Hate Your Family? 10 Dark Bars to Find Joy In Dallas

Well, OK, "hate" is a strong word. Besides, love is close to hate. Indifference is actually the bad place. Anyhoo! The holidays are upon us. And remember, it's healthy to release the pressure created after stewing for hours in a crowded room, breathing in dank, hostile air.

So, perhaps you'll need just one drink to take the edge off. Then, another for good measure. Here are 10 bars with dark corners, lovely people (who aren't related to you) with reliably cold and/or strong drinks.

Ships Lounge (1613 Greenville Ave). Scott Reitz penned an ode to Ships Lounge and, particularly, why you should go there to watch the Cowboys game (which is at 3 p.m.,of course. I feel silly even writing that, but just in case you're new to Earth). Ships opens at their regularly scheduled time of 10 a.m. Thursday and will have some turkey, ham and other dishes too. New family?

Lakewood Landing (5818 Live Oak). I haven't done official research on this, but it appears Lakewood Landing has received the most Best Of awards here at the Observer. The list includes: Best Beer Joint, Best Juke Box, Best Home Away From Home, Best Dive Bar, Best Overheard Conversation. So, Best of Everything Ever opens at 8 p.m. on Turkey Day.

While at Lakewood Landing, if you need to stretch your legs, waddle around the corner to Cosmo's Bar and Lounge (1212 Skillman St.). Apparently we don't have a category for best light fixtures and lampshades or this place would clean house. Additionally, it's dark, comfy and there are many good tunes on the jukebox. Cosmos will let you in at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

If you'd like to tip your hat to the English for taking that whole religious-oppression thing so seriously, head out to the British-inspired Ten Bells Tavern (232 W. 7th St.) in the Bishop Arts District. Ten Bells Tavern will pour its first pint of Peticolas' Royal Scandal at 6 p.m.

Then you can hop across the street to play a little pool or watch football highlights at The Oak Cliff Social Club (238 W. Davis St.). Who knows what shenanigans they'll be up to, but the bar opens at 8 p.m.

A close runner-up in the Best of in the general dark bar categories, The Libertine (2101 Greenville Ave), will surely be available to help you take that edge off on Thursday evening. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Suffocated by your dinner host's pretentious Martha Stewart-style thanksgiving? Head over to Adair's Saloon in Deep Ellum (2624 Commerce St.). I'm pretty sure we create the category "Best Honky-Tonk" just for this gem and it sufficiently deserves its own category. Saddle up to the bar with a Lone Star and cry in your beer, if that's your thing. It's a honky-tonk, so it's basically expected. Adair's will get things rolling at 8 p.m.

The Idle Rich Pub (2614 McKinney Ave.) and its sister bar across the street the Black Friar Pub (2621 McKinney Ave.), both open at 8 p.m. If you need fresh air, I'd go for the latter. Need a dark corner? I'd nab a small booth near the dart board in the back of the Idle Rich.

The Fillmore Pub (1004 E. 15th St., Plano). Because people in Plano need to get out too. So we hear, anyway. The Fillmore Pub has a lot of local craft beer, including Peticolas' Velvet Hammer, Revolver Brewing and an entire book of others. They'll gladly pour you a pint from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday.

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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.

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