Food & Drink

These are Dallas's Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/08/2014 Published On 01/08/2014

The Bad Decision Bar: It used to be that if the weather was cold, all you had to do was sit outside at Duke's and let the irresponsibly inexpensive booze of the Polar Bear Club guide you to a bevy of questionable choices. Sadly, Duke's is no more, but that doesn't mean Dallas doesn't have plenty of other joints just waiting to make you say "oh no, what have I done?"

Concrete Cowboy

Concrete Cowboy
Uptown
CC's the epicenter of Uptown's $30k millionaire scene, so the scene is as soul-crushing as the crowds are physically crushing. Don't be surprised if you accidentally bump into a bouncer and find yourself unceremoniously removed, but if you manage to avoid that fate, well, you'll probably have enough plastic-cupped drinks to get yourself kicked out, anyway.

Avenu Lounge
Uptown
A few stiff drinks will give you the misinformed belief that the comely woman in the tight dress is making eyes at you, when she's actually just looking over your shoulder and waiting for her boyfriend to get back from the bar. You will approach. You will try to speak closely on account of the thumping house music. It will end poorly.

Sandbar Cantina and Grill

Sandbar Cantina and Grill
Deep Ellum
Nothing like a few cold beers makes you completely forget your hilariously inept volleyball skills and your physique's total lack of resemblance to '80s Kilmer... so, shirts off! Fear not, nothing will take the sting out of attractive women in bathing suits laughing at you like... more beers!

Sambuca
Uptown
Congratulations on your budding relationship with the 40yr-old with some not-too-subtle silicone enhancements and a good feeling that you'll make a fine mentor to her son who was like three years behind you in high school.

The Loon

The Loon
Oak Lawn
Many a Dallasite has woken up the morning after, spooning a burrito and sporting a thirst for all the Gatorade within a five-mile radius. That's because many a Dallasite has been drawn to The Loon, and the siren song of cheap, strong drinks and "accidentally" brushing against an attractive young lass or two as you push through the crowd in pursuit of more of them.

Jaguars
Far North
It's entirely possible that, had you foregone enough trips to Jaguars, you could have purchased yourself an actual Jaguar. Instead, you gave it all to Charity. Because she gives a mean lap dance.

McFadden's

McFadden's
Addison
One drink at McFadden's can lead to a 7a call from your friend's wife because he isn't even sure what jail he's in. But you're a solid guy and sure you'll help out with bail and...  wait, the only thing in your pocket is some matches from Jaguars!

Trophy Room
Uptown
The drinks aren't exactly smooth, but that just leads to you wanting to finish them as quickly as possible. Oh fantastic, your girlfriend wants to ride the mechanical bull. Marvelous, she's pissed that the one guy was staring at her (you know, while she was loudly riding the mechanical bull). Wonderful, he's 6'7". Wait, is that a prison tattoo?

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1. Concrete Cowboy 2512 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

From the dude behind Teddy's Room -- who was clearly not at all influenced by the 1996 Meryl Streep drama Marvin's Room -- this "party bar for grownups" sets the mood with a trio of garage doors, all-brick walls accented by 30yr-old barnwood, and a huge vintage "Giddy Up" sign hovering over couches where you can watch games on twin 113-inch screens. Music alternates between classic rock/country and top 40, shots are plentiful and sometimes wacky, and they periodically hold edible events like Saturday pork roasts.

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2. Sandbar Cantina and Grill 317 S 2nd Ave, Dallas, TX 75226 (Deep Ellum)

Sandbar has everything you want in a beach bar (minus the ocean) that you can visit right off of Second Ave in Deep Ellum. Palms, live music, and even volleyball complete the illusion of an awesome beach party.

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3. Avenu Lounge 2912 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

Avenu Lounge has all of the dancing crowds, DJS, and lasers that you would expect from a nightclub, but throws in the added bonuses of reasonably cheap drinks and friendly bartenders.

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4. Sambuca 2120 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

Sambuca leaves the choice up to you: settle in with a classy cocktail (like the Sambuca Sling-Back martini with Grey Goose, St-Germain, and Champagne), enjoy some small plates (like Buca Beignets or Lobster Tempura), or get out of your seat and dance to the nightly live music.

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5. The Loon 3531 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Oak Lawn)

With a menu full of classics and cheap drink specials, The Loon is the kinda of dive only a crazy person wouldn't love. Something actually loony? This Dallas institution is closing down March 31st, so prepare to get a pint in and get misty-eyed this Spring.

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6. Jaguars Dallas 11327 Reeder Rd, Dallas, TX 75229 (Far North Dallas)

Amateur dance contests, strip poker, and thousands of dollars in door prizes? This self-proclaimed "Greatest Nude Club in the Country" also sounds like the best game show ever -- oh, and it's BYOB, too.

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7. McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon 4050 Beltline Rd, Addison, TX 75001 (Dallas)

If you're looking for a party around Addison, McFadden's is a good place to find one. Thursday through Saturday, it's packed with like-minded folk getting their drink on and feeding off of each other's energy, as well as some great American pub grub.

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8. The Trophy Room 2714 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

A great patio area, live music, liberal pours, and a mechanical bull make The Trophy Room a great spot for an unpretentiously fun Uptown night.

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