I'm wrapping up my second week in Dallas. It's been a little booze-y, I'll admit. I've been dipping in and out of every bar and pub that grabs my eye, an attempt to find something that I fear might elude me. Certainly as long as I keep things framed as I'm used to.
The Grapevine is the closest bar to my apartment and office, but "bar" is a bit of a stretch there. Only three of four stools are available for sitting and the the ergonomics are off. I just can't get comfortable. Bryan Street Tavern is a cool bar with good food, but it's miles away. It's just not convenient.
I spent some time alone the bar of Mesa, and found it easy to meet friends. You can drop by for some tacos and a cocktail, but it's no bar-bar. The Double Wide though... Now that's a drinker's bar, filled with re-purposed furniture, toilet bowls and duct tape.
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I wrote about the Windmill Lounge yesterday. If it were a little closer it'd be perfect, because that's really what I'm looking for. My local. A pub I can call my own and make friends with. A bartender who greets me with a cold bottle before my ass even lands in my stool.
I have some other candidates in Oak Lawn. I'll check them out in time. But my hunt made me wonder what the term "local bar" means to a native Texan. Or if the term even exists here. I used to walk to my local bar. It was a place I could stop by on my way home from work, have a cold Budweiser and a shitty burger, and then get out. I recognized familiar faces there often. I got a free round on occasion, signaled by two soft knocks on the bar. I miss that unspoken cue.
What makes you turn to a place again and again? Is it cheap beer, a jukebox, a cute bartender, or something else? Maybe you like to spread your beer money around, all over town. That's cool too. But where are you spending it? What makes for a good bar, and where are the gems? I'm as excited for the dive bars as I am for the barbecue.
It's Friday, if you haven't noticed. Time to sign those time sheets and shut down your computers. Monday will be here before you know it.