Dallas’ Most Instagrammable Holiday Bars.
Get fabulously festive on your social media feeds this year with these adorned Christmas decorations for bars in the Dallas area.
We live in the digital age, and every company that wants to be successful in the 21st century knows this well. There’s a reason so many bars in the area are so willing to take the time to transform their seats and spaces into fully Instagrammable watering holes at every possible turn.
But nowadays you have to say: During the holiday season, a few half-hearted fairy lights and a slack Santa hat on a bar stool just don’t cut any more. Listen, nobody wants to upload a picture of themselves on the blackboard in a second grade classroom. People want the lights, twinkles and twinkles. They want seasonal cocktails and all the cheesy ridiculousness that comes with a tedious Christmas decoration.
Because even in an ongoing pandemic, people who are still in the city have to present themselves on social media.
The formula is obvious at this point: nice looking things make people look around longer, which means they linger longer and, in turn, drink longer.
Because in an industry that has been so badly affected by this immensely difficult year, that’s more helpful than you might even think.
While you should be supporting whatever your local watering hole is doing the whole time, but especially during these times, here are the places in the Dallas area that really take a step forward and create visually appealing spaces this holiday season really making fun of us.
The broken souls
Las Almas Rotas is already proud to be one of the first mezcaleries in the US and we are so happy to have it here in our back yard. (Full disclosure: I’ve worked there for a while.) Aside from the extensive rear bar with a variety of mezcal and sotol varieties, this Exposition Park destination also has some impressive visual alignment, which has to do with the incredible vintage furniture and wall decorations that make up the Bar’s unique Oaxacan-inspired aesthetic. So it’s no wonder that Las Alma Rotas’ Navidad décor is nothing short of stunning. Here, a futuristic and festive disco ball is changed so that it looks like a giant Mexican star pinata. She spins in a room lit by hundreds of tiny colorful Christmas lights – the ones that begin to multiply after three ranch waters and a few generous gracias a Dio’s house pours.
The tipsy elf at Good Companion
Over at Bishop Arts – when it comes to Christmas or just about anything – the rule of thumb is: the gaudier, the better. That’s why Good Companion launched a fabulously ridiculous pop-up vacation bar called The Tipsy Elf this year. The best part? If you’re not comfortable with smaller spaces during a pandemic, this pop-up spot also shares a terrace with its massive (and similarly visually alluring) sister bars Paradiso and Botanist. The Tipsy Elf has a few special guests – like cheeky Larry the Elf and Ms. Clause, played by drag queen Gloria Devine.
Sippin ‘Santa at Royal 38
We can’t mention gaudy without stepping near sticky waters. However, it isn’t always a bad thing to use maximalism to add to a building’s visual appeal! It’s actually sort of an idea behind Instagrammable Holiday galore – and it’s what makes the haters even more obsessed. Here you get that in the form of the cartoonish nature of Tiki culture and the Christmas spirit rolled into one. If the spirit of Christmas you are looking for is also loved by Tommy Bahama and Jimmy Buffett, find it here.
Wonder in Nickel City Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s Nickel City is one of several miracle pop-ups to be seen in different parts of the US this year, and you can be sure that the much-anticipated opening of this Christmas spot will go to hell – complete with your head Chop down trees, fall Christmas presents and row upon row of tinsel. There’s also a fun letter board that says “Do It For The Ho Ho Hos,” and the numerous frames dotted around the bar depicting uncomfortable Santa Clauses with crying babies on their laps are also a nice touch.
Not into the whole Christmas thing? Part of a very specific type of alternative Christmas fandom that only seems to exist in mythical places like Hot Topic and Tim Burton Message Boards? No worries. You don’t have to be the Pumpkin King to celebrate the holidays differently. Just keep walking to Lower Greenville, where ABV Establishment proudly displays a “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed Christmas decor – like their friends at Ill Minster before them.
Double the width
Posing for a photo in the empty toilets in the Double Wide courtyard is a rite of passage for thirsty Dallasites of all ages and seasons. But owner Kim Finch is also a well-known softie when it comes to the holidays, despite her rough demeanor. No, she’s not even a bit like the familiar Christmas bird that her last name rhymes with. Every year she decorates Hell out of her Deep Ellum drinking destination, cramming trees, lights and tinsel into every corner of her nook and cranny-filled house. If that alone isn’t worth the trip, then the spot’s annual specialty vacation cocktails are definitely.
Two words, all of you: artificial snow. We’re not entirely sure how Deep Ellum’s newest waterhole caused snow to fall into their house, but we do know that the idea of seeing snow there is as dizzy as school kids are. I mean, come on: while other bars have used different lighting techniques and different types of tinsel in a fantastic way, have you heard of other Texas bars that have snow in their spots? We do not have. So cool!
OK, so: maybe your Nonna doesn’t want to take a picture in old toilets or with Jack Skellington. But maybe she still wants to start her career as the 95-year-old Instagram villain this holiday season. What should be done in such a scenario? Take her to the Harwood District and take some time to visit The Henry, the upscale Gatsby-style bar that is guaranteed to make her feel young again. Verily, she will be incredulous that they ever ended the prohibition. You could also dig the young uptown sugar hotties roaming the neighborhood. Regardless, The Henry welcomes everyone to snap a few photos and indulge in a cocktail in its festive decor – which we’d actually see in this state year-round.
Mexican restaurant Campo Verde
Dude do you see what we see Check out this caladeoscopic Christmas hallway at Campo Verde Mexican restaurant. This unique Mexican restaurant in Arlington proudly displays over 120,000 Christmas lights, thousands of feet of garlands, around 50 Santa Clauses and over 30 Christmas trees. This is Christmas kitsch on acid or whatever they add to Santa’s cookies these days. It’s a total vacation dreamscape – or a nightmare, depending on how you feel about such things. One thing is certain: this is a place built to be demonstrated.
Photo by Michael Gorsky.