Whether You Love To Hate Them Or Hate To Love Them, Here They Are: The Worst Drinking Spots Found In And Around Dallas.
Now, five years later, we figured it was high time we presented to the world an updated version of that list — because, while many of the spots on that original list of places we love to hate and hate to love are still around and as douchey as ever, some new players have since joined the game and deserve the honor of being included.
What makes these spots so bad? Oh, a variety of things — shady door policies, tacky decor, annoying crowds and so on. And yet they somehow persist, oftentimes landing on lists of top alcohol-selling spots in town.
Hey, we get it. Even we still frequent most of these places on occasion. For whatever reason, these spots draw crowds, which, let’s face it, is almost certainly a factor in what makes them so infuriating. Honestly, if these businesses sucked and did do numbers, they probably wouldn’t even be on our radars to begin with.
So, in a way, it’s kind of an honor to be on this list! Yeah, let’s go with that. Congrats to those who made the final cut of our updated list, which have been shared below (in no particular order!) along with both positive and negative excerpts of Yelp reviews to go with our own reasoning.
This extremely large Uptown venue features two bars, a turfed patio and garage doors that open up so wide that everyone driving along Cedar Springs Road can see how ratchet the patrons here truly are. Somehow, this place even out-douches its big sister next door, Concrete Cowboy. Clutch is perhaps best described as a black hole — as in, good luck walking in there and not leaving blackout drunk. Known for its excessively loud music, biased dress codes and unfriendly bouncer, Clutch is the perfect watering hole for those times when you really want to puke on yourself while riding home in an Uber after waking up in a stranger’s bed the next day.
On The Plus Side: “Clutch is a pretty consistent place for me and my group of friends. We almost always have a nice table so that makes the experience better… :)” – Lea M. 05/18/2017
Then Again…: “I was violently kicked out for no reason, and I believe my left pectoral was damaged. I never intend to go back there, in fact I intend to press charges.” – Kevin D. 07/04/2017
The Uptown home of this Canadian chain has only been open for a year or so, but it’s quickly become a pre-game favorite for Uptowners before they move on to whatever bottle service venue they prefer. They claim to have food here, but we’ve never actually heard of anyone ordering any. Besides, what kind of restaurant has a full-blown, club-volume DJ set going during dinnertime? The same type of place that has lighting that’s way too bright for the vibe, we guess. The wait staff is obnoxiously attractive, though. We’ll give Moxies that.
On The Plus Side: “Classy but casual; dress hat with hiking shoes. Easiest parking in uptown! Dedicated self-park lot, parking garage, or valet – and they all validate! Wow! … I am so bloated, but happy!
Not cheap, but worth every cent – no complaints!” – Rick B. 08/20/2017
Then Again…: “It all started with Drew, our waiter, whose service was absolute garbage … We got reprimanded because ONE person in our party had to switch seats. This was to accommodate our disabled friend. Drew was like “Could you not move?!” Really Drew? Drew gave zero fucks about our party to the bitter end … So screw this. The food is not that great to be putting up with shit service. Moving on.” – Angel B. 09/04/2017
This Deep Ellum venue has an unbeatable view of the Dallas skyline on the upper level. And the tables set up in a bay-like manor parallel to the long bar up there are very aesthetically appealing! But, man, it’s impossible to walk around this place when it gets crowded, which it often is. The go-to brunch spot for Uptowners venturing outside of the Cedar Springs bubble actually also has a pretty decent menu, including a giant cinnamon roll that’s bigger than your face. The sugar rush afforded by that dish will come in handy when you need to muster up the energy to hike up the seemingly endless number of stairs that must be ascended before you reach the top level. Seriously, that’s one hell of a climb. But the stairs aren’t the worst part of it — no, the people who are always stopping to post for selfies on that staircase are.
On The Plus Side: “I am a regular at Stirr in deep ellum. The views from the rooftop, the food, the DRINKS, and the vibes make for a very chill evening … If you want a chill place to watch the game, meet people, and enjoy downtown views; here it is.” – Jenifer W. 11/29/2017
Then Again…: “Get this yuppy shit outta our neighborhood. They also put giant glass windows so all the homeless people have to watch these rich assholes eat their hundred dollar meals. Take y’alls asses back to uptown.” – Sneker O. 12/04/2017
The newest spot on this list is also the hottest. Since opening in October, Bottled Blonde has been raking in the cash, dominating the alcohol sales in town while offending Deep Ellumites who don’t think its vibes align with their neighborhood’s. It certainly has an aesthetic: Here, you’ll find hot cocktail waitresses dressed in skimpy outfits and sitting in miniature cars that are hoisted into the air by security guards, who carry them to the tables that place these obnoxious orders. Want to find some dudes pretending to be rich so they can impress the ladies who are impressed by bottles of liquor that have been marked up exorbitantly? Here’s where to do it – well, presuming your clothes fit their standards.
On The Plus Side: “Thursday night was a blast! I don’t know why there are so many bad reviews … Great mixed crowd that partied even past 1 a.m. (when I left). Lots of dancing by the bar, in the booths, and the DJ was great. Craft beers were $6, so not too bad. Overall, awesome place for drinks with friends and meeting new people.” – Jeff M. 11/18/2017
Then Again…: “…Keep Dallas pretentious. I get it. You gotta spend money here to get in. This place is a sh** show. Even if you have a $2k min table they will not let you in unless you put up a fight at the door. … Our waitress even came to get us to our table and they wouldn’t even let us in. It was worst than Vegas…” – Peter T. 10/29/2017
The Addison spot is a sports bar in name only. Sure, the televisions behind the bar might have a game on, but the rest of the screens are dedicated to slideshows of photos from their infamous bikini contests, where local “models” compete for the coveted first place and title of “Miss Back 9.” These competitions are downright absurd, as girls climb up on the bar in sparkly, barely-there bikinis and prance down the beer-soaked “catwalk” as cigarette smoke curls around their stilettos. Oh, right: They still allow indoor smoking here, meaning this place stinks in more way than one.
On The Plus Side: “My go to spot! Amazing bartenders and servers. Great drinks and food. Catch us playing putt putt, pool, ring the bull, janga, and the oversized “bear pong”! Love the back 9!” – Alex L. 07/28/2017
Then Again…: “Not a sports bar. I went in to watch Thursday Night Football and they opted to play some teeny-bopper pop music over the game. Additionally their Zeigenbach tap beer was skunky old as well as their Goose IPA.” – Ryan M. 09/21/2017
To the unknowing bystander, this Plano joint might seem like a cool, divey pub. But after spending some time with the patrons, its douchebaggery shines through full force. With packs of middle-aged, miserable married men on hall passes from their wives sprinkled throughout its two levels, walking through the doors here as a woman means conceding to stares and cat-calls. This place is basically a magnet for every suburban asshole. Beyond a decent beer list, we really don’t understand the attraction.
On The Plus Side: “Happy Hour ends at 7pm and starts back at 9pm. Nice feature when you notice the large bar area full of beer taps and full selection of your favorites…” – Andrew R. 03/13/2017
Then Again…: “The bartenders were rude and only focused on pouring shots for a group of over zealous moms out for the night who should probably have been cut off. The patio was nice but someone came outside and vomited all over the patio near where we were sitting. Not necessarily the bars fault but no one came to clean it when notified; kind of killing the ambiance. Will not be back.” –Tyler C 10/20/2017
If the flashy, sugar-rimmed cocktails at this “elevated cocktail lounge” don’t turn you away, the managers who approach attractive women to give them business cards and “set up a job interview” probably will. From the servers wearing corsets to the fact that this is somehow a members-only spot, the whole notion of this place just feels tacky, to be honest. But it’s fitting that it aligns itself with the color blue. This place definitely makes us sad.
On The Plus Side: “This place is a great nightlife spot in the north Dallas area. Very classy and upscale club and the DJ does a great job with the music playing remix and trendy versions of popular hits.” – Ashwin V. 12/13/2015
Then Again…: “I came here on a random Thursday night… why did I have to pay a $5 cover?? I was only here for about 15 minutes before I had to leave. The bar tender never looked our way, I was pushed and shoved for a good part of my time there, WHERE ARE THE CHAIRS???” – Jane K. 08/04/2016
Already on its second attempt – before it was Bar Stellar, it was just Stellar — this place looks like it was pulled out of a bougie home décor magazine, and while that’s great news for your Instagram account, Bar Stellar’s atmosphere can be a little overwhelming. The bar splits the venue in two, and each side has a completely different vibe to it, making it look overly busy and super extra. Out-of-the-box themes are cool, but there’s just no cohesion here. Specifically targeted at the woo girl and basic bitch set — there’s even a cocktail menu featuring options under 100 calories — the fact that this is what has become of the venue that once housed the adored Vickery Park is a travesty.
On The Plus Side: “Stellar gave us nothing but a ‘stellar’ experience! Everything from the food to the drinks to the staff was amazing.” –Cooper K. 07/17/2017
Then Again…: “I love checking out new spots and was quite excited to enjoy all this restaurant/ bar fusion had to offer. Sadly, I was let down and have had better meals at McDonald’s. I can’t recommend this place as it is. Hopefully they get things ironed out.” –Carl R. 08/19/2017
The supper club-style venue is as big as a warehouse — and feels like one, too. It just feels cold – weird, since the upstairs “Library” is pretty cool and secluded, giving it an intimate, private and sexy vibe that feels like a totally different building than the lower level. If only it were. Downstairs, the back of the bar is stacked floor to ceiling with dummy bottles of liquor and champagne — way more than could ever realistically be sold. The sheer size of the spot makes that obvious, as The Eberhard always looks empty as hell, even when it’s not. Of course, that doesn’t stop the try-hards around the place from pretending they’re in some sort of exclusive joint. Eyeroll.
On The Plus Side: “Brunch. So. HARD. I will forever be a fan of their brunch and will more than likely be celebrating my birthday there. Way to go, Eberhard, way to go!!” – Courtney C. 03/14/2017
Then Again…: “Don’t Bother. Coffee tasted like instant, no hot tea. Orange juice was from concentrate. I did not make it past beverages The manager suggested I choose another place to dine. I took her advice and suggest you do too.” – Brannon L. 11/19/2017
If you thought the Trophy Room in Uptown was bad, wait till you visit its sister spot in Fort Worth! Just imagine all the elements of the original, including the mechanical bull, move them a few miles to the west and add in a CO2 cannon that constantly gets used to fill up the place with smoke. We don’t really get it, but the TCU kids who frequent this spot sure seem to love it – just like they like getting into fights, which they can with ease since the centrally located bar seems like it was specifically placed to make brawling here more convenient. Fortunately, there’s no real reason to head to this place – you can just watch this spot’s frequently updated Instagram feed and watch on in horror from the comfort of your own home.
On The Plus Side: “Friendly, fast service, cool atmosphere and most importantly they have a mechanical bull.” – Rob M. 11/20/2017
Then Again…: “Don’t know why this place is called trophy RANCH they play rap and dance music. The food is ok for BAR FOOD, the sous chef friday night was very nice, friendly and accommodating.” –Jaymie P. 04/29/2016
Located right in the middle of apartment residences and near more low-key spots like City Council and Parliament that fit the area perfectly, The Donkey feels like a frat bar that snuck into a nice suburb much to the chagrin of the neighborhood association. This place just has a weird sense of what it is. Consider its patio, which isn’t very spacious but is still crammed to the brim with games like cornhole and giant Jenga. Sure, bar games are fun. But getting blindsided in the face by an errant bean bag? Not so much.
On The Plus Side: “Great spot to watch some games on a Sunday afternoon – Open layout, good drinks and eats. I went with “donkey balls” because you can’t not order something with a name like that!” – Rachel S. 09/11/2017
Then Again…: “Went to this place yesterday after brunch with my girlfriends … the waitress pretty much double charged me for one drink because they were ‘out’ of the wine I ordered and was not informed of this when my drink was brought to me … Typical uptown bar behavior.” – K.M. K. 06/26/2017