From sophisticated to a lowbrow neighborhood fave, here’s your guide to a night of drinking on Lowest Greenville by Courtney E. Smith Aug 23, 2022, 9:00am CDT Photos by Kathy Tran
There are too few walkable neighborhoods in Dallas — it’s a fact everyone knows and lives with every day. And, there are too many valet stands around Lower Greenville, especially on weekend nights when the avenue is littered with slow drivers, checking out the scene and stopping to see if that sign says “No Parking at Any Time.” Surrounded by the M Streets and Old East Dallas, it’s one of the few parts of Dallas developed as an entertainment center that still feels like you’re in a real neighborhood.
It also happens to be the perfect place to do a bar crawl — provided the crawl starts early; a zoning law requires bars here to close at midnight. Beginning in the evening and going until you can’t take anymore (or everything closes), this is how to spend a night drinking up and down Lowest Greenville.
Cocktails with a view on the roof of HG Sply
Downstairs at HG Sply is a proper neighborhood restaurant, with a sunset cheers every evening that finds the entire dining room holding a complimentary cocktail. It’s the kind of place you’re likely to run into anyone, from former Bachelor contestants (of which Dallas has more than a few) to city council members.
Start your evening on Lowest Greenville upstairs, on the best (and only) roof deck patio in the neighborhood. For summer and late summer (some people call that fall, but we live in Texas), it’s a great place to go for frosés and frozen margaritas, as well as making some of the best mules on the block. Along with that come impressive views of the Downtown Dallas skyline, misters in the summer and heaters plus fireplaces in the winter, and even a friendly game of Jenga if you’re looking for it.
Get out of your comfort zone at Apothecary
The next stop for the evening is sipping a few cocktails at Apothecary, where you are encouraged to order adventurously. Featured here are its Espresso Martinique, a take on the incredibly popular espresso martini made with rhum agricole and topped with malted molasses cream; the Pandan Bear, made with sesame shochu, pandan, and topped with mochi, all served in a gummy bear-shaped glass; and the Toonami, which is made with a rotating selection of cereal milk, dark rum, and almond orgeat.
To call it whimsical feels like an understatement, but at the same time, the point of this place is to try something you’ve never tried. And to hang out for a while, sipping on your cocktail in the luxurious and intimate space. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially on weekends.
The A that sits atop the Espresso Martinique is not for adulterer.
Clink glasses at Leela’s Wine Bar
Just down the block, Leela’s Wine Bar serves up a different experience, making it the ideal third stop on this crawl. It has dozens of wines on tap, plus cocktails. The champagne cocktails capture the lingering ends of summertime into a slow-burn fall, and the menu changes seasonally. Try the Little Havana, made with light rum and Velvet falernum, topped with sparkling wine, or the Fiore Rosato, a tequila-base cocktail with hibiscus and an orange blossom aperitif.
Leela’s redecorates its interiors around the year to celebrate the seasons. It’s light and warm inside, full of plants and glimmering touches, and grows a little darker as you get to the back of the room. Reserve the star booth in the back corner for maximum privacy and feel like the most important table in the place.
A pair of wine glasses chilling in the back booth at Leela’s Wine Bar.
Finish the night at the Libertine
Since 2006, folks have been enjoying beers and cocktails at the Libertine (and the house burger to line the belly with something after a long night of drinking). It’s where you either start your evening on the patio with your dog or end it at the bar or in a back booth. It has weathered an influx of upscale restaurants with highbrow eats, maintaining its position as the go-to bar of the neighborhood.
Select one of the three dozen or so beers on tap, all purposefully curated, and tip your cap to a night well spent.