It’s the end of another year, and that means that things have to be labeled and listed lest we forget. In this edition, we examine the six best new bars in Dallas that abused our livers this year. It’s a pretty wide array of styles and neighborhoods, ensuring that if you were looking around, you weren’t likely to be bored.
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Bowling has never been sexy or inherently cool (unless you’re the Dude), but it sure can be fun. Bowlounge in the Design District takes that old-school vibe and runs with it thanks to authentic lanes and machinery from an old East Texas bowling alley.
References to The Big Lebowski abound, from the drink names to the black velvet portraits on the wall, and the TVs play ’90s music videos for some reason. It doesn’t really make sense, so try not to think about it too much.
Dallas Beer Kitchen
Did Dallas really need another place devoted to craft beer? Yes, shut up. That line of thinking should be retired until every neighborhood has its own personal meeting spot for hop heads.
DBK gives Lower Greenville a tap selection worthy of exploration. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, though a little noisy. It took a few months to get that broken-in feeling, but between the trivia, keep-the-pint nights and generally good food, Dallas Beer Kitchen has proven its worth to the craft beer scene.
Tiny, cozy and classy, Kennedy Room snuck into the corner of the Montaigne Club with a throwback appeal that was never boisterous or extravagant. Eschewing the flash of Uptown, the 350-square-foot bar feels like a boozy living room.
It’s never packed, which is part of its charm, allowing for a quiet evening by the fireplace or counting pennies on the bar. It’s close enough to McKinney Avenue to work as a nice aperitif, but more often than not, the rest of Uptown feels superfluous after a round at Kennedy Room.
Let’s get it out of the way because there seems to be some confusion: I like The Rustic. I find myself there and will continue to go there because it’s a lot like another, unnamed bar that I also enjoy — and two is better than one.
But The Rustic elevates the game with its massive stage and live music. It’s a quality that is unmatched in Uptown, which is sadly bereft of live music. Even if the area were lousy with stages, it’d be hard to beat The Rustic’s.
Food trucks and giant patios with picnic tables seem to be in vogue right now, so it’s a pretty natural evolution that the two should get together on Lower Greenville. With Trader Joe’s just across the street, it might be the trendiest corner in Dallas.
The beer garden is auto-garage-cum-flea market chic, with plenty of rotating trucks to make each visit an exploration in both cuisine and craft beer (or PBR). And there’s a tree house that you can only get to by ordering specific drinks. That’s some evil genius-level thinking right there.
The name is terrible, but the bar is pure New Orleans sex. Between the live shows, the dark and sensual interior, and the French Quarter-inspired patio, Twilite carries the Deep Ellum edge without asking you to prove yourself.
It’s the kind of spot that works equally for a date or to get rowdy. More of the Crescent City is never a bad thing.