Bar star

Donn’s Depot, according to the June issue of Esquire magazine, is one of the best bars in America (pages 107, 111). There is no other Austin establishment named. Each bar included is marked with pictograms from those denoting “the qualities we care about.” Donn’s earns a “beautiful women” and a “rowdy in a different way” mark. What that second notation means is left unexplained. I can’t really compare Donn’s with 21 or with the bar at El Rancho in Gallup, the only other two on the list where I’ve ever been. But one bar can never really be compared properly with another, and Donn’s is certainly as representative of Austin as 21 is of Manhattan and the El Rancho is of Gallup. Esquire wants to know about your favorite bar. Lala’s? The Cloak Room? Scholz’s? The Driskill lobby? The Saxon? Shoal Creek? Freddie’s?

2 Comments so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    Bars. A topic near and dear to my heart.

    Of the ones listed, I’ve been to the Double Down in Las Vegas, The Grassroots Tavern in NYC, Inwood Lounge in Dallas and, obviously, Donn’s Depot.

    The Double Down seems to get props simply because it’s near the strip, but isn’t a casino. It’s similar in a lot of ways to Casino El Camino here and Delilah’s in Chicago.

    The closest bar to Grassroots here in town would probably be Showdown.

    The Inwood is pretty unique. It’s one of the few places in Dallas that I’d recommend checking out, although I haven’t lived there in over 15 years. You can see one of the screens from a booth in the tavern, but there’s no sound. I’ll never forget the first time I was there. The Crying Game had just opened and we happened to see the “revealing” scene while sitting and having a drink, knowing nothing about the movie. A few weeks later, the movie’s mystery became a pop culture reference point.

    I’d nominate Casino El Camino, no surprise coming from me. Longbranch Inn is another option. Ego’s always seems to get a nod, although I liked it better when they didn’t have live music.

    I’ve been partial to Opal Divine’s Penn Field lately, which just celebrated its first anniversary, but that’s because it’s close to home.

  2. ttrentham (unregistered) on May 16th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    I totally forgot to nominate a few bars from other cities that weren’t included.

    Doug Fir in Portland
    Temple Bar in NYC
    Tonga Room in SF

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