Cheap beer, casual atmosphere, and live bands give this bar a quintessential collegiate feel. And with a location just across the freeway from Southern Methodist University, a college crowd is what it attracts. Sometimes on weekends, you'll find 20-somethings hanging out, too. The bar books an eclectic array of bands, so you never know what type of music you might hear. If you stick to drinking beer and hanging out with your buddies, it could be a night of either making or reliving college memories par excellence.

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The Curtain Club has established itself as one of the best "sounding" venues in the city. Both local and regional alternative rock bands love to play this room. It's not a big place, but the sound man knows acoustics. Usually three bands per night. The crowd is a mixed bag of young and old, but definitely music fans. You must be over 21 to enter the Liquid Lounge and over 17 to enter the Curtain Club.

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Lakewood Landing is one of Dallas's best known "joints." Owned and operated by a woman simply named Louise – who greets patrons with a cheerful "Whatcha' drinkin', sugar?" – the Landing has a fantastic jukebox, a single pool table, and a great collection of barflies, musicians, and general riffraff. Low-key and dark, it's what all bars should aspire to. Dress code? Ha!

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Although The Bone has been around for years now, it still draws quite a crowd. Its rooftop deck is huge, and you'll find plenty of eye candy for both sexes in the hot singles spot. During the week, things are more low-key, and folks usually groove to a great variety of musical acts. If the weather's good, bands play outside on the roof starting at 5pm. A separate room has pool tables and a good jukebox.

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Elbow Room is a great place to start the night, especially if you're in the market for a good jukebox, shuffleboard, and a few games of pool. Although the bar looks small from the outside, it has several rooms and is a great place to either belly up to the bar or grab a table to hang out with friends. Typically, the crowd is low-key, and sometimes patrons come straight over from work at Baylor Hospital down the street. You'll find a nice selection of beers and premium liquors.

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Spacious and elegant, this upscale establishment has become one of the area's most popular destinations for dinner and drinks. Refined Western decor distinguishes all its venues, which range from restaurant to bar to billiard room. Cuisine relies heavily on steaks and chops but also includes salmon, Australian lobster tail, and luscious desserts. A variety of bands play blues, R&B, jazz, pop, and funk Thursday through Saturday, and the lounge offers aromatic cigars and a fine selection of cognacs. The well-stocked bar serves up great martinis, along with alcohol of all varieties, and large-screen TVs guarantee that all the big games and events are easily viewed. Ideal for a whole evening of fun and leisure.

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Although Deep Ellum arguably functions as Dallas's cutting-edge district, parts of it maintain a long-standing commitment to simpler times. Take, for example, a honky-tonk like Adair's, which has been popular since 1963. The digs (in the early days, it was on Cedar Springs Road) and faces may have changed over the years, but other aspects haven't. Adair's remains a rustic haven for folks who like to swill brew, listen to live music, and munch on good burgers. For history buffs, too, the joint holds an allure, courtesy of a jukebox loaded with classics by Hank Sr. and Bob Wills, along with hundreds of framed photos and graffiti.

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The eclectic crowd that frequents this light-hearted watering hole is composed of folks from all walks of life. They're attracted by theme nights (drag shows tend to draw the most boisterous crowds), a rooftop patio, a backyard hoops court, and billiards. When you factor in cozy furniture and a laid-back vibe, it's easy to see why so many people consider Grapevine Bar to be Oak Lawn's rec room. Helping the place's popularity are fantastic specialty drinks and a jukebox that plays mp3s.

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Old pharmacy shelves and decades of charm serve as the calling cards for this old school Uptowner, which has been in operation since the early 70s. Thankfully, the recipe – outstanding Sunday brunches, live music, an award-winning juke box and terrific martinis – that made the place such a success in the early days hasn't been forgotten. In fact, one might argue that they've even been fine-tuned some. And here's an interesting trivia tidbit: The bar was originally named the Stoneleigh Pharmacy but had to change handles due to an old city law requiring all pharmacies to be licensed.

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Styled after a mineshaft – but fashionably so, of course – TMC is a certain favorite if you're into loud music, drag queens and late-night dancing. Part of a quartet of like-minded establishments on the same block, this cavernous club features themed nights each week, and each one brings a different crowd and a different brand of music, from hip-hop to house to '70s and '80s. Terrific draft and well specials accompany events, and there's no doubt that you'll spend some interesting time in the mineshaft.

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