Sipping Away an Evening Up and Down Lowest Greenville

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

A bartender pours a cocktail of dark liquor using sterling silver barware.
At Apothecary, a bartender pours an Espresso Martinique, its take on the Espresso martini.

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.

Two frozen drinks in highball glasses sit next to a mule in a copper mug, in front of a bed of seasonal flowers.
HG Sply’s roof deck specializes in frozen cocktails and mules.

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.

A roof deck offers a view of downtown Dallas’s skyline.
The view of the downtown skyline from the roof of HG Sply.
The exterior of the restaurant HG Sply shows and outdoor patio of white tables with a red umbrella. In the foreground is a sign that says: “Lowest Greenville, Dallas, Texas.”
Outside of HG Sply on Lowest Greenville.

Three cocktails sit on a table covered with green plant limbs. One is in a martini glass, one in a glass shaped like a gummy bear, and one in a small glass milk carton.
An Espresso Martinique, Pandan Bear, and Toonami at Apothecary.

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.

Inside a bar with orange booths, gold tabletops, dark green walls. and numerous gold accents.
A green drink in a gummy bear shaped drink is topped with mochi by a bartender.
An espresso martini-type drink is served in a martini glass with an A on top of the foam, fashioned in chocolate.

The A that sits atop the Espresso Martinique is not for adulterer.

A pair of women’s hands clink wine glasses filled with colorful liquids and rose toppers.
Cheers to the champagne cocktails at Leela’s Wine Bar.

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.

In a light and well-lit bar, customers chat amid the decor.
A wine bar patio is covered with chairs and umbrellas in white and dusty rose pink.
A dark fabric booth sits behind a white tabletop holding a glass of red and a glass of white wine.

A pair of wine glasses chilling in the back booth at Leela’s Wine Bar.

The exterior of the Libertine, with white brick and navy blue lettering and accents.
The Libertine is a long standing institution of the neighborhood.

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.

Two blonde women sit at picnic tables outside a bar, with green plans hanging overhead.
The patio of the Libertine.