The Five Best DFW Honky-Tonks
2. The White Elephant (Ft. Worth)
Billy Bob's is around the corner from this legendary room in Ft. Worth's Stockyards, and while the so-called "World's Largest Honky-Tonk" does a wonderful job of booking quality performers week-in, week-out, it still lacks the smoke-filled character of the Elephant. The cowboy hats of legends and local regulars line the walls and the dusty aura of the old days, when Ft. Worth was truly the beginning of the West, is still palpable. With primarily local and regional acts filling out the performing docket, one doesn't have to go anywhere else in order to find out what bands are among Cowtown's best at any given time.
1. Adair's Saloon
The venerable Deep Ellum venue is as legit a honky-tonk as the metroplex has to offer. Its saloon makes it very similar to The White Elephant, and there isn't an ounce of pretense to be spotted along the marker-art covered walls and musty restaurant booths, where countless odes to love and friendship have been inked. The small floor in front of the even smaller stage that backs up to the building's front window still accommodates enough people to qualify it as an ample dance-floor.
Yes, the burgers are as great as they are greasy, and the beer is as cheap as it is cold, but the history of Adair's is certainly a notable one. Young and little-known Jack Ingram, Sunny Sweeney and the aforementioned 1100 Springs played many nights during the seven-night-per- week schedule in their early days. Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen and Ryan Bingham are a few of the big names that played there, too. The selection in the jukebox suggests it was carefully curated more than simply stocked with whatever CDs were lying around. While not a tourist trap by any stretch, this is the place any respectable Dallasite should bring that visiting friend from out of state.