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Dallas + Fort Worth Nightlife

Billy Bob's Texas
2520 Rodeo Plaza
Fort Worth , Texas
76164
Tel: 817 624 7117
www.billybobstexas.com

Billy Bob's bills itself as "the world's largest honky-tonk." And with three acres under cover and 32 bars (they once sold 16,000 beers during a Hank Williams, Jr., concert), nobody's arguing. In what was once a vast indoor barn for thousands of prize cattle, you now find an undercover small town where multigenerational crowds of 6,000 can gather to play billiards, video games, and slot machines, or watch live bull-riding competitions in the in-house arena—not to mention two-stepping to the A list of country music on a dance floor you could land an airplane on. Concerts here have been staged by the likes of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The rough-hewn honky-tonk decor is enlivened by Vegas-style neon signs glimmering everywhere, just to make sure you don't get lost going from the dry goods store to the in-house BBQ restaurant. Did we mention that Billy Bob's is really, really big?

Open Sundays noon to 2 am, Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 5 pm and 6 pm to 2 am.

Dallas Bars

It wasn't that long ago that you couldn't legally buy a drink in Dallas; now the city's nightlife is enlivened by a plethora of imaginative bars. Double Wide, is a wry ode to trailer-park culture, done up with old car parts, Astroturf, macramé, and paintings on velvet; this is a place to quaff domestic beer and listen to live local rockabilly favorites. For something more upscale, try the inimitable Inwood Lounge inside the lobby of the art house Inwood Theatre. The gray slate and soothing Zen water wall make it ideal for quiet post-art-flick conversations over vodka martinis. At Ghostbar in the W Hotel, gussied-up pretty people down cocktails in a bar that sometimes borders on too trendy, depending on your scenester tolerance. Trece boasts a tequila bar with hundreds of selections. Bar Belmont is all glass, retro furniture, pastel cushions, martinis…like an Arab harem done up in 1950s swank. An expansive if pricey wine selection packs Dallasites into Crú, a West Village wine bar with Francophile styling. One of the hottest new restaurants in Dallas, Sangría Tapas y Bar, might nonetheless be better simply as a place to nibble on bacon-wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with Cabrales, take in the scene, and drink the aphrodisiac for which the bar is named—.

Hotel Photo
Deep Ellum
Dallas , Texas

Alas, Deep Ellum's trendsetting days are over. Formerly the haunt of legendary bluesmen such as Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter during the 1920s, Deep Ellum's funky music clubs produced platinum acts like Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians in the '80s; art galleries, art bars, and quirky shops soon followed. Although the scene has mostly moved uptown to areas like the West Village and Victory Park, and although parts of the area can be unsafe, it's worth the trip to experience Club Dada. The bar preserves the raw feel of Deep Ellum in its heyday, with entertainment ranging from quirky rockers to blues to poetry readings.

Gay Bars

The gay scene in Dallas is concentrated uptown, around the intersection of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs. Havana Bar & Grill is a Latin-themed bar with cute Latin boys and enough dancing to go around. Dance your way over to JR's Bar & Grill for a more preppy crowd and more diverse entertainment options; pool tables and large TV screens round out the experience. Thumping music drives the crowd at Station 4; also check out the drag shows at the adjacent Rose Room. For daytime kicks, Barney's New York pours free wine on Saturdays, and the store turns into a great place to find a date.

Gay Bars
Dallas , Texas

The gay scene in Dallas is concentrated uptown, around the intersection of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs. Havana Bar & Grill is a Latin-themed bar with cute Latin boys and enough dancing to go around. Dance your way over to JR's Bar & Grill for a more preppy crowd and more diverse entertainment options; pool tables and large TV screens round out the experience. Thumping music drives the crowd at Station 4; also check out the drag shows at the adjacent Rose Room. For daytime kicks, Barney's New York pours free wine on Saturdays, and the store turns into a great place to find a date.

Sundance Square
www.sundancesquare.com

Sundance is a carefully orchestrated civic initiative that has pumped new life into 20 blocks of Fort Worth's city center. The culture is geared somewhat toward families; you can actually stay in a nice hotel and go car-less for a weekend, sampling from dozens of dining and PG-rated entertainment venues, including comedy improve, intimate theater, and musicals imported from Broadway. Sundance also has considerable style and charm, from the tree-lined red brick Main Street drag to the giant trumpeting angels on the facade of the Bass Performance Hall (home of top touring acts as well as the biennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition) to funky spots like the UFO-themed Flying Saucer, with a global selection of almost 200 beers. Dining favorites include the sleek hipster bistro Zolon and the posh, Western-themed Reata, offering a dependable lineup of choice Texas-size steaks.

Theater

A night at the theater has become an increasingly familiar pastime in Dallas and Fort Worth. The major regional theater, the Dallas Theater Center, performs standards and new work in the only theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a challenging, fluidly organic space built in 1959. Dallas institution Theatre Three offers dependable mainstream productions with the best local talent—as well as proximity to fine dining in the surrounding Quadrangle. For new and experimental work, there's the well established but perennially edgy Undermain Theatre in Deep Ellum, a cozy basement venue (right beneath Main Street) noted for first-rate productions of outré material (think rock opera). In Fort Worth, Circle Theatre also works out of a basement—beneath a former department store in Sundance Square—staging standards alongside challenging contemporary works. Jubilee Theatre )is another Sundance Square fixture, featuring African-American performers, writers, and directors. But the real star of Fort Worth's theater scene is Hip Pocket Theater, revered for its wildly inventive outdoor staging—often using mime, puppets, and projections—of zany, commedia dell'arte–inspired scripts written or adapted by founder Johnny Simons. Under-the-stars productions at the company's parklike wooded amphitheater (they call it "theater in the rough") are eclectic, spanning drama, riffs on classic literature, and send-ups of science-fiction B movies.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.