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Fall has (almost) arrived and if there's one thing that a change in seasons always brings to mind, it's Happy Hours. This August edition of Where to Drink rounds up five new candidates with exciting Happy Hour programs, some with great drink specials, some with food and drink, and one that's really just all about a cheap martini at lunch.

Here's our list of spots for Where to Drink in August:

Greenville Avenue cocktail bar has many things in the works including two recently introduced new menus: a new regular cocktail menu PLUS a new Happy Hour menu. The new regular cocktail menu has some out-there items such as the Holy Pozole cocktail made with corn that's inspired by the Mexican soup. You'll have to do that on your own time, because we're here for the Happy Hour. The new lineup includes a lemon drop with Absolute citron; rum with passion fruit & ginger beer; dark rum with soda & bitters; and mezcal with Génépi, an herbal liqueur. Prices run from $8 to $11, and the Happy Hour runs almost every day, Sunday through Friday 5-7 pm.

Barcelona Wine Bar
For the first time ever, the Mediterranean-inspired tapas spot in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood has launched an all-new Happy Hour with drinks, bites, and specials that can only be found during this new Happy Hour timeframe. Available Monday-Thursday 4-6 pm, it’s designed to support the existing tapas and Mediterranean-style cuisine already on the menu and draw in the community to try new, interesting items not found on the regular menu. That means half price on all bottles of sparkling wine, plus 7-ounce beers starting at $3.75, along with drinks such as the mini espresso martini, mini dirty martini with gin and green olive infused dry vermouth, and the cool Sacaback, a sherry shot blended with brandy and served with a side of Guindilla pepper brine. Happy Hour foodstuffs include potato chips with Lomo Ibérico, crispy chickpeas with pimentón, beef tartare with mustard vinaigrette, and mini churros with dulce de leche. Fantástico!

Dahlia on Ross
Southern-European inspired spot at Ross & Hall in East Dallas is bringing back the 3-martini lunch, one quarter at a time. On Fridays, they're doing a lunch special from 11 am-3 pm featuring a 25-cent martini, either their Ketel One Classic martini or their Ketel Oranje Espresso Martini. You only get one at this price, and it must be ordered with a food menu item. Come on, no coming in and just ordering a 25-cent martini. But if you wish to continue your Friday day-drinking, their Dahlia cocktail (Ketel One, watermelon juice, basil) is $6 instead of the usual $13, beer is $5, and house wine and Prosecco are $7.

Deep Ellum steakhouse with a global menu is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a variety of fanfares and that includes the thing we care about most in the Where to Drink space: a new Happy Hour menu. It's generous in price and selection, with deals on the drinks and a menu of good bites as well. Drinks-wise, it's half off all of their signature cocktails, beer, and wine (with the exception of sparkling, dang). Snacks include Thai potstickers, deviled eggs, hummus with crudite, Korean fried cauliflower, tempura, and Szechuan chili chicken, all $8 each.

Sky Blu Rooftop Bar
Design District rooftop bar on the ninth floor of the Tru by Hilton Dallas Market Center off Interstate 35 hosts Happy Hour every day from 4-7 pm, featuring $7 well cocktails, $6 draft beer, $5 house wines, $6 frose, and $10 signature cocktails. Did you say frose? The setting is pretty divine, featuring a sprawling outdoor and indoor space with abundant seating, comfy couches, fire pits, and views from here to downtown Dallas and back.

Photo by Abbie Arnold

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 bars with fun cocktails to try

Where to Drink

If ever there's a time to do a little day-drinking, or even night-drinking for that matter, it's a three-day weekend like Memorial Day. It's really what three-day weekends are for.

For our regular Where to Drink feature, we feature five places which all come with something special, whether that's a happy hour discount or some fresh new cocktail creations to try.

Here's Where to Drink right now in Dallas:

Blue Goose Cantina
Tex-Mex chain has introduced seven new drinks to their already extensive drink menu, some featuring mezcal in amazing concoctions. The El Pepino has tequila, rum, lime juice, kiwi puree, cucumber, and club soda. #refreshing. A Mezcal Old Fashioned has mezcal, simple syrup, and chocolate bitters, which sounds divine. Miss Mezcal has tequila, mezcal, simple syrup, blackberry, pineapple, and lime. Fruity. There are also three new mimosas: honeysuckle, mango, and passion fruit. Find them at the chain's seven locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Grapevine, Highland Village, McKinney, and Plano.

Ida Claire
Southern-inspired restaurant in Addison has a new menu of intriguing CBD-infused cocktails which they say not only enhances its flavor, but also melts away stress and — hello, the important part — is less likely to give you a hangover. Jungle Bird has CBD-infused Plantation 3 Stars Rum, Velvet Falernum, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, coconut, lime, and orange. High Tea Thyme has Still Austin Gin, Amaro Nonino, CBD green tea, lime, lavender bitters, and thyme. Leaves of Green has Plantation 3 Star Rum, Metaxa Brandy, CBD green tea, matcha, soy milk, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, and chocolate bitters, that one is a must.

Knife Steakhouse at The District at Willow Bend
The Plano location of this steakhouse concept created by chef John Tesar travels to the beat of a slightly different drum than the original at the Highland Dallas hotel. They've launched new seasonal cocktails including the Illicium with Fernet, Strega, and Amaretto; Boba Rosa with Italicus, canton, lychee juice, and lychee pearls, intriguing; and Sunny Side Up with mezcal, lime, and pineapple.

Mike's Gemini Twin
Hipster dive bar in the Cedars District likes to say it has "beers and shots and beers and shots and beers and shots." True true, but it also has classic cocktails, a pool table, an out-of-the-way location, a really old-school neon sign, a back bar reclaimed from Uptown haunt Idle Rich, an understated super-casual atmosphere, a sense of humor, and hot dogs served until 1:30 am. They host a happy hour all day Sunday, with free pool, right up until closing time.

Sketches of Spain
Maybe you're one of the lucky ones traveling over the Memorial Day weekend. If you're not, drop in for a drink at this pincho bar in Oak Cliff for the next best thing, where you can transport yourself via food and drink to the Basque country of Spain. The pincho, AKA pintxo, AKA pinchu, is a snack typically served at bars in northern Spain, and at Sketches that could mean roasted eggplant with pine nuts, potato salad with tuna, or Spanish ham croquettes. Saturdays are the day to go when they host a happy hour all afternoon from 12-5 pm, with $6 sangrias & Agua de Valencia, the Spanish cocktail with vodka, gin, sparkling wine, and OJ.

Courtesy of La Colombe D'or

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 picks for best new happy hours

Happy Hour News

The No. 1 thing about Where to Drink in Dallas right now is to find a place where their mask policy matches your own.

Masks are a polarizing issue, and you want to be with your own kind — whether you're a sensible pro-mask person or a nutty anti-masker.

With that out of the way, it's upward and onward to these places that have either recently opened or reopened and are slinging some discount drinks.

Here's five happy hours to try in March:

Dahlia Bar & Bistro
Chic bar with décor inspired by the elegance of the dahlia flower is from savvy hospitality brothers Chris and Mark Beardon (Felix Culpa, Ill Minster Pub). They've made the most of this space on Ross Avenue that was originally home to Little Woodrow's, a space whose many assets include an expansive patio. Their happy hour is Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm and features "The Dahlia" cocktail for $6, plus $5 beers, $7 wells, and $7 for house wine and prosecco. For noshing, they also offer a selection of $7 flatbreads.

Oak Cliff bistro from chef Matt Balke does a top-shelf happy hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm. Cocktails are $6 and include not only classics like a negroni and an old-fashioned, but also craft creations such as Penicillin with Scotch and ginger-honey syrup; Flower Patch with strawberry & rosemary Vodka and bubbles; and Ranch Water with Desert Door Sotol, Topo Chico, and lime. Wine is $5 and includes Protocolo Blanc, a white blend from Spain; Olivares Rosado, a Garnacha from Spain; and Moulin de Gassac, a red from France. Snacks include almonds and olives for $3, chicharrones for $3, and hummus with fried bread for $5.

Good Graces
Full-service restaurant at the Marriott Dallas Uptown, the new hotel that debuted in Uptown in February, is a modern brasserie on the ground floor, serving oysters, charcuterie, salads, steak, and seafood. It's also home to a weekday happy hour, starting at an admirably early 2 pm and running through 6 pm Monday-Friday with $5 wells, $4 draft beers, and $5 house wines including labels such as 14 Hands cabernet, chardonnay, and pinot noir, plus sauvignon blanc by Joel Gott. From 2-5 pm, there's a special bar menu with tandoori chicken bites, charcuterie board, chicken wings, and the like.

The Henry
Lively, welcoming restaurant and bar at the Union building near Uptown from Fox Restaurant Concepts does a unique kind of happy hour: Rather than singling out a few cocktails, they just take 20 percent off anything from the entire bar. Useful if you don't want to get boxed in to their specific picks. Their happy hour, which runs Wednesday-Friday from 4-6 pm does not include food. If you're looking for discounts on grub, they'll have their Takeout Tuesdays — wherein you get 25 percent off your order if you order online — through the end of March.

The Owners Box
Restaurant at the Omni Dallas hotel is hosting a fantastically generous day-long happy hour Monday-Thursday, with half-off draft beer, half-off wings, and $4 doughnut holes. They will also be serving $5 off-menu apps each day such as brisket tacos, fried chicken Caesar tacos, pretzel bites, and brisket flautas.

Photo by recep-bg/Getty Images

Texas pops the cork on study of biggest virtual partiers during COVID-19 shutdown

Cheers, Y'all

If your social calendar suddenly swelled during the pandemic, you're not alone. Virtual happy hours have suddenly become the way to relax and connect with friends — especially in Texas.

A recent study from lifestyle website Improb.com has crowned us one of the nation's virtual party hot spots, with Texans attending an average of four online parties a week during lockdown.

Not only that, but the data reveals we knock back about four drinks per party. Nearly half (48 percent) said they're regularly cheers'ing with beer, while 31 percent prefer wine, 13 percent drink spirits, and 8 percent are mixing up cocktails. Overall, one in 10 of the participants admitted to experiencing more hangovers during lockdown than before it started.

People apparently miss their coworkers too, with one in 10 surveyed attending online drinks hosted by their employers.

The website surveyed 3,100 Americans who are sheltering in place across the country to get its results.

The least sociable states include Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon, who only party virtually two days per week. And the most sociable? Arkansas and Washington, whose residents are raising a glass six days a week. You've got to have at least one day to recover, after all.

RD Speakeasy

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 bars to get through tough times

Where to Drink

One does not wish to encourage irresponsible drinking. But sometimes during tough times, a cocktail is the best answer. For this fraught edition of our monthly Where to Drink feature, we offer some suggestions of cozy Dallas bars where you can grab a drink (with gatherings of less than 500 people).

Here's our March edition of Where to Drink:

Draft Sports Bar & Lounge
Sports bar at Sheraton Dallas Hotel would ordinarily be rolling out drin specials that it saves for NCAA basketball games. But coronovirus. There's still a dozen local beers on tap, craft cocktails, and outstanding eats in an high-energy lounge featuring 25 TVs.

First Watch
For your day drinking - never too early to start - this breakfast chain has rolled out its first ever cocktail program starting with select restaurants Texas. Yay us. Borrowing a page from the Snooze an AM Eatery book, they've introduced brunch cocktails including the Million Dollar Bloody Mary, made with Gluten free vodka, bloody Mary mix, and a strip of bacon; Cinnamon Toast Cereal Milk with Coconut rum, cold brew coffee, coconut milk and agave nectar; and Vodka Kale Tonic with gluten free Vodka, fresh juiced kale, Fuji apple, English cucumber and lemon.

High Fives
Henderson Avenue bar is picking up the baton dropped by the canceled St. Patrick's Day parade by hosting a small (under 500 people, of course) party over St. Patrick's Day weekend, and will continue to hold down the fun fort during March with drink specials and a chipper attitude.

Iron Cactus
Downtown Dallas Mexican restaurant has a new menu featuring drinks that put a unique twist on old favorites. The Peanut Butter Rita contains Corralejo Silver, Skrewball, Peanut Butter Whiskey, fresh lime, and agave. The Espresso Peanut Butter Martini has Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, espresso, and fresh cream. New Margaritas include Patron Barrel Select, Passion Fruit, Black Diamond, Peanut Butter Rita, Tequila Old Fashioned, Mexico City Sour, Ranch Water. And there's a new Mezcal Cocktail: Mezcal Negroni. There are also new tequilas and flights.

The Lobby Bar
Bar at the Fairmont Dallas has 10 new drinks, including the Nacional Royale, invented at its namesake Hotel Nacional de Cuba with rum, St. Germain, Pineapple and Lime Juice, and Veuve Yellow Label champagne.

Photo by Sloane's

Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 hot new bars for January

Where to Drink

The theme of Where to Drink, our monthly list of bars to try around Dallas, is usually happy hours. Where's cheap? But with the new year here, the January lineup pivots to bars that are new. (Or new-ish.)

If you're seeking a little change of pace from your usual watering hole, here are five recently-opened bars to try:

Ebb & Flow
New restaurant in Deep Ellum has a big menu with toasted ravioli, Cubano egg rolls, stuffed jalapeños, charcuterie, sausage queso, sandwiches, and wraps. They're making pretty cocktails and you get to drink them in an atmosphere with a floral theme that includes flowers and living vines.

Pappas Delta Blues Smokehouse
Newest restaurant from the famed Pappas family recently opened with a specialty in BBQ and Southern food. But they also have an extensive American whiskey collection. You can order a pour by the ounce or in six whiskey flights. They're also hosting a happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6:30 pm, with discounts on appetizers such as deviled eggs, pork belly bites, and fried green tomatoes, with half-priced craft cocktails, wine, and draft beer.

The Peak Inn
The subhed is "an Old East Dallas joint," and that sums it up pretty good. It's from two local bar veterans: Joel Morales, co-owner of Adair's; and Marc Hooper, formerly of Sundown and Elbow Room, and currently a partner in BoLeo's Taco Shack. Fans call it a good old-fashioned bar with no gimmicks. They have all the things you need: jukebox, pool table, fireplace, TVs and cheap drinks. Happy Hour runs Monday-Friday 3:30-7:30 pm, with $1 off beer, wine, and spirits.

Sloane's Corner
All-day restaurant is serving breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. They also have a coffee bar and CBD infused water. Happy hour from Monday-Friday from 2-6 pm is pretty generous. They have eight cocktails – martini, old-fashioned, margarita, Sazerac – all priced at $7 with beer and wine for $3.50. They also have a menu of HH snacks that includes fried pork ribs, burrata toast, and ham & cheese croquettes, prices from $5 to $12.

Yogi's Home Plate
Former Greenville Avenue haunt has relocated its fun atmosphere, excellent food, and charismatic owner Dan Barbara to a new address in the welcoming neighborhood of Lake Highlands. The bar celebrates its grand opening on January 10, with a menu featuring customer favorites like the Bang Bang Shrimp and the fried catfish, and yet is already rolling out specials like $2 tacos on Tuesday, and 75-cent wings on Thursdays. They have live music, games on TV, and a happy hour that runs Tuesday-Friday from 3-7 pm and all day Monday.

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Where to drink in Dallas right now: 5 bars with cool cocktail specials

Where to Drink

It's always good to support your local watering hole but sometimes the heart wants something else, and even better when it's something cheap. For our March edition of where to drink, we spotlight five drinking opportunities around Dallas that include a seasonally-focused happy hour, a one-day drink special, a new happy hour for the summer, and a new happy hour at an Arts District hotel bar.

Here's Where to Drink in March:

Jinya Ramen Bar
The Dallas location of this sophisticated national Japanese chain joins in on their national "Hanami Hour," which honors the Japanese custom of celebrating cherry blossom season. They'll be offering a special combo of Nigori Sake and a Spicy Tuna and Salmon Cone for $18. Not exactly sure what that has to do with cherry blossoms, maybe lost in translation, but a sake special is always a yes. March 22-April 5

New Artisan Distillery
On March 30, the makers of Roxor Gin & Botanical Bourbon are launching a budget-friendly new program for the spring/summer, with a weekday happy hour featuring $5 gin and bourbon cocktails. Stick around for trivia, karaoke, and a Friday Piano Series on their in-house Steinway Piano. Fancy! The March 30 opener debuts with Trivia Night from Sporcle, whom they say is the leading trivia company in the U.S., and who are we to disagree. Monday-Friday 4-7 pm

Nobu Dallas
Japanese restaurant-bar at the Hotel Crescent Court is part of an international chain with stellar sushi from celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa that opened in Dallas in 2005. One of those glorious openings with Robert DeNiro in attendance. Their happy hour, launched in 2019, has a special name - Tanoshi Hour - and is really a killer deal. It features three specialty cocktails $10 each that include a lychee & elderflower martini, plus sake and wine by the glass for $8, Japanese beer for $6, and a big menu of snacks including sushi, tacos, and chicken wings, $10 each. Available in the bar area only, Monday-Friday 5-7 pm

Pyramid Lobby Bar
The bar at the Fairmont Dallas hotel in the Dallas Arts District has a new Texas Happy Hour, with delicious bites and great deals on brews and other beverages, plus live acoustic country music by Tyler Hammond on Thursdays 5-8 p.m. The drink lineup includes $6 Texas draft beers, $10 glasses of wine (house Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Prosecco), and $12 margaritas and Texas mules. Appetizers are $8 and include sweet potato fries, shishito peppers, lamb sliders, and chicken fried deviled eggs. Monday-Friday 2-6 pm, Thursday 11 am-12 am

Sky Blu Rooftop Bar
Design District venue is hosting a cheap-drinking day on March 24 from 4 pm-2 am with a quartet of classic cocktails - the Aperol Spritz, Manhattan, Negroni, and gin martini - for $10. It's just for that day and it's a Tuesday, and you also need to pay $10 for valet. As discount drink experiences go, this one is not the best. But hey, rooftop views, and a discount is a discount. March 24, 4 pm-2 am

Hill Country nature preserve steps up conservancy efforts with new wildlife plans


A Hill Country park is getting some new features and wildlife this year. The Horseshoe Bay Nature Park, located 60 miles northwest of Austin (about three-and-a-half hours from Dallas), will be expanding its conservancy this year through the use of new signage, bee populations, and owls.

The 11-acre park was doomed to become a high-density development by investors until the local community gathered to create HSB Park Inc., a nonprofit organization that would save the land instead. The park opened to the public last year and has since evolved from its fragile state to a place where residents can get closer to nature.

In its first year of operation, the park planted $1,500 worth of Texas wildflower seeds, such as Indian blanket, sleepy daisy, standing cypress, and more. The park also received a $17,571 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) to install 15 interpretive signs with QR codes around the park.

Since its opening, naturalists were able to identify over 235 species of plants and wildlife in the area, which would have never been possible without the local community’s dedication to conservation. Bird watchers identified several native Texas birds such as herons, orchard orioles, bluebirds, and northern cardinals.

Horseshoe Bay Nature Park’s plans for 2023 are to install new signage educating visitors about the park’s wildlife geology, water conservation, and plants along a half-mile walking trail.

They also plan to introduce honey bees throughout the region and work towards attracting screech owls to two constructed owl boxes.

More information about the park can be found on their website.

Plano's Legacy West is collecting frilly frocks for big 2023 prom dress giveaway

Prom season

It's once again time to "upcycle" those barely worn formal gowns for a good cause: Plano's Legacy West is partnering with local nonprofit Project Beauty for their third annual Prom Dress Drive.

The event will provide prom dresses for teens in need across Dallas-Fort-Worth.

But first they need gowns and accessories to give away.

Donors can bring their new or gently worn dresses to Albion at Legacy West, 7601 Windrose Ave., Suite F120, Plano.

Collection dates are Monday, March 20 through Sunday, April 2.

Here's what they're seeking:

  • gently worn or new dresses (all sizes)
  • jewelry
  • shoes (all sizes)
  • clutches/evening bags

All items should be new/never worn or gently used and cleaned prior to donation, they advise. All sizes of apparel and shoes are welcome and appreciated, they emphasize.

At the end of the drive, Project Beauty will set up a boutique-style "shopping" experience in South Dallas. (Date and location are still being determined.)

"Project Beauty's mission is to empower through the universal language of beauty by helping women build confidence, hope, and provide support and encouragement for each other," organizers say in a release.

For more information on the prom dress event or how to apply as a recipient, contact the organization through the website.