Before This Baseball Weekend, a Few of the Best Dive Bars in Arlington

Recently we ran a little ditty about a few new eateries in central Arlington. In response, a couple of dive-savvy readers asked about the often-overlooked older bars in the area, all of which are just west of the Ballpark in Arlington and Cowboys Stadium. They're perfect for avoiding the lackluster monotony of chains pre- and post-game.

1. The Why Not? Club The neon pink sign over the door promises "Coldest Drinks in Town." So, why not? We can sit here all day and talk about Why Not? But it doesn't do us any good until you put your big-girl panties on and ask bartender Renee for one of her smokin' hot Bloody Marys.

The Why Not? Club has been around for over 40 years, before Nellie Cruz was even a twinkle in his mama's eye. And not a lot has changed except for a new digital jukebox in the corner that plays a non-hostile mix of middle-of-the-road stuff. What the tunes lack in inspiration, the patrons playing darts in the back make up for in debauchery. There are a few TVs of different sizes and depths (meaning they're not flat-screens), but the crowd gets into baseball games, nonetheless.

With no windows, the building looks like a shoebox. It might not be a spot for an all-nighter, but it's definitely a good start.

2. Milo's is a quarter-mile further west on Division; we're barhopping now. The building is as old as everything else on the street, but Milo's has been freshened up with a new paint job, big white leather couches and new TVs. The sound system is fantastic and the jukebox is mostly good (except for when a shitty country song floats up). The bartenders are nice and to the point -- shots of Jäger are poured as quickly as they're slammed. Foosball, ping-pong, a small dance floor, pool, darts, and the aforementioned TVs keep everyone busy. But don't get me wrong, this isn't a sports bar. Milo's is dark and loud. The drinks are strong and the vibe is good. Lots to do and watch here ... but also a few corners to hide in.

3. Caves Lounge has a solid frequent flyer club of college students and locals. The parking lot will give your shocks a workout, but inside is old-school eclectic (TV fireplace) and the vibe is pretty low-key. The specials here are in a time warp -- taking you back to the '80's, when you could go out on just 10 bucks. It's amazing.

Franconia Brewing Company even brews them their beer: Osbakken Dunkelweiss. But, the best part of this place is the jukebox. It kicks ass. If you don't like it loud and slightly heavy at times, then don't come.

When the weather is nice they have a great courtyard in back that's dog-friendly. Mondays are movie nights ("The Rocky Horror Picture Show" most recently) and this weekend is their annual Oktoberfest celebration. They will definitely have the Rangers game on.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.