Where to Drink Before Shows in Dallas

Mike Brooks
These gentlemen know where to go before heading to the House of Blues for the DOMA ceremony. Do you?
You know what goes well with live music? Alcohol. A large amount of alcohol. But that's not always cheap. Some nights you'll end up spending more than the ticket price on non-discounted booze, which is exactly what the venue wants you to do. You're playing right into their hands. SO LISTEN UP, SHEEPLE! Here is some advice that will save you money and get you drunker than you could have possibly hoped, which is pretty much the best combination of anything I can think of, beyond coffee and donuts or Simon and Garfunkel.

Deep Ellum

Anvil Pub is right next to Trees and Dada, and runs a happy hour until 7 p.m. every day, along with excellent specials on weekdays, like $2 all local drafts on a Wednesday. Can prove a bit expensive on the weekends without any specials running, but is still an excellent bar. If you still want a cheap pre-game on the weekends, go to Reno's, which is just cheap and dirty all the time.

Reno's Chop Shop Saloon

Reno's is also very convenient for a) looking at motorbikes and b) gigs at Reno's. If you enjoy both live music and the sound of motorbikes revving, it is some sort of heaven. After a Deep Ellum gig you'll want to go and get in a fight inside/outside Serious Pizza while trying to obtain a slice of pizza bigger than your head, a perfectly dignified way to end the night. Also Serious Pizza has cheap alcohol.

If you're really serious about post-gig drinking, head down to the Double Wide, where they will pour you a drink so strong you'll weep. Not only is there weeping, but live music at the Double Wide is on stupidly late, so why not follow up your gig with another gig?

West End

Namely, House of Blues. If you're going to visit House of Blues, the best way to do it is to get utterly, tragically, drunk. And do I have some advice for you. Zenna, a sushi place about five minutes' walk away down towards the World Aquarium, has a happy hour till 7 p.m. every day that is so dangerous it's probably illegal. Basically, three liters of beer is $9 and margaritas are $1. Every day. You only need two people per tower. Then, if it's 7 p.m. and you've run out of alcohol, simply crawl to West End Pub, on the way between Zenna and HOB, where they will give you 32 ounces of their cocktail of the month for $6.50.


Warning - the last time I pre-gamed this successfully, I loudly and brusquely told one of the many West End horses to go back to Alabama. I don't even know if they have horses in Alabama. I presume they do, but why I felt this particular horse should relocate there remains unclear. As for post-gaming, well, by that stage all the alcohol in your system from steps one and two should have killed you anyway.

The Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie

Bring your own alcohol. Tailgate that shit. Also, if you can, park at the horse-racing track next door, because that isn't FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR PARKING. I dislike venues that make you drive to the middle of nowhere and then jack up all their prices so there's a monopoly. If some budding entrepreneur wants to open up a parking lot and a bar (which only has to undercut the perfectly reasonable cost of ten dollars for a Budweiser) nearby, then I can essentially guarantee a heavily profitable success.

I think I'm bitter, because the one time I went there, I assumed the time on the ticket was doors opening time, not first band goes on time, and missed virtually all of Mastodon. I was pretty upset.

Who wants to chime in with some more? Anyone? I enjoy a well-planned pre-game.

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Location Info



2709 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


2720 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

Reno's Chop Shop Saloon

210 Crowdus Road, Dallas, TX

Category: Music

Anvil Pub

2638 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


3510 Commerce St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

House of Blues

2200 N. Lamar St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

Serious Pizza

2807 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


1914 Laws St, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

West End Pub - CLOSED

1801 N. Lamar St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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The gentlemen in question, heading over to the DOMA ceremony, are they actor/models? And if so, what was the amount on the checks they received?

garlandsucks like.author.displayName 1 Like

I've got an answer, don't go to Verizon (and starplex and HOB) if possible then you won't get gouged for parking, won't pay 10 for a beer, and you'll actually be within 20 feet of the band and you'll have a pretty damn good chance of meeting band members before of after.  I swore off concerts costing over $25 or so dollars and have not had a bad show experience since.


If you're already at Anvil, you might as well walk the other 20 feet and go see Gabe at Black Swan. He'll take care of you.

Also, the beard quotient is way lower. And by beard, I mean actual face-beards, not women who marry non-heterosexuals.

cleaver.gavin like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is what my wife has to say - "You didn't tell the horse to go back to Alabama. You assumed the lady riding the horse had obviously married it, and that they should both go back to Alabama. You felt quite strongly that these hillbilly-horse-lovers are not welcome in progressive, worldly Dallas."

BigAl like.author.displayName 1 Like

@cleaver.gavin So being from Alabama I feel the need to educate you on appropriate southern insults. If it is a hillbilly that's married to a horse then you tell them to go back to West Virginia (If just a hillbilly then KY or TN are appropriate). If she is sporting a matching mullet to her husband that shares a disturbing number of familial features then you tell those rednecks to go back to Alabama.


Everyone knows only the toughest people hang out at Serious Pizza.


YES, one of my favorite things to do is pregame before a show.

- Anvil/Reno's is a no-brainer.
- Granada. The obvious (new) choice would be Sundown, which is a fine spot. But I also like to simply grab some fresh oysters and cans o' beer across the street from Aw Shucks preshow. Just enough food to set you straight for the show, but not too much to weigh you down. We know how much of a bummer that can be.
- The situation at Verizon is asinine. Luckily I realize what I'm getting myself in to there and usually the type of band dictates the entire scene anyways.
- When there used to be music (good music) at The Loft, I'd happily arrive early, sit on the patio and enjoy the great views and sunset.
- While not all "environmenty", I've done City Tavern and Press Box Grill before shows at Majestic. They're just both a couple blocks away from the venue. But by then, I've also walked to Majestic from Anvil as well.

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