Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Best of Big D: Nightlife Voting Kicks Off Today

Do you have your thumb on the pulse of Dallas’ nightlife? Are you the go-to connoisseur in your group of friends on the newest lounges and best dive bars? Let your fellow Dallasites in on the best the city has to offer after dark by putting your expertise to good use. This week, we’re asking you to name your nightlife favorites, from delicious cocktails and dog-friendly bars to karaoke spots. 

You can vote for your favorites once every 24 hours. Cast your votes using your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

You may notice that we’ve switched things up a bit this year. Instead of voting for finalists, you have the option of writing in your nominees. For every category, tell us who you think is most deserving. For each category, the nominee with the largest number of submissions will be named the winner.

But keep this in mind: we’re only looking for locally-based entities. We want to celebrate the best of Dallas, so large, national chains (Starbucks, Chili’s, etc.) will not be considered. 

Throughout the next few weeks, you can vote for different categories. If you want to weigh in on the top restaurants, bars, and lawn care services, check out the schedule below.

Nightlife: May 2 – May 8

Food & Drink: May 9 – May 15

Services: May 16 – May 22

Vote for the best nightlife in Dallas here.

What We Saw at Last Night’s Real Housewives of Dallas Premiere

The elegant lighting and soft R&B set a glamorous scene for “The Real Housewives of Dallas” premiere last night at the Chandelier Room. While the press tested their microphones and asked “what’s that one’s name again?” to one another, I took a lap around the venue.

Read More

Leading Off (3/17/16)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope you’re wearing green today.

Dallas police reestablishes cold case unit. This is the first time the department has had a cold case unit since 2008. It’s a four-person team: two robbery division detectives, a homicide detective, and a crime scene analyst—working together to solve old cases.

Mark Cuban/SEC saga continues, this time to Supreme Court. The shark schooled the Securities and Exchange Commission three years ago when he beat insider trading charges, but he isn’t done negotiating. In a brief filed with the Supreme Court last week, Cuban joins others in attacking the SEC’s use of in-house/administrative courts. Perhaps the saga will never end.

Off-duty officer charged with murder in death of teen. Ken Johnson, the off-duty Farmers Branch police officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Jose Raul Cruz and wounded Edgar Rodriguez, has been charged with murder, a move that doesn’t often happen. It’s still unknown whether either teen was armed. The police chief for Farmers Branch said Johnson didn’t follow policy when he went after the teens in his personal car.

Topgolf looking to expand. The Dallas-based golf-while-you-eat-and-drink company says it’s interested in moving into more U.S. markets, including El Paso, Albuquerque, and New Orleans, which would be added to its current 24 locations. Another Topgolf in Fort Worth is scheduled to open next year. Seems like the concept is, ahem, a hole-in-one.

Read More

Glenn Beck’s Latest Revelations

Glenn Beck fascinates me. I spent some time with him for this 2014 feature about his move to Texas, a story he sort of liked and kind of hated. He’s been in the news quite a bit this week. First, he made headlines when it appeared he was telling his show’s audience that God killed Antonin Scalia to help Ted Cruz get elected. (What he actually said was slightly more nuanced: that the death would “wake America up.”)

Last night he was on with WFAA’s Rebecca Lopez to talk about his family’s history with domestic violence. Both of his parents and his sisters were victims of domestic violence, he explained. And his mother continued the cycle both as a victim again and as an offender. The interview is classic Glenn Beck, by which I mean: a lot of things you already either like or dislike about him.

Read More

Leading Off (2/17/16)

School District Wants to Integrate Poor Schools. DISD will ask the city council for help luring wealthier families back into public schools, because studies show poor kids do better when they learn alongside their richer peers. It seems logical, so I’m sure it will go over with absolutely no resistance.

Principals Accused of Manipulating Test Scores. Two administrators were suspended in September after instructing staffers to change exam grades, potentially graduating students from the DISD college-prep school that I’m betting most people didn’t know existed until now.

Police Looking for Person of Interest in Rowlett Murder. In November, Laura Grillo, a mother of three and former police volunteer, was found dead in her kitchen. Now police there are asking for the public’s help finding Jesus Trevino, a man convicted of sexual assault in 2008 and deported to his native Mexico in 2010.

Richardson Resident Shoots Alleged Burglar. Police say a Richardson homeowner called 911 early yesterday morning to say he was holding a burglar at gunpoint. Then, apparently the burglar and homeowner began to wrestle and the alleged burglar was killed. A grand jury will clear the unnamed resident soon.

Every Local Man with Beard and Plaid Shirt Convenes in One Place. Fresh off a win at the Grammys, Jason Isbell and his Mineral Wells-raised wife Amanda Shires played the South Side Ballroom last night. It was a great show.

Meet Your Real Housewives of Dallas Cast, Repent

Bravo has revealed the form of the Destructor.

According to an exclusive over at E! Online, your Real Housewives of Dallas are:

  • Cary Deuber, an “East Coast girl” who operates an “aesthetic injectable practice.”
  • Tiffany Hendra, an actress and philanthropist with a “troubling past” and an “Australian rocker” husband named Aaron.
  • Former Miss USA competitor LeeAnne Locken.
  • Stephanie Hollman, a “girl next door” who does chores.
  • Former Cowboys cheerleader Brandi Redmond.
  • “Friend to the Housewives” Marie Reyes.

The show promises big egos, big attitudes, big bank accounts, big drama, and a nuanced portrayal of 21st century life in the urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the country.

You can play “spot the Dallas stereotype” in a trailer for the program, which is embedded below. We’d still rather watch Walker Watching Walker, The Joy of Painting With George W. Bush, or Come Go Fishin’ With Dwaine.

Real Housewives of Dallas premieres April 11 on Bravo. Apocalypse to follow at an unspecified date.

Read More

Leading Off (1/13/16)

Amber Hagerman Disappeared 20 Years Ago. The 9-year-old girl for whom our “Amber Alert” system is named disappeared 20 years today. The case is still open. Yesterday, detectives and Amber’s mother had a press conference. “Her killer is still out there,” the mother said.

Gas Leak in North Dallas. About 100 people were forced from their homes last night as a precautionary measure after worries that gas may have entered the sewer line.

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Final State of the Union. It turns out, not every Texas politician loves everything the President says and does.

Mavs Lose in OT. When I last checked on the game, Dallas was up by 10. In the end, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won their eighth straight.

You Will Not Win the Lottery Tonight. But if you do, I’d love to chat about it. I’ve got some good ideas on how to double that first billion.

The Best of 2015 Dallas Nightlife

We’ve seen you out, Dallas. And you’re looking good. Great, actually. From Uptown to Oak Cliff, Super Bowl party to rivalry game, patios to dance parties, raise a glass to nights spent out on the town.

As we go into the last day of 2015, let’s take a look back at the past 12 months and where they’ve taken us.

Leading Off (12/9/15)

Increasing Threats Against North Texas Muslims. Historians will look back at this period, and specifically this area, and wonder which came first: the awful politicians or the awful citizens? Of course, when someone is being terrible, espousing xenophobic or racist beliefs, the correct response should be telling the racist, “You ain’t no American.” And we’ll just let the historians decide how accurate that statement proves.

Irving Bus Driver Fired After Giving Ring to Student. The district didn’t release the names of anyone involved, but says an investigation revealed that the driver also “made inappropriate statements” to a high school student. I know it’s not fair, but this won’t do much to help the great reputation Irving seems to building.

winstar steals good acts from dallas. Local talent bookers are reportedly struggling to compete against the massive pull of the casino across the Oklahoma border. The problem isn’t just that Winstar can offer “A-list talents” like Jerry Seinfeld or Bob Dylan boatloads of money, subsidized by gambling profits, it also locks performers down with radius and time clauses. Meaning Seinfeld won’t be performing anywhere else within 100 miles of Winstar anytime soon.

Stars Beat Hurricanes, Remain Awesome. Dallas blew a four-goal lead in the third period, then scored to take the lead back with 18 seconds left on the clock. The victory puts them at 21-5, two wins above the next best teams in the league.

When You’re the Cowboys, It Pays to Lose

As Zac mentioned in Leading Off, Dem ‘Boys lost again. You know who doesn’t care? Jerry Jones’ financial advisers. That’s because despite not having won a Super Bowl since 1996, and more or less representing the ideal of meh, the Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise in the world, valued at $4 billion. And as this graphic breakdown of the team’s success illustrates, a big chunk of the recent increase in the team’s value comes from the worst place to watch sports in the world Jerry World:

“The NFL’s media rights increased 38 percent this year. The Cowboys led the league in attendance, sponsorship and premium seating revenue, and generated $30 million at AT&T Stadium that was unrelated to the NFL.” Michael R. Lysko, director and professor of practice, Sport Management Program at Southern Methodist University.

This should, um, frustrate Cowboys fans. If American sports fans were more like Italians, I imagine that there would be some boycotting of games. But Jerry knows his audience, and there seems to be little reason to believe that continuing to offer a mediocre product on the field will affect the overall Dallas Cowboys package, which continues to win at the bank.

Read More

Now Is the Time for Dallas to Pounce on a Rangers Relocation to Downtown

Tarrant County is getting nervous about losing the Texas Rangers.

Over the weekend, there was a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about how the Rangers, who began the season in miserable shape, have turned in a remarkable second half of the season, running their way up the standings and currently sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros in first place of the American League West. And yet despite the storybook season, the Rangers are pulling terrible attendance numbers. That doesn’t bode well for Arlington as the team mulls their options ahead of the expiration of their stadium lease in 2024:

Read More

Edwige Belmore, Parisian Punk and Starck Club Tastemaker, Has Passed Away

Maybe you were lucky enough to be there. Maybe you just saw one of the documentaries or read one of the many articles. But those who remember Dallas’ legendary Starck Club at the beginning, in those heady early days in 1984 when Dallas, of all places, opened one of the most lavish and well-appointed nightclubs in the world, remember that to get into the club you to meet the demanding high standards of the woman manning the door. Her name was Edwige Belmore, and, sadly, she has passed away.

Edwige was in Dallas by way of Paris, London, and New York, where she hobnobbed with just about anyone who mattered in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Via Vogue:

[She] palled around with Yves Saint Laurent, Loulou de la Falaise, Bianca Jagger, and Farida Khelfa. She was photographed by Helmut Newton, Maripol, and Pierre et Gilles; reportedly dated both Sade and Grace Jones; kissed Andy Warhol on the cover of Façade (“The Queen of Punk Meets the Pope of Pop”); and walked the runway for both Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler. At the former’s 1979 James Bond extravaganza, she took to the catwalk in ripped fishnets and a black feathered jacket, singing “My Way” (the Sid Vicious version, bien sûr).

Yes, there was a time in Dallas when you couldn’t just hobble up McKinney Avenue with your drunken sorority sisters and stumble into the latest hot night spot. You had to impress someone who went to Studio 54 for the first time with Andy Warhol on her arm. Not many made it through the door at first (the crowded Starck in the old photos largely came after management relaxed its standards in early 1985), but those who made it into Starck in those early days were greeted with something Dallas — or the world — had never imagined before: black polished terrazzo floors, Romanian crystal champagne flutes, one of the best sound systems west of the Mississippi, a one-of-a-kind sunken dance floor, and, of course, legal Ecstasy.

Dallas isn’t the same city it was when the Starck Club opened, and, in part, it has the Starck to thank for that. And the style and soul of the Starck owes much to Edwige Belmore. It is sad to hear of her passing.

Chris Kyle Fans’ Corny Homage to the American Sniper

You remember Chris Kyle, right? Of course you do. He’s the American Sniper. He’s a modern-day folk hero. He was honored on the Cowboys star. He is beloved by people who go to Patriot Tour events, which are sort of like DigiTour for people who crush on ammo. Our own Michael J. Mooney wrote the book on Kyle. Sure, Kyle wrote a book on Kyle, but Mike’s is the book because Kyle’s book is filled with lies.

Mike’s article on Kyle is still one of the most read things on this website. That’s because people love Chris Kyle. But no one loves Kyle more than this guy in Walton County, Georgia, who turned a corn field into a labyrinthine homage to the Navy Seal sniper who is said to have killed more people in combat than any other sniper in U.S. history.

“We are not only honoring Chris Kyle but we are honoring all men and women who have served and are serving our great country,” [Corn Dogs Adventure Park] said on its Facebook page.

The maze opens today, if you’re itching for a road trip. In its own way, this thing is amazing. I mean, can you think of a more appropriate way to pay tribute to Kyle than getting lost in a tangle of out-sized and out-of-context patriotic messaging?

Read More

Why Marcos Ronquillo Will Never Be Mayor of Dallas

Last night the Dallas Museum of Art held their annual Art Ball fundraiser. As they have in years past, the museum created a parody video (below) intended to stoke chuckles under the tent raised for the black tie hot spot on the city’s social calendar, and perhaps score a little internet buzz in the subsequent days. The video is chock-full of (white) people you should know if you circulate around the halls of power and money and art in Dallas, collectors and patrons, curators and museum administrators, scenesters and socialites. Notably featured is Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who hams it up alongside DMA museum director Maxwell Anderson, who plays the front man in a remake of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” I find the whole thing a little grating and embarrassing, for the museum and everyone involved, though as the DMA’s media relations will surely remind me, I am certainly not in the video’s target audience.

Read More