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Old-School Bars & Lounges ?

Anyone got a favorite long-established retro bar? (not a new contrivance) I like Martini Club & Raffles in San Antonio, Vernon's in Corpus.

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  1. Where do you live? I know a few in Houston, but I have no idea where you are, and I don't know the places you mentioned.

    13 Replies
    1. re: danhole

      I go to a hole in the wall called A Step Up Longe on occasion in Dallas at Walnut and Marsh. It's a little Cheers type place. Great bartender and decent bands on weekends.

      1. re: DallasDude

        I live in that nabe and I've always wondered about the Step Up.

        What kind of crowd goes in there?

        Do you need an armful of tattoos and a bazooka to get into that place?

        1. re: Scagnetti

          Its more of the 8:00 AM, drinking before work crowd. Or at least that's what it was a few years ago (check the back entrance).

          1. re: Scagnetti

            Step Up is as the OP describes... old school tavern. Varied crowd. There is an early morning shift change clientele, but there is also the vastly different crowd in the evening. Yes, the regulars do use the back door, now flanked with an outdoor patio (no smoking inside due to the recent changes in laws).

            I am a professional, as are many of my friends that go there a few nights a week. But you will find a large variety of people. I like the Thursday through Saturday crowd. I think if you have read any of my reviews and such here, you will see that I enjoy the finer things that Dallas has to offer, but also enjoy this nice old school, friendly tavern where I can relax and yuk it up with friends with no pretense. Definitely not a meat market.

            It is also nice to be handed my favorite beverage as I walk in the door, sometimes even greeted at the back deck with a gin and tonic.

        2. re: danhole

          Are Marfreless (coolest lounge in Texas) and Davenports still around? The Galliant Knight, or La Carafe? Great bars, wish we had them in Dallas.

          1. re: sike101

            Marfreless is still there. And "lounge" is a great, underused word that describes it well.

            1. re: sike101

              The Davenport used to be my favorite, but it's not the same anymore. The last time I was there, the two borderline legal drinking age bartenders were doing jaeger shots behind the bar. Not my scene.

              1. re: Bulldozer

                Mmmm jager. Ice cold, no energy drink... simply delicious.

            2. re: danhole

              Danhole, I live west of 610 Loop but know the town pretty well. I'm not necessarily looking for a dive bar, I already have a favorite dive bar, just something with character & its own special authenticity. Can even be upscale. For example, I used to enjoy the Carlyle, Harold Farb's old watering hole where he played and sang at his piano. Got a cougar bar?

              1. re: PuroConjunto

                I'm not sure what a cougar bar is, but if you are looking for a nice neighborhood place, with music and good drink, try Shakespeare Pub on Memorial by Kirkwood. I went there with a couple friends on a night where they had a good zydeco band. It was kind of funny because I was in my late 40's, one was past 50, and the other was early 40's. They youngest was single, but my other friend and me got asked to dance practically every dance by some good looking young men! So maybe that counts. Sure was flattering.

                I also would check out some of the new bars on Washington Ave. in the Heights. ALl types of places to chose from.

                Dani

                1. re: danhole

                  In my estimation, i would think a cougar bar is one that would be host to older women in search of younger men. What bar isn't a cougar bar.

                  1. re: DallasDude

                    I also would presume that, but since I am not looking for that I was really at a loss for an answer. That is all that came to mind. But, I don't hang out in bars. Very rarely, like maybe once a year, do I ever go into a bar. Seems like an odd question when this topic is about old-school bars.

                2. re: PuroConjunto

                  The bar at McCormick & Schmicks (Uptown).

              2. Are you talking Dallas? What about the Library bar at the Melrose?

                1. I've been known to slip into Charlie's on Mockingbird, close to the Airport. It is quite a scene. Very old-school. Opens at 7am

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: J.R.

                    I go to these places like the Ghost and such, and it is such a relief to be in a dive where you know everyone and its laid back. Nothing expected of you (except perhaps to buy the next round of shots). Something very nurturing about that.

                    There are pockets of these type of bars all over town. Jerami's used to be that way, and Coaches. A lot of them.

                  2. I would consider Warren's Inn, in downtown Houston, to be pretty old school. Lots of wood, friendly regulars and great drinks.

                    1. I thought of another. The Goat on Gaston near Grand. It used to be Lota's Goat. I used to walk there from my old place.

                      1. i'll throw el paso some well deserved love in this category:

                        the tap.

                        king's x (bonus - good food).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mrnyc

                          where is the Tap? I think the Kings X is next to Momo's, correct?

                          1. re: J.R.

                            the 'ol tap is downtown el paso -- 408 E San Antonio Ave (at n. stanton).

                            yep king's x is by momo's, heading out on n. mesa, north of utep, but south of exec center blvd. lucy's is the name little restaurant connected to the bar.

                        2. Broadway 50-50 is a great old place for drinks and late-night music. Very cool. Great burgers and tator tots too! Rebar on Broadway is very cool too. They advertise that they have great martinis, but steer away from those. We are serious martini people and they don't know how to make them. They don't even have lemon, if you want a "twist." Great ond dusty ambiance though and only locals go here.

                          1. We love the Martini Club to although yet to try Raffles. Our favorite martini places are Silo on Auston Highway, and J. Alexander makes a good one too. We also found that Maggiano's at the Rim has an awesome martini with stuffed blue cheese olives. My sister calls the Oil Slick martinis!