A down-to-earth Deep Ellum bar
Between the morality-free recreation and the cautionary tale that is Louie Anderson, Vegas can teach a man a lot about life -- but the only lesson most guys learn is that they should've learned their lesson last time. Actually using his Vegas education to fulfill a downtown Dallas dream, the man behind the Black Swan Saloon.
Blessed with a shady picnic-benched patio, Swan's the been-saving-for-years project of a local who matriculated in Vegas (UNLV, then managing the various Light Group nightclubs) before returning as ghostbar's original VIP manager; to get back to D'Ellum roots, he's now applying his skills to this small, wood-floored joint classily appointed with a mirror-backed, gently arc'd bar, and rockingly appointed with concert posters from acts like the Rev. Horton Heat, Rancid, and Toadies (Do you want a drink!? Do you want a drink!?...). Because it's right there, the bar's snagging Farmers Market ingredients for use in house-made syrups, mixes (Bloody Mary, etc), and infusions like a four-pepper tequila (serrano/jalapeno/red fresno/banana, tempered w/ carrot/celery/cucumber); oddly, in-the-works signature cocktails like the Four-Leaf Clover (an elegant take on the Irish Car Bomb) will be packaged on the menu as 4- to 6-glass bulk purchases, which'll either encourage friendly group drinking, or ensure you lose all your friends. To save the ecosystem, all brews will come in recyclable cans, from Dos XX and Shiner to bi-weekly rotating micros like Ska True Blonde and Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils, about which America's foremost beer critic said "Oh, baby I love your quaa".
Semi-quiet live music (country, rock, blues...) will hit Black Swan's tiny corner stage in a couple of weeks; when unoccupied, the stage hosts a pair of vintage arcade tabletops armed with Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, and Space Invaders, who'll never learn their lesson despite Louie Anderson ensuring there's no space left to invade.