So NYLO South Side, a new boutique hotel on South Lamar, claims to be the swanky drinking destination in South Dallas. Although we haven’t gotten to experience the upstairs SODA bar that, according to the social media fishbowl, is the “bee’s knees,” as they say, we did stop by the downstairs bar in the lobby.
NYLO South Side feels like a large studio apartment, with exposed brick and pipes that create an atmosphere suggestive of new-class sophistication and an over-earnest trust-fund undergrad who just wants to talk about Rick Moody or Dave Eggers. Between that and the plush and varied seats, the TVs showing sports, and the jazz band providing the soundtrack, we were digging the place.
But then we went to the bar and asked if they had Shiner. The bartender looked at us and said, “I don’t know.”
Look, we’ll take “no” or a “let me find out,” but “I don’t know” is the ultimate speed bump to getting our money.
After what seemed like an hour of her looking at us with confusion, she asked another bartender. She went over and grabbed a bottle of Shiner and brought it our way.
“That’ll be $6,” she said.
Now, we’re not against spending a little money on alcohol. Lord knows it’s been done before. And hotel bars aren’t where one goes for deals. But six dollars for a bottle of Shiner? At least pour it into a glass.
Maybe we ordered the wrong thing (hard to believe), and will give the SODA bar a shot, if only for the views. But when it comes to new hotel bars, recently we spent some time at Front Room in Hotel Lumen and rather enjoyed it. However, for tried-and-true hotel bars, here is a handy list of our top five. Let’s jump in.
No, we don’t know why the bar at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas sounds like a dive bar that Quentin Tarantino would put in one of his flicks. What we do know is that the Rattlesnake Bar has some of the best people watching in the city. Look, that suit/dress that cost way too much has just been sitting in your closet, begging for a night out. Slip it on and rub elbows with a bevy of cougars and sugar daddys. Grab a drink that costs more than your typical dry cleaning bill, sit back and enjoy the show.
Do you know how to tie a bowtie? Actually, it doesn’t matter because if you’re at the T/X Bar (formerly Bolla) at the Luxe Stoneleigh Hotel, then you’re best off going with the “Oh, am I wearing a undone bowtie? Don’t even ask me about this tux, but, yeah, I just came from watching the girl I love get married” look. Grab a martini and maybe tousle your hair (not too much, mind you). Then buck up, kid, ’cause you’re at a swanky hotel bar on the edge of Uptown, and there are pretty people everywhere.
Look, nostalgia can be a tricky mistress. The memories we hold so dear may not stand up to strong scrutiny – especially the ones about ex-girlfriends. So a bar that mimics the watering holes of a bygone era may seem treacly and overly sentimental. Fortunately, the Library Bar at the Warwick Melrose avoids this pitfall. Here, class still means something, and LMFAO could die in a fire without your noticing (or caring). What we’re saying is the bar is relaxed and refined. Sip on an old fashioned as you listen to the sounds of the piano fill the room, and know that you, friend, are one suave individual.
Bear with us as we venture outside the confines of Uptown/Oak Lawn/downtown. The Belmont Hotel has better-than-a-postcard views of the Dallas skyline, and BarBelmont feels completely separated from the city. Grab a drink, relax on the patio and enjoy some live music as you take in the skyscrapers from a safe distance. Although all the places on this list are smart options for a little one-on-one time, this is the one that shows a little bit of drinking — er, thinking — outside the box, and that’s sure to go over well at the end of a date.
The Rosewood Mansion Bar
It’s kind of hard to overstate the luxury of the Mansion Bar, but we’ll try. Located at the Rosewood Mansion (duh) on Turtle Creek, this is the grandfather of Dallas hotel bars. Often imitated, but rarely duplicated, the place smells of rich mahogany and old money. Just act like you belong here as you hobnob and pretend, even if just for a happy hour, that the mansion is yours and you’re a modern-day Gatsby, unconcerned about boats or currents unless they’re in Turtle Creek.
Want more? Read about the other hotels bars that sometimes get our hard-earned money.