As the summer slinks in, it's time to head for the coolest caves we can find: the hotel bar, where the furniture is comfortable, the atmosphere is elegant, and the A-C is running all the time.
For this late-May episode of Where to Drink, we hit five of the coolest and newest happy hour offerings hidden inside Dallas hotel:
The AC Lounge inside the AC Hotel by Marriott Downtown Dallas
New downtown Dallas hotel located inside the Mercantile Commerce Building at 1712 Commerce St. is aiming to kindle some of the downtown magic, and that includes the hotel's buzzy AC Lounge. The bar is open every night beginning at 4 pm, and happy hour runs six days a week, Monday-Saturday from 4-7 pm, with tapas and drink specials priced from $5-$8. There's a $5 dry vodka martini called I Love the 90s, a gin rickey for $7, and "the best damn margarita in Dallas" for $7. Wines are $5-7. The hotel also offers unique popup specials such as $1 off bourbon drinks on National Bourbon Day - June 14, if you want to mark your calendar.
Nobu at Hotel Crescent Court
Uptown Dallas hotel is all a-glow after a $33 million renovation to its rooms, corridors, lobby, spa, and fitness center. The focus at its in-house Beau Nash restaurant is on champagne, not deals. But Nobu Dallas, the acclaimed sushi restaurant chain based in New York, has a a fabulous happy hour offering from 5-7 pm Monday-Friday, with a special menu featuring half-off appetizers and half-off entrees, such as black cod butter lettuce and their mini tartare trio with toro, yellowtail, and salmon. They also feature a limited selection of drinks that are half price, including their lychee martini, usually $14 but half-off at $7, and wines by the glass for $7-$10.
The Bar at Perle on Maple at the Le Meridien Stoneleigh Hotel
Newly renovated hotel in Cedar Springs serves a mean happy hour every day from 3-6 pm with marked-down beers and cocktails and a menu of small bites. Oysters are $3, poached shrimp are $5, and pomme frites with garlic aioli are $5. You can get sandwiches such as the French dip for $16 or split a cheese or charcuterie board for $16-$18. Beers such as Lagunitas IPA are $7, a glass of house wine is $9, and the house Old-Fashioned with chicory-pecan bitters and maple syrup - of course, because Maple - is $10.
The W Victory
Hotel at Victory Park has happy hour deals all over the place. At Cook Hall, its in-house restaurant, they host happy hour daily from 5-7 pm, with the exclusion of event nights at American Airlines center. Appetizers are half-off, and it's $5 for well drinks, drafts, and house wine. On Wednesdays, the Living Room bar puts out a spread of bites and half-price wine specials by the glass and bottle. On Tuesdays, things start early at the Wet Deck pool bar on the 16th floor with $2 domestic beers and well drinks from 12-3 pm, and half-priced appetizers from 4-6 pm.
Hotel ZaZa Lounge
Uptown hotel takes an unusual approach to its happy hour with a special lounge menu that's available from 11 am-midnight Sunday-Thursday and Friday-Saturday 11 am-2 am — kind of a happy hour all the time. This is more of an eating deal than a drinking deal: There are no discounts on the drinks but there is a menu of specially priced small plates that includes deviled eggs for $14, a $10 Caesar, spring pea hummus with veggies and naan bread for $13, and French fries dusted with volcano salt for $8.