Readers Voice Awards – Nightlife

Posted on 19 Mar 2008 at 10:24pm


SHOT CALLER: Robert Beth, right, watches as Chris Parker lines up a corner-pocket shot at the Round-Up. – BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL
Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com

If you can’t two-step but you worship cowboy hats and Wranglers, you can still make do at the Round-Up Saloon. Some twangy left-footers hit the karaoke parlor. But if you can’t sing, there’s yet another room y’all can saunter into — the game room. And you can’t beat the view: tight buns in Wranglers bending over billiards tables …

Open for almost 28 years, the Round-Up is located square in the middle of the Cedar Springs entertainment strip. And breaking balls and chalking cue sticks have been saloon mainstays since the start.

The room sure is spacious — enough to accommodate three red-baize Dynamo six-pocket tables with plenty of room to lineup shots. And when you’re concentrating on employing the laws of physics, it’s easier when you’re not constantly asking folks to kindly get out of your damn way.

With the benefit of a DJ and a kick-ass sound system coming from the adjacent dance floor, you can listen to Carrie Underwood and Sugarland as you try to hustle some low-level honky-tonk players.

If you like to people watch, the weekends sure are busy, which means the game room can get awfully crowded. While waiting for a table to open, you can play darts, air hockey or beat out your frustrations on the nearby punching bag.

Budget-conscious pool sharks, might want to take advantage of Thursday nights — that’s when you can play pool for free.

— Truitt Ray


LEAN SEX MACHINE: Paul works Zippers’ big stage during a recent happy hour. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST DICK DANCERS
Zippers
3333 N. Fitzhugh Ave.
214-526-9519
Sun.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

If you like beefcake, Zippers serves up an all-you-can-eat meaty buffet. With strippers every night, starting at 5 p.m., there are always fine specimens of money-shaking hotties to worship on Zippers four stages. And there’s a constant flow of fresh meat.

"I don’t like to have the same dancer on stage two nights in a row," says talent co-coordinator Ray Demps. "Unless they’re here from out of town."

According to Demps, about a quarter of the beef is imported — dancers visiting from Manhattan, California and even Canada. And they come in all sorts of sexy sizes: lean pups, muscleheads, skater punks … Most are 20-25 years old.

After 9 p.m., the stages are packed — usually five dancers flexing, floor humping and getting funky. And the music is jumpin’: The boys bump-and-grind to fierce club-bangers from the likes of Lil’ Kim, Salt-n-Pepa, Missy Elliot and Miss Jackson — if you’re nasty.

The weekends and Tuesday nights are the busiest, where sometimes you can tip up to 10 different G-strings in one night.

With an ever-changing supply of talent, it’s no wonder why Zippers is known as Dallas’ dick-dancer destination.

— Truitt Ray





SURVEY SAYS! Wayne Smith, left, and Ivana Tramp, second from right, host "Are You Smarter Than a Drag Queen?" every Tuesday night at Mickey’s.

BEST THEME NIGHT
Mickey’s
3851 Cedar Springs Road.
214-219-6425
Open: Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
Mon. "Queen for a Night," 10 p.m.-1 a.m.,
Tue. "Are You Smarter Than a Drag Queen?"10 p.m.-1 a.m.,
Wed. "Family Fuss," 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
MickeysDallas.com

Can you name the legendary drag queen who ran her car through the Blockbuster Video on Lemmon Avenue?

If you guessed Donna Day, then come on down to Mickey’s for one of three game-show theme nights.

On Monday, saucy royal Ivana Tramp hosts "Queen for a Night." Contestants answer trivia questions from the video board and compete for CDs, DVDs and cash.

The winner also gets to don a cape and tiara, just like on the ’50s game show. And no, you don’t have to be a queen to win!

"Are You Smarter Than a Drag Queen?" is every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Hosted by super-smart duo Ivana Tramp and Cher doppelganger, Wayne Smith, this quiz show is a high-tech affair — complete with buzzers, digital scoreboards, microphones and questions with multiple-choice answers that are displayed on flat-screen monitors — like this one: Which actress asked Johnny Carson, "Do you want to pet my pussy?" A: Raquel Welsh, B: Zsa-Zsa Gabor, C: Deborah Winger, D: Kathleen Turner.

Winners receive cash prizes and go on to compete for the chance to win $500. So far, $2,000 in prizes have been paid out since it started last August. And the next finals night is April 7.

If that’s not enough trivia for you, there’s Family Fuss on Wednesday night. It’s the newest theme night, and is hosted Wayne Smith. Contestants get to pick a team made up of "family," and together, they answer questions about things in the news like Paris’ criminal record or Brittany Spears’ invisible panties.

"The whole idea is to keep it fun," owner Mickey Briggs said.

And with fresh questions for every show every night, you will be having a blast!

— Truitt Ray




SHOWGIRL: Linda McClain busts her barely legal terpsichorean skills at Buddies II.

BEST CHICK DANCERS
Buddies II
4025 Maple Ave.
214-526-0887
Every third Friday of the month. 11 p.m.
Buddiesii.com

On the third Friday of every month, Buddies II offers customers a bonus round with their regular drinks. Only these aren’t beverages, they’re girls: The Barely Legal Girls to be exact. Three dancers with three very different styles who come together once a month perform at Buddies II. And their show makes customers wish months had more than one third Friday.

The group, made up of Linda McClain, Brie Stoeffer and Regina (Gina) Waters, put on a 90-minute show that’s "burlesque meets lip-sync, meets modern day ‘performance dancing.’"

Each gal dances three sets, making the Buddies II crowd go wild for each and every number. Barely Legal have been performing for almost two years. And all of the girls have performance backgrounds and can be found performing individually at other venues throughout the month.

But you can only see all three performing as the Barely Legal Girls at Buddies II. The Barely Legal Girls say it’s their "girliness" that brings the customers in. And their ability to thrill the crowd that keeps them coming back for more.
They don’t embarrass audience members who like to stay in the background. But they say the more crowd involvement, the better. Unfortunately, they won’t be performing this month in observance of Good Friday. But they’re looking forward to getting back into the game April 18.

— Jenny Block





B-BALL BAR: Gays and heteros can shoot hoops at Grapevine, like Cassie Gilmore and David Butler. – BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST STRAIGHT BAR
Grapevine
3902 Maple Ave.
214-522-8466
Mon.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.
GrapevineBar.com

This summer will mark 12 years since Richard and Michelle Fiaschetti opened the Grapevine bar. They were in their 20s and didn’t have two nickels to rub together. So they did all the renovation work themselves on the boarded up building that’s now a favorite among gays and straights alike.

Last year, Grapevine’s sexual identity was up for grabs. It was voted Best Straight Bar by Dallas Voice and Best Gay Bar by Dallas Observer. That suits the Grapevine just fine — the Fiaschetti’s dream was to open up a bar where everyone would feel welcome and have a great time.

Mission accomplished.

The bar does virtually no advertising and yet is often packed tight on the inside, as well as on the patio, roof and basketball court, which they have set up with picnic tables. It’s a funky spot with mismatched glassware purchased bi-weekly at the local Goodwill store. And every spring, the staff helps with a massive spring cleaning that includes new vintage furniture and a fresh paint scheme. The only thing that stays the same at the Grapevine year to year is their annual crawfish boil that they call Suck Fest and the vibe that comes from having all kinds of people gathering there on any given night.

Five years ago, Richard Fiaschetti passed away. But his spirit seems to live on at Grapevine. His picture hangs in the bar, and the staff — many of whom of been there almost from the start — still remember him, as do a number of their viciously loyal customer base.

It’s all of these things that make the Grapevine the laid-back joint it is. The place where not only does everyone knows your name, but also where no one cares what type of sexual identity is attached to the name. This summer, Michelle Fiaschetti is opening a restaurant, which promises bar food with a flair.

— Jenny Block




JAM ‘MAM: Kathy Corbin rocks the Sue Ellen’s stage on a recent Saturday. – BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST LESBIAN CLUB
Sue Ellen’s
3903 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0707
Mon.-Fri. 5 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun.-Sat. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
Caven.com/Sue_EllensDallas.htm

Sue Ellen’s opened in 1989. It’s gone from a tiny joint less than half its current size with a parking lot where the patio is now, to a venue that’s busting at the seams. It’s that growth, in fact, that has compelled moving plans. Any day now, Sue Ellen’s will take up residence at what used to be the Throckmorton Mining Company (which will eventually move into the old Sue Ellen’s).

The gang at Caven Enterprises is hush-hush about what the new digs will offer. But the key descriptors seem to "big," "posh" and "something for everyone." The current bar holds 299 people. The new one will have a 500-plus capacity. That means that the new Sue Ellen’s will be better equipped to handle events that the old location couldn’t. Events like Girl Jam and the Gay Pride unofficial after-party. Plus it will quell an on-going Sue Ellen’s complaint — it will have lots of bathrooms.

Sue Ellen’s is known for being a live entertainment venue with bands playing there five nights a week. That won’t change. But with a bigger place, Sue Ellen’s is hoping to be able to book even bigger acts. And at their new location, they will also be able to serve customers who prefer to dance to club music or enjoy a more laid back vibe or even host a private gathering.

They’re calling the new Sue Ellen’s a "multi-venue" all in one club. The one Dallas girls have been waiting for is the hope. The one where all types and ages of girls (and guys) will feel comfortable and find a space that suits them and their downtime style.

But despite all of the changes, Sue Ellen’s promises to remain Sue Ellen’s. That is, they have no intention of messing with the casual, laid back vibe that customers have come to count on. The setting may be cushier, but the attitude will not be uppity.

— Jenny Block




COME HEAR THE MUSIC PLAY: On Tuesdays, you can enjoy the dulcet tones of Lisa Michaels at Bill’s Hideaway. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST CABARET/PIANO BAR
Bill’s Hideaway
4144 Buena Vista Ave.
214-559-2966
Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.

Some gay boys get the opera gene. A lot of choirboys inherit the musical theater gene. If you got the "life is a cabaret" gene, you gotta get to Bill’s Hideaway. Bill’s is to Dallas cabaret what Judy Garland is to Liza with a Z.

Like a showtune-singing frat house, Bill’s Hideaway is an Uptown retreat that will celebrate 25 years on April 25.

There are two full bars with a courtyard in between. And depending on your mood, you can belt ‘em out in the front piano bar or hang in the sports bar out back. If you feel somewhere in the middle, you can listen to the waterfall outside in one of the courtyard gazebos.

Gary Poe plays the old standards at 6 p.m. And at 9:30 p.m. there’s the late show with a different songbird performing each night: Denise Lee, Rik DeRose, Gary Floyd, Anton Shaw, Lisa Michaels, Crystal Ramon and Shelly Torres keep the sophistication level high and the talent bar even higher.

If you’re a talented soloist yourself, Sunday’s your night to begin the beguine and sing for your supper at open mic night. With the help of live accompanist Buddy Shanahan, you can unleash your inner Ella Fitzgerald.

Some people want to go where everybody knows their name. Others want to go where everybody knows the gayed up version of "I Could Have Danced All Night." With its friendly bartenders, talented performers and inclusive cast of regulars, Bill’s Hideaway is for friends of Dorothy who love a good cabaret!

— Truitt Ray




LOUNGE LIFE: Adam Cromer, left, and Brandon Martin get their drink on at Alexandre’s Lounge. – BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST LOUNGE
Alexandre’s Lounge
4026 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0720
Sun.-Sat. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
Alexandres.com
What the lounge lizards at Alexandre’s have come to love has been around for about three years. Before that, Alexandre’s did exist — but it was under different ownership. Back then, the vibe was more New York-style jazz. Now it’s become more of an everyman kind of joint — welcoming, homey and comfy, with live music six days a week, and that’s more Texas-brewed and more diverse —from rock to retro and from jazz to funk. Lucky Peterson, Liz Michael and John Diego have all graced the stage.

Alexandre’s secret is refusing to remain stagnant. The music is always something new, and that means that the crowd the lounge draws is never the same twice.

It’s an intimate place, with an occupancy limit of only 89 — giving it more of genuine living room feel. There’s a great deal of camaraderie there — among the staff, customers and owner Lee Daugherty who’s never far from his baby.

Daugherty’s hope was that if he created a bar he liked, others would like it too. And that means never letting it spin out of his control. He keeps his ear to the ground, knowing that listening to the customers is the key to keeping his four walls packed in tight. And rumor has it that once you walk in, you’re hooked.

— Jenny Block

BEST ALL-AROUND BAR
Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com

BEST DANCE CLUB
Station 4
3911 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0650
Wed.-Sun. 9 p.m.-4 a.m.
Caven.com/Station_4Dallas.htm

BEST LEATHER CLUB
Dallas Eagle
2515 Inwood Road, Suite 107.
214-357-4375
Sun.-Thu. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-4 a.m.
DallasEagle.com

BEST WESTERN BAR
Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com


SEXIEST STAFF
Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com

FRIENDLIEST STAFF
Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Sun.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com


BEST OFF THE BEATEN PATH BAR – TIE
Grapevine
3902 Maple Ave.
214-522-8466
Mon.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.
GrapevineBar.com

Hidden Door Dallas
5025 Bowser Ave.
214-526-0620
Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.
HiddenDoor-Dallas.com


SUGAR-DADDY CENTRAL
Bill’s Hideaway
4144 Buena Vista Ave.
214-559-2966
Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.

BEST HAPPY HOUR
JR.’s Bar & Grill Dallas
3923 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0650
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.
Caven.com/JRsBarDallas.htm

BEST DRAG SHOW
Rose Room, inside Station 4
3911 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0650
Cast drag shows:
Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.
Amateur drag shows:
Thu. 11 p.m.
Caven.com/Station_4Dallas.htm


BEST KARAOKE
The Parlor, inside Round-Up Saloon
3912 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-9611
Karaoke: Sun.-Thu. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
RoundUpSaloon.com

BEST WEEKDAY HANGOUT
JR.’s Bar & Grill Dallas
3923 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0650
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.,
Sun. noon-2 a.m.
Caven.com/JRsBarDallas.htm

BEST AFTER-HOURS CLUB
Station 4
3911 Cedar Springs Road.
214-559-0650
Wed.-Sun. 9 p.m.-4 a.m.
Caven.com/Station_4Dallas.htm


BEST CLUB DJ – TIE
DJ Erik Thorensen
DJ Erik Thorensen spins:
Tue.-Wed. JR.’s Bar & Grill Dallas.
5 p.m.-9 p.m.,
Thu. Sue Ellen’s. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Sat. Station 4. 9 p.m.-4 a.m.

DJ Brian "Tator Tot" McCombs
DJ Brian "Tator Tot" McCombs spins:
Sun.-Mon. JR.’s Bar & Grill Dallas. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.,
Wed. Rose Room. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.,
Thu. Station. 4. 9 p.m.-close,
Fri. Sue Ellen’s. 9 p.m.-close,
Sat. JR.’s Bar & Grill Dallas. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.



These articles appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

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