In Which We Send A Group Of Uptowners Down To Deep Ellum.
Everyone knows that Dallas is a pretty self-segregated city, and not just racially, but in nightlife, too. So, this week, we decided to attempt something of a social experiment. On Saturday night, we sent a group of Downtown revelers to McKinney Avenue and a group of Uptown party-goers down to Deep Ellum. Below, read about one of our writers' experiences along McKinney. Read the experiences of our Downtown girl on McKinney Avenue here.
Though I loathe admitting it, I guess you could call me an Uptown girl. I live in Uptown, I dine in Uptown, and on the weekend — and lets be honest, some weekdays — I get hammered in Uptown.
Essentially, (bad music pun alert)! McKinney Avenue is my church. My friends, a collection of stereotypically beautiful ex-SMU girls, live by the same credo.
The group was five-deep, with only two members ever having gone out in Deep Ellum before. When asked what the expectations for the night were, my friends' answers ranged from “I think its going to be weird!” to “I think we will feel out of place!” to “I'm really excited!”
One thing was for certain: We all agreed it would be the “Antithesis of McKinney.” And there were some anticipations we could agree on, among them finding Bearded Beaus, a New Hole-In-The-Wall Spot, a Good Late-Night Food Spot, and the relief of not encountering a pair of khaki pants or Sperry topsiders.
The night started with dinner at Monica's where our group got good and lubed up on low-calorie Margaritas. (You can take the girl out of Uptown but…) From there, we braved the rain and walked the three blocks to our first bar stop, Anvil Pub.
While stumbling along the uneven sidewalk and trying to be as discreet as possible so we could blend in with the “locals,” a single phrase betrayed us: “I hate walking, where's my cab?”
While we knew we were in Deep Ellum, the coziness of the bar made it feel familiar — but that's not to say it didn't have distinctive features. The most endearing thing was perhaps the bike rack inside the bar. One could only dream of encountering such a wonder in Uptown.
Next on our list of locales was Reno's Chop Shop Saloon. We were prepared to be out of our element — my Central Track colleagues had given me the Reno's assignment with sneaky grins on their faces and high-fives all around — but, really, nothing could have prepared us for what was inside.
The group exchanged collective “What are we doing here?!?!?” glances as we inched our way towards the bar, crowded with leather-clad biker types.
Cried out one of my friends: “Have you ever seen Sons of Anarchy? I feel like we're in it.”
The last stop on our journey? The famous Double Wide, once described to me as the Cheers of the Dallas music scene. Literally a doublewide trailer converted into a bar, the walls are covered with stuffed animal heads and the air is saturated with kitsch.
One glance around the place and our bearded-men quota for the night was met. Though pricier than Reno's, the $4 mixed drinks were still a steal, and, after one taste of the Yoohoo Yehaw, a frozen White Russian made with Yoohoo chocolate milk, my heart had been won.
At this point, after three hours of bar hopping at places 50 precent cheaper than our usual haunts, the night became fuzzy. What I do remember was fucking awesome, though. I finally understand what all the fuss at the Double Wide is about. The icing on the cake was the food truck parked out front selling gourmet sliders — or, as I call them, “happiness.”
On the way home, we made one more pit stop — this time at Serious Pizza, seller of the most behemoth pizzas I have ever seen in my life, and I'm from Chicago, so that's saying something.
With our bellies full and our vision blurry, we piled into a cab and headed north, lamenting the end of the night and our inability to snag a tattooed lumberjack type.
Though details are hazy, the next day's hangover suggested that the night was a raging success, and our fish-out-of-water experiment had a happy ending — a plan to return to Deep Ellum next weekend.
Hell, with prices like that, I'd even consider pregaming at Reno's.