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Photo by Chris Douglas

Yellowstone star sightings are becoming weekly occurrences around Dallas-Fort Worth, and here comes a new chance to mingle with a fan favorite: Forrie J. Smith, who plays old-timer ranch hand Lloyd Pierce, is coming to Oak & Eden Whiskey's flagship nano-distillery in Bridgeport on Saturday, December 3.

Smith, a "brand ambassador" for Oak & Eden, will be meeting-and-greeting fans and signing bottles at the second annual Anthro Live extravaganza. The event also will feature a craft cocktail bar, experiential tasting room, food vendors, and live music from acts including Matthew McDaniel, Simone Nicole, Hankins, and Brave Little Howl.

Smith has collaborated with Oak & Eden Whiskey on a unique blend called Forrie's Cowboy Coffee Infused Bourbon. It's described as "a 116 proof bourbon whiskey finished with a cold brew coffee-soaked American Oak spiral."

Forrie's is part of Oak & Eden's Anthro Series line "crafted in collaboration with prominent ramblers and creators," they say. Fort Worth singer-songwriter Abraham Alexander is also a collaborator.

According to Cowboys & Indians, Smith "collaborated with the brand to marry together two of his daily rituals: coffee and bourbon."

The actor has pledged that $5 from each $84 bottle of Forrie's Cowboy Coffee Infused Bourbon will benefit Shriners Hospital For Children, and more than $30,000 has been donated to date.

The Yellowstone actor -—currently starring in his fifth season as Rip Wheeler's rough-and-tumble right-hand man on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch — doesn't just play a cowboy on the world's hottest TV show. He's also one in real life, on his stunning New Mexico ranch. (Instagram handle: forriejsmithcowboy.)

"We are honored to partner with Forrie J, Smith, who has been a notorious champion for the pursuit of reviving the culture of the American West, has also been a heritage nod for the Oak & Eden brand,” says Oak & Eden co-founder and CEO Brad Neathery.

Anthro Live will take place 5-11 pm December 3 at the Oak & Eden Flagship, 1023 Halsell St., Bridgeport (about 70 miles northwest of Dallas). The event is free, but guests should RSVP here to get all the information.

Some things to know:

  • Signings are first come, first serve; arrive early to snag a good spot in line.
  • Smith will be shaking hands (free) and signing purchased bottles ($84).
  • They'll be accepting credit cards only.
No word whether Smith's boss, Yellowstone creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan, will show up in Bridgeport to shoot a few back. He and his wife, Nicole, live on a ranch near Weatherford. His next Yellowstone spinoff, 1883: Bass Reeves, is being filmed in the Fort Worth area.
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These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

The stage is set for Thanksgiving on Thursday, but there are other tasty happenings this week, including a Japanese take on the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the kick-off of a German market, a barbecue pitmaster course, a smoothie pop-up, and a whiskey tasting. Multiple stretchy pants may be required.

Monday, November 21

Miracle at The Aussie Grind
The Frisco coffee shop, café, and bar will make spirits extra bright this holiday with the return of Miracle, the nationwide Christmas-themed pop-up bar that arrives in more than 100 cities this week. Originating in New York City, Miracle features over-the-top Christmas décor and craft cocktails in beautiful glassware to set the tone for the season. Past fan-favorite cocktails include the Christmaspolitan, made with spiced cranberry sauce and elderflower with vodka and dry vermouth, and the Snowball Old-Fashioned, which looks just like it sounds. New for this year is kitschy Grandma Got Run Over By A T-Rex – a vodka concoction with orange liqueur, spiced pomegranate and grapefruit, and aloe vera. Also new is the Holiday Spiked Chai made with brandy, Jamaican rum, coffee liqueur, and amaretto. Miracle will run through December 31.

Tuesday, November 22

Japanese Thanksgiving at Uchi Dallas
Uchi will provide a unique take on the traditional Thanksgiving meal with this multi-course omakase dinner. Menu highlights includes spaghetti squash bisque with shrimp, bluefin crudo, and turkey katsu with Japanese curry. Dinner is $275 for two, plus tax and gratuity. Reservation times vary and are limited.

Friends-Giving Trivia at Legacy Hall
Start Thanksgiving week by testing your knowledge of the iconic hit series Friends at the Plano food hall. Grab a cup of coffee from Legacy Hall vendor Whisk & Eggs, sliders from Son of a Butcher, or chili cheese fries from Root Chicken Shak and get ready to play. The $30 fee to participate is good for a team of up to six players. Teams with the most points can win Legacy Hall gift cards for first, second, and third place, up to $100. Trivia begins at 7 pm.

Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving dining
Looking for a restaurant to dine in or take a feast to-go? Check out our long list here.

Friday, November 25

Texas Christkindl Market
Arlington will channel German vibes during this month-long holiday market set to take place at Globe Life Field. The free, family-friendly experience will feature handcrafted gifts, German treats and eats, music and live entertainment, and appearances by St. Nikolaus. Visit the Kinder Kids Root Beer Garden for stage shows, craft workshops, and root beer and hot cocoa concessions. Adults can enjoy beer and seasonal beverages in the Warming House. German fare will be available for purchase throughout the market, which runs until December 23. A tree lighting and opening ceremony will take place Friday at 7 pm.

Miracle at Texas Live!
The over-the-top holiday pop-up bar (see above) is also taking over the Miller Tavern inside the Texas Live! complex in Arlington. "Miracle at Live!" will feature an explosion of tinsel and twinkling lights, specialty holiday cocktails, tasty small bites, Insta-worthy photo moments, themed nights, and more. Miracle at Live! will officially open at 5 pm November 25 and will stay open through December 24. Walk-ins are welcome, and reservations and private events are also available. For more information and a schedule of events, visit the website.

Saturday, November 26

Pitmaster University at Oak’d BBQ
Learn how to select and trim meat, control temps and timing, nail the rubs and seasonings, and more during this 90-minute course on smoking meats. The class will be led by Oak’d chef Michael Lane. Cost is $99 and class will start bright and early at 8 am.

Smoothie King “King of Coffee” Pop-Up Tour
The national smoothie chain will pop up outside Anime Dallas to introduce its new coffee and espresso smoothies. Visit for free smoothie samples, merch giveaways, and fun photo ops out of a coffee café shipping container with artist mural. New smoothies include Espresso High Protein Almond Mocha. The pop-up will run from 9:30 am-6 pm at Hyatt Regency’s Trinity Crossing just outside Reunion Tower.

Monday, November 28

Whiskey Pairing at Commons Club
It’s Monday Fun-Day at Virgin Hotels Dallas during this multi-course whiskey tasting. Commons Club chef de cuisine Christian Panepinto will provide assorted bites to enjoy with a variety of bourbons and whiskeys. The price is $80 and the pairing begins at 7 pm.

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CMT Awards' Texas debut tops this week's 5 most-read Dallas stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Texas will host CMT Music Awards for the first time ever in 2023. Big news for country music fans: During Carrie Underwood's sold-out show in Austin on November 2, CMT Music Awards co-host Kelsea Ballerini came on stage to announce that the CMT Music Awards will come to the city's new Moody Center next year. Airing Sunday, April 2, 2023, the fan-voted awards ceremony will be hosted in Texas for the first time ever.

2. Where to see the most spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth in 2022. Tis barely the season for Dallas-Fort Worth to light up, merry and bright, for the 2022 holidays — from towering trees that twinkle and shine to dazzling drive-thru displays and immersive walk-thru experiences. Here's our guide to the biggest, brightest, most spectacular Christmas light displays in the area.

3. Pop rock powerhouse Paramore heads to North Texas on new North American arena tour. Dallas-Fort Worth fans of alterna-emo-pop group Paramore and their radio-ready hooks can catch the trio next year during a just-announced stadium tour. The act famous for anthemic singles such as "Ain't It Fun," "Misery Business," and "Still Into You" will hit Fort Worth's Dickies Arena on July 8, 2023, with Foals and The Linda Lindas as openers.

4. Dallas architecture firm nabs top floor of cool MCM Meadows Building. A Dallas design firm has snagged the top floor of an iconic building: SHM Architects, PLLC, has leased a 12,218-square-foot space at the historic Meadows Building at Energy Square, located at 5646 Milton St., relocating from their offices at 4514 Travis St. in the Knox District.

5. Beachy tiki-styled bar to surf into Downtown Plano, pina coladas in hand. Surf's up in Plano with a fun new venue coming soon: Called Coco Beach, it's a tiki-themed bar and restaurant diving into historic Downtown Plano, with an opening targeted for December.

Henry's Majestic/Facebook

Dallas cocktail bar and brunch favorite Henry's Majestic to close

A Dallas bar both popular and acclaimed is closing: Henry's Majestic and its speakeasy Atwater Alley are closing on October 30. According to a release, the landlord sold the building forcing the bars to move along.

However, Henry's owners say they plan to reopen in another space.

"We hope that our customers will come by and dine one last time in this amazing space over the next few weeks! Our plan is to reopen Henry's Majestic in a new location, so the hunt continues for a space! Stay tuned," says co-owner Andrew Popp in a statement.

The building, which also once housed a dry cleaners and an alterations shop, was bought in 2022 by StreetLights Residential, who focus on mixed-use and high-rise multifamily properties.

Henry's was the glitzy nightlife member of the Bread Winners family when it opened in October 2014 at 4900 McKinney Ave., in a space most deemed "cursed" - home over the years to a series of restaurants including Acme F&B, Acme Social Club, Vino & Basso, and Toscana.

But they beat the odds, making the most of an odd location, with a strong food and cocktail program, an eclectic wine list, 24 taps with craft beers, and as always given the Bread Winners heritage, a bustling weekend brunch.

The building came with a spacious dog-friendly patio where patrons have been able to enjoy an outdoor fireplace, pool table, TVs and al fresco dining.

They were on the front end of the craft cocktail movement in Dallas, and have been home to many notable mixologists and chefs including Alex Fletcher, Chris Unruh, Roe DiLeo, Ricky Cleva, Julie Bennett, Angela Montesclaros, and many more.

They were also early on the speakeasy trend - long before it became a trend in Dallas - when they opened Atwater Alley, in an adjacent space accessible via an alley behind the restaurant or else for those in the know via a secret entrance attached to the kitchen, where it served Prohibition-esque cocktails and oysters.

The Bread Winners team has experienced some changes as of late, including selling off the Bread Winners brand. They still own Harlowe MXM in Deep Ellum.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rio

Urban Rio presents Halloween Cocktail Dinner

Urban Rio will host a Halloween Cocktail Dinner featuring five spooky courses paired with five craft cocktails. The dinner will also feature a costume contest; the top three costumes will win a prize.

House of Spirits Soiree

Adult-only Halloween pop-up with spooky cocktails haunts Dallas mansion

Holiday News

A spooky amusement with a national presence returns to Dallas just in time for Halloween: Called House of Spirit: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree, it's a Halloween-themed installation that'll temporarily set up shop in a Dallas mansion, only to disappear by November 1.

House of Spirits debuted in Los Angeles in 2019, and only pops up in a limited number of cities. It first debuted in Dallas in 2021, but for 2022, it's bringing a new theme, based on a real-life scenario, called Tale of Volkov Manor!

The backstory:

When the Vasiliev children came to live with their uncle, Doctor Grigor Volkov, they discovered the spirits of his former patients wandering the halls, as well as a malicious entity known as The Midnight Man. The characters and themes of House of Spirits: Volkov Manor are loosely based on real life inspirations, including the final days of Grigori Rasputin, the ancient god Veles, and other Slavic folktales throughout the centuries.

If you're not into those kinds of arcane details, let's cut to the amenities:

  • themed miniature craft cocktails
  • macabre magic
  • tarot readings
  • strange roaming specters
  • secret games
  • giant Ouija boards

The spooky pop-up will return to the Alexander Mansion at 4607 Ross Ave., a 12,500-square-foot estate built in 1904. The mansion is ordinarily home to the Dallas Woman's Forum, which rents out the space for events.

It starts early this year, debuting on September 16 and running through October 31.

To participate more intensely, guests are encouraged to dress in time period fashion, costume, or elegant dress.

The event is for 21 and up, and is a two-hour experience that includes miniature cocktails inspired by a dearly departed spirit. Additional cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and food items are available for purchase.

It's open Thursday-Friday with two shows at 6:30 pm and 9 pm; three shows on Saturday at 3:30 pm, 6:15 pm, and 9 pm; and three shows on Sunday at 3 pm, 5:45 pm, and 8:30 pm.

Tickets start at $70, up $15 from last year. Depending on the type of ticket you buy, you get 4-5 miniature craft cocktails, and a French chocolate truffle pairing curated by a chocolate sommelier.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."