Drinking Diaries

Bryan Street Tavern lets you kick back with grown-up fun and games

Bryan Street Tavern lets you kick back with grown-up fun and games

Patio at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
Bryan Street Tavern's spacious patio is a good refuge to heal wounded pride from a foosball loss. Photo by Robert Bostick
Guys playing game at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
Bryan Street Tavern offers plenty of chances to beat your friends a game of foosball or shuffleboard. Photo by Robert Bostick
Tap wall at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
The beer selection is mostly craft beers, a rarity for dive bars.  Photo by Robert Bostick
Mural at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
If all else fails, you can talk about the mural outside. Photo by Robert Bostick
Patio at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
Guys playing game at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
Tap wall at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas
Mural at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas

Alcohol, when consumed in large amounts, has the ability to turn even the most stoic individual into an oversized toddler. Left to their own devices, drunk people and small children have the tendency to knock things over, ramble about the most banal of subjects and — if things don’t go their way — cry.

Although those things are all negatives of overconsumption or having heads much bigger than their bodies can support, both groups also understand the importance of games in developing a healthy social atmosphere.

Winning (and losing) serves to establish dominance and standing within a group. Games provide mental and physical stimulation that help the brain handle adversity, problem solving and strategic reasoning. And a drunk brain needs all the stimulation it can get, otherwise it’ll start ranting about why Tony Romo sucks so much.

 ​Bryan Street Tavern is decidedly cleaner than the old fraternity house, but it’s a nice substitute.

Bryan Street Tavern doesn't offer much for toddlers — though I saw a baby there once — but it does provide plenty of chances for pickled livers to achieve glory via bar games and mercilessly mock friends for lack of hand-eye coordination.

The East Dallas bar is almost a dive — it certainly looks like one from the outside — but the spacious interior holds more than expected. You have your pool tables and shuffleboards and darts and foosball, all waiting for a Bar Olympics to be had, as you munch on thin-crust pizzas and Buffalo wings and sip one of the many craft beers.

The solid selection includes beer from local breweries, with a few of the big guys sprinkled in. So you can come here with a snob or a slob and find equal footing. At least until the foosball game begins.

There are certain things I miss about college more than others — namely tailgates and sorority girls in sun dresses. Above all, I miss the ability to hang out at the house and play pool and then foosball and then pool again for hours on end.

Bryan Street Tavern is decidedly cleaner than the old fraternity house, but it’s a nice substitute. There isn’t any mysterious destruction to the dry wall, and there are no overturned trash cans in the hallways.

The bar keeps things flowing but separated. Diners can sit at a table without a pool cue jamming their side, and a TV area to the left of the entrance is a quiet spot for the more conversationally inclined.

The East Dallas spot also boasts a patio with a view of the skyline that, while not incredible, is a good reminder of where you are — and, more important, where you aren’t. Giant Jenga games sit atop patio tables, ensuring you’ll never be without a competition at Bryan Street Tavern. The murals against the wall give you something to talk about after you’ve exhausted the Tony Romo argument.

As if there weren’t enough packed into it, Bryan Street Tavern has a stage in a room between the main area and the patio where live music is offered several times a week.

If you’re still on the fence about it all (which seems hard to believe if you have been reading this long), then know this: Bryan Street Tavern is really cheap, as in $2 wells on Thursdays and $3 Fireballs every night from 9 until close. You know, for when you really want to feel like you’re back in your heyday.

We can’t guarantee you’ll win any of the bar games at Bryan Street Tavern, but we can promise you’ll have more than enough chances to try. Even if you lose, remember that you’re an adult, so you can have alcohol,  whereas toddlers cannot. That means you’re always a winner. 

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