: CLOSE AND LOCK THE DOOR WHEN IN USE.” Why anyone would need these instructions is a mystery, but invokes worries of marauders breaking in during moments of vulnerability. The bathroom itself is a totally confused shed-like space, what with its gold and purple Mardi Gras paint, totally out-of-place Tiffany fixture and graffiti carved into the wood paneling.
Bars are usually where people congregate to meet new people and get to know each other, so in keeping with that tradition, RBC’s bathroom stalls have given you an extra opportunity to get to meet your neighbor. The stall height stops at around chin level (if you’re a taller-than-average gal standing there) and the bottom almost comes up to your knees, so forget about peeing in private. You can even say what’s up to the girl next to you while she’s doing lines off the toilet paper dispenser.
With its coat-closet quality lighting, Crown & Harp’s bathroom ranks among the most depressing. Don’t bump the vanity while washing your hands or reapplying the makeup you sweated off dancing; it’s coming unhinged from the wall. Only a miracle of engineering has kept the plumbing intact. Regulars are waiting for the moment when something finally pops and turns the bathroom into a geyser. Could the precarious sink situation be from one too many drunk people crashing into it? No judgment clumsy ladies, it happens to the best of us.
Single Wide at least posted a mirror in the hallway outside the bathrooms, since they removed the one from inside. This surely has been done to speed up the bathroom turnover rate. Not a bad idea considering this one-stall establishment sees a pretty constant influx of customers. If you’re there on a slow night, you might as well take the time to sit and contemplate your surroundings. Why is there a curious hole in the wall? What might crawl out of it? Will it be big enough to eat me?
Graffiti is all but encouraged at Adair's Saloon, and women don’t need an invitation to take our their frustrations on the walls. Literally every inch of paint is covered and then the graffiti is covered by more graffiti. Some notable phrases include “Girls Rock,” “Go USA” and “Texas Forever.” How cute. Your enthusiasm is noted. With soap dispensed from a condiments bottle labeled “Hand Soap, do not throw away” in Sharpie, rolls of paper towels soaking up water on the tiny vanity counter, and the hardest-working toilet seat in town (the paint has been rubbed off of it from the sheer number of bums that have sat there), Adair’s is definitely one of the worst.
2624 Commerce St., Dallas, adairssaloon.com
5. Club Dada
In between sets on a packed night, just don’t even try. It’s worth forgoing water between drinks and accepting a righteous hangover just to avoid the line that becomes six deep at Club Dada. The one-bathroom wonder is large enough inside to do a cartwheel (just, uh, guessing), but that space might be better used by adding a second stall. Somehow it’s survived the ages of angry full-bladdered women. Good thing pregnant gals don’t frequent bars that often, because one of them would probably have burned Dada down by now.
For being an otherwise pretty straightforward place, The Free Man goes too far with the bathroom color choice — a job better left to the professionals, or someone who isn’t color blind. The top half of the walls are Hulk green, which are offset by bordeaux-red lower walls. It is the perhaps the worst color combination known to man. With the single panel of fluorescent lights hovering above, the room will not only make you look 10 years older, it'll make you look 10-shots sicker — like you just turned green from downing a half-gallon of rum on the lower-deck of a tiny boat on choppy seas. Don’t trust what this mirror tells you, and get out fast before you start to believe you look that bad.
This high-volume Uptown bar needs to step up its bathroom game. The size of the women's quarters has the capacity to cut down on that insane wait time, yet there are often major bathroom snafus here: multiple stalls out of toilet paper, toilets not flushing or overflowing. Gross. On a high-volume night (read: every weekend), this is par for the course at BBC. It would be wise to assign some staff to check the bathrooms every once in a while or invest in a plumber who’s on-call on weekend evenings. It's badly needed for the literal back up.
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With nowhere to stand either inside the bathroom or outside it while you’re waiting in line, and only two extremely cramped stalls that give you no room to maneuver your romper on and off, the Green Room’s upper patio bathrooms are some of the worst in Dallas. On a busy night, be prepared to hold it or brave the throng of drunk co-eds yelling at you to hurry up. And don’t forget to BYOTP, because they frequently run out of toilet paper.
If the heavily stained carpet on the way to the bathrooms doesn't tip you off, you're in for a real scare inside the ladies room at Lakewood Landing. This bar has the most existentially frightening bathrooms in Dallas, hands down. The dark purple walls absorb whatever light is emitted from the lone bulb in the center of the room, and the two stalls are pretty much pitch dark, so pray you stick that landing on the toilet seat or else come prepared with your cell phone flash light. The small, dark room combined with the very large yellow writing on the walls hearkens back to a particular horror movie. Or maybe horror movies — this bathroom is so bad it could have been the setting of any of them. Dallas filmmakers, this location scout is on us.
5818 Live Oak St., Dallas, lakewood-landing.com
Watch for the 10 Worst Men's Bar Bathrooms in Dallas later this month.