While the options for a fun night out in Dallas are seemingly endless for millennials (and *shudders* Gen Zers), does the city really cater to the Gen X-and-up crowd? Whether you’re out in Deep Ellum, Uptown or Bishop Arts, you’re guaranteed to find a venue filled with people born in and after 1980, but what about those who came before us?
No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to paint the town red. While most places in Dallas aren't ageist and welcome every type of patron (except those under 21), if you want to stay away from a bunch of lightweight "It's-my-21st-birthday!!!" wildlings, here are some places with more mature crowds that can hold their liquor and aren't going out solely for Instagram's sake.
Revelers Hall412 N. Bishop Ave.
This Bishop Arts haven of mostly acoustic, New Orleans-inspired jazz is old-fashioned in the most modern of ways. It's a place where the name "Billie" evokes the last name "Holiday," not "Eilish." Move along, Snapchatting youngsters.
Woody’s Sports and Video4011 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 3521 (Oak Lawn)
Classics really do hold up, and this LGBTQ+ bar celebrates music, movies and theater, both old and new. Be sure to swing by on Monday nights for throwback hits from all the way back to the '70s. Tuesday nights are show tunes nights, so be sure to grab a drink and sing along to all of your favorite songs from classic cinema.
The Balcony Club 1825 Abrams Road B (Lakewood)
Looking for something a little more laid-back? The Balcony Club in Lakewood is an intimate venue located right next to the Lakewood Theater. Enjoy live jazz shows and blues performances every night of the week, featuring some of the best musicians Dallas has to offer.
Down Under Pub 3231 Preston Road, Frisco
This Australian-themed bar is a sports fan’s paradise. With pool tables, dart boards, shuffleboard tables and arcade games, Down Under Pub has everything you need to stay occupied for a few hours. Not to mention, 30 TV screens, so you won’t have to bug your children when you can’t figure out how to get the live streams to work.
Better Than Sex Desserts 1010 E. 15th St., Plano
For those boomers who still have the sex drive of a millennial, you’d be remiss if you didn’t have a sexy date night at this dessert bar in Plano. At Better Than Sex, guests can sinfully indulge in erotically named desserts, including the between my red velvet sheets cheesecake and the caramel over me shot.
Checkered Past Winery 1409 S. Lamar St., Suite 008 (The Cedars)
Let’s face it, your tolerance isn’t the same as when you were 21. Luckily, Checkered Past has an extensive selection of wines. Not to mention, good frosé cocktails. Checkered Past is great place where you and your friends can cut loose but still wake up the next morning not feeling like you’re about to die (well, from alcohol poisoning, at least). Plus, on the first Saturday of each month, Checkered Past hosts magic shows, with performances by Trigg Watson.
The Library 3015 Oak Lawn Ave.
Millennials and Gen Z-ers most likely don’t have the means to frequent The Library at the Warwick Melrose Hotel, but if you’re able to drop a pretty dollar on some fancy craft cocktails, grab your friends and head over to this Oak Lawn treasure. The Library has nightly musical performances by some of the top local jazz vocalists and pianists. Coming alone? Be sure to grab a book off the wall and feed your mind with good literature, both classic and rare.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The Grapevine3902 Maple Ave. (Oak Lawn)
Where can you drink in a lovely backyard setting that isn’t filled with college-aged douches? The Grapevine is a funky little house-style bar with a spacious yard. Good music and friends are always the motion here. Not to mention, the Bellinis are to die for.
Adair’s Saloon2624 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum)
One of Dallas’ last great rock 'n' roll and country bars is in Deep Ellum. Adair’s boasts a lineup of great musicians every night, many of whom are over 40 themselves. Plus, this saloon has happy hour from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Free Man 2626 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum)
Deep Ellum isn't just for spring chickens. Speaking of chicken — the spicy kind — Cajun restaurant and bar The Free Man, next door to Adair's, has an endless roster of mostly blues and jazz bands. If we're learning anything here it's that older people like jazz. But, if hard rock and heavy metal are more your speed, see below.
Reno’s Chop Shop 210 N. Crowdus St. (Deep Ellum)
Biker culture is ageless. After all, you’re never too old to be a badass motherfucker. (Pardon our language, sir, or ma'am.) If you treat the Harley-Davidson logo like a religious icon and believe that headbanging is the secret to longevity, then Reno's is your new mecca.