Downtown Dallas is as vibrant as it’s ever been. A growing, innovation-minded bar scene only adds to the city’s center many attractions. Whether you’re looking to grab a few beers with friends after a day at Klyde Warren Park, or tickle your fancy with an exotic cocktail following a show in the theater district, here are our top five places to have a drink downtown.
The Woolworth takes its name from the legendary department store that first occupied the historic building at 1520 Elm Street. F.W. Woolworth’s opened in 1913 and, in its heyday, both the captains and the clerks of Dallas industry dropped in for a grilled cheese and a malted shake at the store’s popular lunch counter. The Woolworth now resides on the building’s second floor, and the soda jerks have been replaced by crafty mixologists. Slip into the cozy library for an intimate chat over a Vanilla Old Fashioned, or mingle with the relaxed main bar crowd while sipping on a Smoke and Spice. The Woolworth’s easy blend of craft and comfort is sure to charm.
The Green Door Public House also plays a role in Dallas lore, being the fifth bar to occupy the historic building at 600 South Harwood since the 1800s. Its name references the Prohibition-era practice of painting a door green to let thirsty seekers know they could find liquor flowing behind it. Today, this low-key hangout on the northern edge of the Farmer’s Market district sports a friendly vibe, a nice selection of local brews and a huge outdoor porch for taking in the view. The Green Door’s bartenders specialize in flavorful hand-crafted cocktails presented with an old-school flair. You can’t go wrong with the signature Green Door Martini, or any of the four classic “Mules” — Moscow, Orange, Kentucky and Irish — on the drink menu.
The Mitchell, located at 1404 Main, preserves of the early 1900s glamour of the Main Street district while offering a very contemporary take on the gin mill. Their menu is curated with sophistication and care, with highlights including cinema-themed cocktails like the Night of the Hunter and the Rio Bravo. In addition to its enticing gin-based libations, The Mitchell also offers a full wine, champagne and regular cocktail menu. Whatever you order, you can sip and enjoy while basking in the chandeliers that cast a special glow over the bar’s long leather banquette. However, The Mitchell issues one warning to prospective patrons: they’re going to shake your martini with vigor, and you’d best “get over it.”
A few doors down from The Mitchell (at 1530 Main), you’ll find the Midnight Rambler. The Joule’s happening underground cocktail bar earned the honor of being named one of America’s ten best hotel bars in 2016. Still, like any classic speakeasy or neighborhood haunt, the Rambler refrains from advertising its presence. Its entrance can be found beneath the hotel’s main lobby, and part of the overall experience is finding your way in. Hotel staff is happy to help guide you on this quest, and everything that awaits you at the Rambler is certainly worth the effort, including seasonal cocktail menus that awaken the senses. Their spring offerings currently explore pairings of fruits, cordials, botanicals and savory spirits.
The rooftop SODA Bar at the NYLO Hotel South Side is the perfect place to end your day downtown. The hotel is located at 1325 South Lamar, just a quick stroll from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The wood deck and subtle industrial décor are about as formal as this urban oasis gets — guests can be seen sipping from plastic to-go cups while they chat, play foosball, hang out at the fire pit or take in panoramic views of the sun setting over the Dallas skyline. You can even take a late-night dip in the bar’s infinity pool until 2 AM. But don’t let the casual vibe fool you: there’s real elegance in SODA’s unpretentious approach.
Imagine your options in Downtown Dallas. Whatever the occasion, downtown is the perfect spot to meet-up with friends and make your special night out truly memorable. Check in with us regularly on Facebook and Twitter for more news and tips on the best that Downtown Dallas has to offer.