The Ten Best Bars in Denton

Categories: Best Of

oaktopia-square.jpg
Ed Steele
An attendee at Oaktopia ponders her many bar options from Denton's town square.
In many ways, Denton is DFW's little Austin, our small slice of "weird." Its inexpensive living costs and college town environment have made it something of a cultural hotbed, a landscape as readily filled with bohemians as fraternity herds. This unique melting pot of backgrounds and social interests has led to the founding of many fantastic bars. From rowdy and raucous to relaxed and refined, here are our ten favorite spots in Denton to drink away our paychecks.

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10. The Labb
Arguably the best place in Denton to watch a game, The Labb is a large, delightfully low-key meat-and-potatoes sports bar. Pool Tables, and a slew of HD TVs add to this vibe, as does the obscenely inexpensive drink specials and mean pub sandwiches (try the French dip). Like so many other Denton establishments, they offer live music here on occasion as well. Oh, and yes, those unbelievable rumors are true, they offer $1 beers on nights of regular season Mavericks/Cowboys/Rangers games.

9. Cool Beans
We dare say the best bar food in Denton -- just try the black bean burger, waffle fries, or hot dogs and you'll know what we mean. It does everything a college town bar should do well: offer cheap food, serve cheap drinks, keep a divey atmosphere, and offer good options for day drinking (it's college after all). Admittedly, the service can be touch-and-go, but with a walk-up ordering kitchen/bar you shouldn't run into much trouble. The big selling point here is the roof patio. It offers a birds-eye view of Fry street and is often paired with locally-grown live music.

8. The Loophole
The Loophole pub is very much like a small town bar, doing everything very well while not needing to excel in any one specialty. After a recent redesign the food is surprisingly good (is this still bar food?), and the new brew selection is far improved. The darts, jukebox and pool reinforce the classic feel to this no frills local staple. If you are hoping to avoid the typical hipster vibe so commonly associated with Denton, The Loophole is for you. This is an Americana bar as solid as oak, "real" through and through.

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18 comments
pantytwist
pantytwist

When I remember making my first trek over to rubber gloves years ago, I just remembered the amazing music and the people. Whenever I show up I'll run into people who have scattered all over the country and keep finding their way back. Face it, no one wants to relive that regrettable night on Fry when they just finally binge drank enough booze to finally let that cute junior date rape them. Many Denton bar scene staples serve you only for a limited number of years. Use them, enjoy them if that is your prerogative, but will ya wanna do dollar double well bomber night on that sliver of the last vestiges of Fry? RGRS has survived with no bar, no air, fucking frightful amenities compared to now. You don't like the events? Brilliant idea kittens... contact their booking, organize, promote your own night. Over the years I have been to DJ nights, experimental video nights, drink'n'draw, film screenings in addition to the insane shows over the years. I have no idea of their business model but with venture to say that with no rehearsal space vacancies ever, they don't have to be open every night. But if you want their staff to come wait on you, pay cover, part more for drinks, or put on a good night that will get people out.

Kisses. Old lady pantytwist needs her blood pressure meds after that rant.

drgomez
drgomez

Lol! Paschall's isn't even #2 for ppl who like Paschall's.

iWroteThisArticle
iWroteThisArticle

I can't believe QT wasn't mentioned--their drinks are way cheaper than all these places

ryan_vawters
ryan_vawters

Wow, this article does a disservice to the city of Denton. People who aren't familiar with this city are going to think that A: This City is Just like Austin. Which is untrue, and not something we want to be. No one here cares about Austin. Denton is it's on brand of awesome. And B: People who know zero about Denton might come up here and go to Rubber Gloves cause this article put it at number 1 and think "Really Denton? This place is your best bar? Really?" The Author should have did some research and actually spent time in Denton before writing this. 

retro2thap
retro2thap

This list was not researched and is insulting.

Reeder
Reeder

"It's typically packed in lieu of its packed-worthy drink specials" ...huh??

jessematarazzo
jessematarazzo

Whoever wrote this is an Idiot and is obviously not from Denton. 6 of these bars no one ever goes to unless there is an event of some sort.  Rubbergloves being number 1 is a joke and even their staff would think so.  It's a great venue and not a bad bar but wouldn't be in anyone's top ten that is actually from Denton.  Not having Riprocks on the list further shows how out of touch this Author is as well as Lou's Being only 7th. Lucky Lou's beats the top two in sales combined in one day than the two make in an entire week combined for a good reason. The Observer needs to just stop writing about Denton until they get someone that is actually in the know about our town, but preferably just stop doing articles about us, we don't want to be Austin, Fuck Austin, we are Denton, I like being able to have cheap booze and rent and have parking. Oh, and GREENHOUSE IS NOT A BAR, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY. 

lebowski300
lebowski300

@ryan_vawters  So what are the biggest differences between what Denton's scene is trying to be that is different from Austin's scene is trying to be? Your post seems like Austin haterade to the neutral observer. Also to the neutral observer: Denton is trying to be Austin.

GODFRYSTSUCKS
GODFRYSTSUCKS

@ryan_vawters Rubber Gloves is amazing when it has events, which happen weekly. Maybe they weren't aiming at your demographic. Admittedly, it has gone down a bit, especially after Singles Going Steady ended.

GODFRYSTSUCKS
GODFRYSTSUCKS

@jessematarazzo Oh, bull-fucking-shit. Lou's is only acceptable because of the sheer amount of people that it has-- it helps to mask how shitty the bar in general is. It is the precum to the fuckhole that is Fry St. Rips is just as cookie-cutter as the rest of that place. Maybe, BRO, you may just be better off going to Pubic House where the inviting smell of rohypnol, regret and crushed dreams will surely welcome you. 


Also, lol at using sales as a metric for how good something is. If this was the case, Justin Bieber is a better musician than Mozart. The best bars are on the square, hands down. Any person that lives in Denton knows this, unless they're in denial about having grown up and really really want to hook up with sloppy people on Fry.

jessematarazzo
jessematarazzo

@GODFRYSTSUCKS, You are an idiot, you probably wrote this article or Work at Rubbergloves (there's nothing wrong with working at Rubber Gloves), comparing Lou's or Rip Rocks to Public House is ridiculous, they are night and day, the same people who hang out at Lou's and Rips are the same core people who hang out at East Side and Oakstreet.  say what you want about Fry but Rubbergloves being number 1. is pathetic, there is nothing wrong with Rubber Gloves but come on. I hang out on the square too I know people that work at every relevant bar in town and every bar has something for someone. Lou's has the numbers because it is a good bar with great staff. If rubber gloves was that good more people would go. it's not always about numbers you are right but don't shit on Lou's I'm just saying putting the most successful bar in town for the last however many years 7th is just ridiculous. I'm sorry fry is too busy for you but this article wasn't "Best Bars on the Square" This person should have done more research.  Just a question, what would you consider the best bar in Denton Then? I could not chose a 1st but it would be between Lous Oakstreet East Side and Rips. It really has to do with what they do for the town it self the staff and what they Organize for Craft Brewers, Community events and Sponsoring.  Fry is completely different during the week and you need to take in account all aspects when considering "Best" Please just stay at Rubber gloves so no one will cross paths with you.

cody.benton
cody.benton

Cool beans is cool though. Square is where its at now sure. But fry is legendary. Know your roots.

drgomez
drgomez

No Dusty's either.. lame!

jessematarazzo
jessematarazzo

@dentondenton You Make good points, especially about how well Eastside and Oakstreet have done, but you can not possibly think Rubbergloves who have recently been awarded the Honors of Worst Bathroom in Denton By WeDentonDoIt, Can get number 1, I'm not saying Lou's is Number 1, in my opinion Eastside or Oak would have been the most agreeable for Dentonites, I've been in Denton as long as you since 1988 and I know and am friends with a lot of the owners and management at a lot of the bars in town, including Rubber Gloves which I do appreciate for what it is. I think adding Greeenhouse is an insult. When bars like Riprocks, Haileys, RT's Or Tavern get excluded because it doesn't even stay open till two most nights. Might as well just add Applebee's to the list.  I'm friends with a lot of people that have been regulars or are employed at most of these bars in Denton and they are all very confused and insulted on facebook you can read comments among comments about how terrible the list is. Ryan Vawters made a good point, someone not from Denton would come here reading this article and go to rubber gloves and think, This is the best Denton has to offer? Wow! This is just irresponsibly written and does not cover all demographics if that is your argument.

jessematarazzo
jessematarazzo

@ddsamollow @jessematarazzo @GODFRYSTSUCKS Casual hook up? Wow, how out of touch can you be? Do you even know Denton? If you weren't so clueless and actually spent time at all of the main bars and met the people who worked there and were regulars you would realize the East side and Oakstreet are of most of the same Investors, Oakstreet was started by John Williams, former manager of Lous,and then the same group of people started East Side with manager Patrick Blancas, former manager at Lou's he practically rebuilt  the place with his bare hands, Lou, John, and many others with invested interest or previous employment from Lou's started both of those bars and the core regulars from there and rip rocks are what built the foundation of Oakstreet''s and ESSC success. Do your damn research if you are going to blanket Lou's with the Public House's of the world, That is just Ignorant.  

ddsamollow
ddsamollow

@jessematarazzo @GODFRYSTSUCKS Did you just say the same core group that hangs out at Lou and Rips and the same core that hang out at Oak and ESSC? Sorry, but no. Lou's is popular because they have the best layout next to UNT. It's a slightly higher than average bar that markets itself well and were college students go for a casual hookup.

dentondenton
dentondenton

@jessematarazzo @GODFRYSTSUCKS Lists usually bring out anger in people which I find sad. We should all appreciate the attention that these bars deserve. What order they are put in is so particular to one's taste that its best to just view them as all worthy of our patronage. I've lived in Denton since 92 and have been to all of these bars. I think the list is pretty good, it encompasses a nice selection of establishments from different areas around town. It doesn't include everything, but they never do. Lou's certainly deserved to be on the there and so does Rubber Gloves. They have both been around for over 15 years. I'd agree that Lou's is definitely more profitable, especially being so close to campus. And the guys at Oak St and East Side have done wonders for the craft beer lovers.  But if it "has to do with what they do for the town" as you've said, Rubber Gloves has provided a venue for local artists and musicians that has over the years attracted attention on a national scale and helped make Denton a cultural destination for traveling artists and bands. So it has in a very real way done a lot for Denton. Different bars will get attention here and there over the years. Let's try not to turn this into a heated competition that creates division in our own little town. It's enough to deal with all the local rivalries like Dallas vs Denton vs Fort Worth, who's better and why. Its all silly and doesn't help anyone. I'd share a drink with you at Lou's and Rubber Gloves!

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