As if finding the perfect bar isn’t difficult enough, there are some bars that go to great lengths to remain anonymous and, quite frankly, downright mysterious. Being the crafty (and thirsty) detectives we are, we have tracked down seven spots in Dallas that are worth the lengths of seeking out and drinking in. While the degree of hiddenness varies, rest assured you're not going to run into any margarita-filled tourists.
The creators of High & Tight were hankering for a place where you could not only get an excellent tailored haircut, but also have some good conversation over drinks. So, that’s exactly what they did, placing a hidden bar in the back of the shop behind velvet curtains. While the talcum powder is still fresh on your neck and your hair is “John Stamos” perfect, ask to saunter to the hidden bar and order yourself a drink. The 1920s-style décor and ambiance gives you the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time, so brush the microhairs off of your collar and order one of their vintage cocktails.
Since 1966, this Italian Grocery has been a Dallas favorite. Everyone knows that. What they don't know, is that if you purchase a bottle of wine and ask the cashier for a couple of glasses, you can enjoy them in a secret back wine room. Just like the iconic scene in Goodfellas, you’ll walk past the kitchen and hang a left to the dimly lit room, the ideal place to enjoy your Chianti and possibly some organized crime. Whatever you decide.
At first glance Chamberlin’s looks like any high-end steak restaurant. There's lots of mahogany, dim lighting, but after you’re done enjoying your bone-in filet mignon, ask the server where the cigar lounge is. They will kindly guide you to the back of the restaurant, past the double doors, and into a separate bar (and full cigar lounge, not a misnomer). It may feel like you’ve stumbled upon an illegal card game, but don’t be frightened. Light your cigar, sink into your chair, and be sure to pop-in Tuesday through Sunday to enjoy live music.
Located inside Henry’s Majestic is a hidden, two-story cocktail den. Here’s how to find it: first, eat at Henry’s because it’s delicious. Then, when you’re nice and full, step into the alley and hang a right. You’ll see a large beige door, knock on it, and be greeted by a doorman who will give you access. Once inside, you might be skeptical and think you’ve stepped into a historic bar or *ahem* brothel off Bourbon Street, but that’s all part of the charm. Open Thursday through Saturday 8 pm-2 am, the bar offers creative concoctions, and you can let the mixologist craft you a unique drink of your choice as well.
Downtown Fort Worth
Books are more fun when there’s alcohol involved, the science checks out on that. In comes Thompson’s Bookstore, where walls are lined with bookshelves, and one particular book opens into a hidden staircase leading to the downstairs bar. There's more leather-bound books than Ron Burgundy's collection -- the furniture also smells of rich mahogany -- and you can also enjoy some killer cocktails. Most importantly, when your boss asks you where you were last night, you can tell him the bookstore without shame.
This snug speakeasy (all 350sqft of it), is housed in the Montaigne Club, formerly a private members-only club. It's the pink building next to SISU, known for its scantily clad patrons and summer pool parties, so you're in good company. From the outside, the Montaigne Club just looks like a residential building offering next-to-no clues to the drinking den hidden inside, The Kennedy Room, a cigar lounge converted into a JFK cocktail bar. Search the first floor to find this atypical Uptown spot where you can actually hold a meaningful conversation while sipping a nice Scotch on a vintage church pew.
50 Cent jokes aside, this secret bar and lounge is located in a nondescript storefront of a fake candy shop. The Deep Ellum Candy Company was not, in fact, established in 1921, it was created in 2014 to house Truth and Alibi (though the bouncers may have tipped you off). Visit their Facebook page each weekend to find the secret password. Once you enter the candy shop, give the password to the doorman and be escorted into the concealed bar where a shortlist of stiff standard cocktails awaits. Just remember not to act like a wanksta.
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1. High & Tight Barbershop2701 Main St, Ste 180, Dallas
2. Jimmy's Food Store4901 Bryan St, Dallas
3. Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House5330 Belt Line Rd, Dallas
4. Atwater Alley4900 McKinney Ave, Dallas
5. Thompson's900 Houston St, Fort Worth
6. Kennedy Room2512 Maple Ave, Dallas
7. Truth & Alibi2618 Elm St, Dallas
This Deep Ellum boutique barbershop and bar has class in spades. Dallas hipsters flock to this all-in-one 1920s' themed speakeasy, saloon, and barbershop for hip cuts and classic cocktails. Stop in for a cut, or saunter over to the hidden bar and order yourself a drink (they've got a nice selection of bourbon, whiskey, and rye). DJs and live bands regularly make the rounds, as well.
This Dallas mainstay is the go-to local spot for all-things-Italian. Founded in 1996, the specialty food store has been a family-owned crowd favorite for over 50 years. Daily, the staff hand-rolls meatballs and bakes Italian sweets (with old, family recipes, of course) in the back of the shop, while in front, they help patrons select gourmet groceries and bottles from their carefully curated Italian wine selection. Locals can order hefty, fresh sandwiches at the counter, sample house-made olives, and shop for everything from imported balsamic vinegars, to handmade pastas. The imported cheese and meat selections are expansive, the antipasti bar is stuffed, and in true Italian fashion, dollar espresso shots are available all day. And while the folks at Jimmy's offer wine tastings on Saturdays, the wine room tucked behind the store is open to guests all week.
Brought to you by Addison restauranteur (who's also the owner of Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill), Richard Chamberlain's steakhouse is a favorite among regulars in and outside of this suburban Dallas town. Flock-worthy plates include the roast prime rib, a peppered filet with whiskey peppercorn sauce and seafood entrees like crispy lobster tail. Want to know a secret? After you’re done enjoying your bone-in filet mignon, ask the server where the cigar lounge is. Trust us, you'll want to find out.
Located inside of Knox-Henderson mainstay Henry Majestic, Atwater Alley's a hidden, two story cocktail haven with plenty of drinks in store to satisfy both the mixology enthusiast and craft cocktail novice. Open Thursday through Saturday 8 pm-2 am, the bar offers creative concoctions, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can let the mixologist craft you a unique drink of your choice. Just a heads up: Atwater's dress code requires closed toed shoes and full length pants for dudes.
Bookworms and booze hounds should make a beeline to this Fort Worth bookstore cum speakeasy. The downtown cocktail haunt is lined with classic tomes for your reading pleasure, and the bar cranks out modern, literary variations on classic 1920s libations (try the "Grapes of Wrath" or "100 Years of Solitude"). The swanky, upscale digs are sure to impress.
Get classy at this Presidentially approved Uptown bar room and speakeasy. The wood paneled, semi-hidden space is at once upscale and unpretentious, making it the perfect place to cozy up with a nice glass of Scotch and actually hold a meaningful conversation in adult-like peace and quiet. It's a nice respite from other Uptown spots that are usually a bit more rowdy.
Truth & Alibi is a candy shop with a Willy Wonka vibe in front, and a password required to enter. Once inside the cozy space, you’re greeted by a long bar with goodies of the adult variety and a pulsating DJ. Make sure to get there early on weekends, and don’t forget your sweet tooth or password.