Drinking Diaries

Last call: The 5 indisputably greatest drinking columns in CultureMap history

The 5 indisputably greatest drinking columns in CultureMap history

The Loon
If you're not downing a mixed drink at The Loon, then we can't be friends.  Photo by Trevor Korbin
Adair's Saloon
Adair's Saloon is what other dive bars aspire to be.  Adair's Saloon/Facebook
Concrete Cowboy
Do not go to Concrete Cowboy. Just don't. Sorry.  Concrete Cowboy/Facebook
Black Swan Infused Vodka
Black Swan Saloon might not look like much from the outside, but it's more than worth a trip inside for Gabe Sanchez's concoctions.  Photo courtesy of Black Swan Saloon
Interior of Stoneleigh P in Dallas
Here's to another 40 years for the Stoneleigh P.  Stoneleigh P/Facebook
The Loon
Adair's Saloon
Concrete Cowboy
Black Swan Infused Vodka
Interior of Stoneleigh P in Dallas

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but this is my last Drinking Diaries column. Bet you didn’t even know that was a thing, did you?

Well it is, and for more than a year I’ve been visiting and drinking at bars so that I could write about them later and fill your heads with knowledge. But mostly I was drinking.

It’s been a tough gig that I did not enjoy in the least bit. Just absolutely miserable, going around to different bars all over town, trying new drinks and meeting new people. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. In fact, it’s been such a terrible job that after today, I will no longer be a CultureMap Dallas employee.

It’s been a tough gig that I did not enjoy in the least bit. Just absolutely miserable, going around to different bars all over town, trying new drinks.

I’ve decided to go to Colorado and be something else for a while. What that entails is still a bit up in the air, but thankfully, nobody drinks in Colorado, so I think I’ll be okay.

And because this is my last column and day, I’m feeling especially lazy, so we’re going to do a clips column of my favorite Drinking Diaries. There wasn’t a rubric or anything in selecting these five — I just liked these. In no particular order:

Why Adair's Saloon in Deep Ellum is God's kind of dive bar
I love Adair’s. It’s everything you want out of a dive bar, from the Lone Star cans to the free live music to the graffiti all over everything. It has anchored Deep Ellum through thick and thin. I hope it’s around forever and never changes.

An admittedly one-sided diatribe against the worst bar in Uptown Dallas
The Concrete Cowboy column was probably my most popular piece, and with that came some really fun feedback. “Most punchable face in Dallas” came up at one point in regards to my byline photo. To be fair, I hate that photo and want to punch myself when I look at it too. Just know that the original draft of that column was much, much meaner and my editor, Jennifer Chininis, made me change about 50 percent of it. Your favorite bar sucks.

A public apology to Black Swan Saloon and its tremendous cocktails
I made a list of the Best Cocktail Bars in Dallas and then left off Black Swan Saloon, which is like forgetting George Clooney when naming the cast of Ocean’s Eleven. I’m sorry, Gabe, you deserved better. Go to Black Swan after a show at Adair’s and watch Gabe Sanchez and company perform alcoholic alchemy that’ll bust your taste buds.

The Loon is the alcoholic antidote to Uptown Dallas ailments
The Loon is moving in May, and that’s a damn shame, because its spot on Lemmon and McKinney is perfect. It’s a middle finger directed across the street to West Village and all of its corporate sheen. Plus, they got them dranks. God, do they have them dranks. I will miss The Loon more than any other bar, and that should tell you more than you need to know about me.

Longtime Dallas watering hole Stoneleigh P bridges generation between father and son
One of my more recent columns, the Stoneleigh P piece is also my most personal. My parents are moving from Dallas to the Hill Country this weekend, and I’m leaving Dallas next week. In a couple of swift moves, this city will be lacking in Rienstras for the first time in more than four decades. Please don’t tell me when the parade is. It’ll be an odd sensation, but as long as the P is around, there will still be a bit of Rienstras around.

Anyway, it’s been a fun ride, and everyone at CultureMap could not have been nicer to a guy fresh out of college with no idea what he was doing. Please keep reading because good things are happening here. And if you ever see me in Colorado, please don’t punch me in the face.

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