Itchin’ for Nightlife? Near the airport, in Grapevine, there’s the dazzling Glass Cactus nightclub at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Billed as “39,000 square feet of temptations,” the Glass Cactus features live entertainment nightly from top national and local acts.
Over yonder, in Fort Worth, go boot scootin’ at cavernous Billy Bob’s Texas or the historic White Elephant Saloon in the Stockyards. Downtown, in Sundance Square, there’s live jazz at the Scat Jazz Lounge, and there are four dance clubs with music ranging from techno to hip-hop at City Streets. Hear the blues on Friday and Saturday nights at J&J Blues Bar, northwest of downtown. For a neighborhood spot where everybody knows your name (well, maybe not yours, but you get the idea), try the Mule Pub, Ye Olde Bull & Bush, or the Ginger Man. All offer pool, darts, great jukeboxes, and loads of beer. What else do you need?
Hot spots in Dallas include storied Lower Greenville Avenue, where the landmark Granada Theater has carved out a reputation as one of the city’s best live-music venues. Touring acts take the Granada’s big stage and put its spectacular sound system to work.
Victory Park, just north of downtown Dallas, is home to the W Dallas-Victory hotel and its futuristic Ghostbar on the 33rd floor. Be sure to get some fresh air on the smaller of the bar’s two outdoor balconies -- the glass floor affords some unique views below. Just down the street from the W, you’ll find another music-junkie favorite: the House of Blues. In Uptown, Stoneleigh P offers late-night solace with good company, food, and drinks in historic digs that at one time were a pharmacy (hence the P in the name).
Up for an indie movie and a martini? Then hit Dallas’s historic Inwood Theatre. Restored to its original palatial glory, the landmark features a family-style theater downstairs -- outfitted with sofas, love seats, and overstuffed seating -- and two regular theaters upstairs. Across the lobby, the adjacent (and popular) Inwood Lounge offers excellent drinks, amiable service, and the ambience of bygone days.
Travelers feeling lucky can head to Irishman Peter Kinney’s Capitol Pub, a freewheeling neighborhood spot known for high-end bar food, international beers, and a homey wraparound porch. For some hole-in-the-wall excellence, try Lakewood Landing, which serves what some say are Dallas’s best BLTs, along with thick fries, wings, and ice-cold beer. And it has an awesome jukebox.
And for the best views of downtown Dallas, the hands-down winner is BarBelmont at the historic art moderne Belmont Hotel, which is perched atop a man-made cliff on the outskirts of town.