Deep Ellum Nightlife: The Hottest After-Dark Hangouts

Deep Ellum offers night owls an emerging lineup of bars and clubs, but what it's most known for is live music, which has been ingrained in its culture since the early 1900's when the area was a famous haunt for jazz and blues artists. Today the neighborhood is home to countless music venues, boasting not only jazz and blues but everything else in between.

When it comes to catching some of the best music in the city, look no further than Club Dada, a legendary concert venue where you'll find everything from rock, rap and metal to country and punk. Another place to find a diversity of sounds– and perhaps get in a little swing dancing–is the Sons of Hermann Hall, one of Dallas' most authentic honky-tonks.

Or for those who want to do more than just sit back and listen to music, check out Electric Shuffle, where you can engage in a little friendly competition while indulging in delectable munchies and cocktails.

Read on to find out about all the Deep Ellum hot-spots you should be partying in right now.


Dallas Comedy Club
Photo courtesy of Dallas Comedy House

For a hilariously good time, nothing beats the Dallas Comedy Club, the go-to venue for some of the best improv, sketch comedy and stand-up in town. Here, you can get your funny fix on five nights a week with everything from improv, open mic, and drunk trivia to stand-up, sketch, and more. Much of the talent comes from students and faculty members of DCC's training facility, but nationally known comedians are also known to hit the stage. Along with two enclosed theaters plus an outdoor stage, the venue boasts a full-service bar, a beer garden, and an eclectic food menu made for sharing. The shows are all reasonably priced with ticket prices generally running $10-$15. Oh, and the improv/open-mic performances are always free.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Dallas Comedy Club is the best place to go for a guaranteed evening of laughs.

Ilene's expert tip: For the closest places to park: find surface lots at Main and Hall as well as metered spots on Hall, Elm, and Main. DCC is 21+ after 10 p.m.

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The Nines
Photo courtesy of The Nines

Deep Ellum offers plenty of places to listen to music, but this two-level dance palace is one of the only places in the neighborhood dedicated solely for dancing to it. And there's plenty of area to do just that. Find a lower level complete with two bars, a cozy lounge, a dance floor and some of the city's top DJs spinning everything from '80s hits to EDM. When you feel like coming up for air, take the back stairway to the rooftop terrace where you can enjoy more music, more libations and prime views of Deep Ellum.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: The Nines is one of Deep Ellum's premier boutique dance clubs.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $3 wells & domestics during Happy Hour, from 7pm-10pm.

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Sons of Hermann Hall
Photo courtesy of Sons of Hermann Hall

Few Dallas honky-tonks are as authentic as this century-old Deep Ellum mainstay. Originally built to house several lodges for a fraternity of German immigrants, the Hall now serves as a live music venue showcasing a variety of genres from folk, country and blues to alternative pop and reggae. Countless music legends have graced the stage at SOHH, including artists such as Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Dixie Chicks to name a few. Along with concerts, you'll find an array of weekly events, ranging from burlesque and comedy shows to acoustic jam sessions and swing dance classes.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Sons of Hermann Hall is a legendary place for live music and swing dancing.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $1 off all domestic beer, wine and well drinks during Happy Hour, from 5-8 p.m., Monday-Friday. Note that Sons of Hermann Hall now takes credit cards.

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Welcoming like your local dive bar, but impressive enough to bring a date. That is exactly what the musician/owners of this Big Easy-themed drinking den set out to create when they opened it in 2012. But this isn't your typical dive bar, it's much more. From its classy decor, replete with red leather booths and chandeliers to its cozy French Quarter-style courtyard and a stellar list of libations, Twilite is just the kind of locale you can easily pass the night in. And with a steady stream of free entertainment, ranging from local jazz acts to DJ sets, karaoke and stand-up comedy, you probably will.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Twilight Lounge is where to go for a laid-back evening of drinks and music.

Ilene's expert tip: Twilite Lounge offers daily happy hour specials from 4-8 p.m. and all-night drink specials throughout the week.

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Sure, the drinks are cheap and the burgers are legendary, but what lassos most folks into this Deep Ellum dive is its unpretentious vibe and a weekly roundup of free live music. Adair's brings in the cream of the country music crop when it comes to up-and-coming indie bands and singer-songwriter acts. An old jukebox filled with the likes of Bob Wills and Hank Williams, plus floor-to-ceiling graffiti and enough Christmas lights to last a lifetime only add to the old school charm. It's no wonder this spot has been able to maintain its staying power for over fifty years.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Adair's is the best place to catch free live country music every night of the week.

Ilene's expert tip: Adair's offers drink specials every day, including happy hour from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday as well as all day on Sundays and Mondays.

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Electric Shuffle
Photo courtesy of Electric Shuffle

For those who want to get competitive on a night out, behold Electric Shuffle, a UK-based shuffleboard-themed bar that offers a unique combination of hi-tech shuffleboard along with craft cocktails and delicious food. To play, groups of 4 to 24 people per table can compete in four in-house developed games which use vision technology to track pucks and keep score. Prices per person range from $10 an hour to $15 for 90 minutes, and guests can pre-order food and drinks when they book. Speaking of food and drinks, expect to find a wide assortment of sharable items paired with local beers, bubbly spritzes, and craft cocktails.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Electric Shuffle is where to go for a night of high-energy fun.

Ilene's expert tip: Best time to come is during Power Hour (weekdays from 3-6 p.m.) when you can enjoy an hour of bottomless pizza, shuffleboard, and two drinks for $25 per person.

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Crossfaded Barbershop
Photo courtesy of High and Tight Barbershop

This 1920's themed barbershop (formally High & Tight Barbershop) offers hip haircuts by day and hair-raising libations by night in a cozy, prohibition-inspired lounge hidden in the back. And while the shop itself closes at 9 p.m., the bar keeps hopping until the early hours with live music ranging from funk to alternative rock to everything in between. Cocktails include creative and seasonal concoctions along with prohibition classics like the Brooklyn and the Paper Plane. If you're looking for a cool cocktail bar with a chill vibe, this is your spot.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Crossfaded Barbershop is the best spot to go for those who enjoy craft cocktails in a unique atmosphere.

Ilene's expert tip: You can enter the speakeasy through the barbershop or via a separate entrance on Elm Street. Follow on Facebook to find out about drink specials and ongoing events.

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Double Wide Bar
Photo courtesy of Double Wide Bar

This venerable watering hole pays homage to the trailer park culture with its kitsch-adorned decor and surprisingly tasty low-brow cocktails. As the name indicates, the bar is set up in a double-wide trailer--replete with wood paneling, taxidermy animals, mismatched old furniture and quirky memorabilia as far as the eyes can see. The theme continues out on the AstroTurf-covered patio, where bar patrons relax on seats made from old toilets and chug Boone's Farm martinis. Aside from all its tackiness, Double Wide is one of Deep Ellum's top music venues-- showcasing everything from rock and bluegrass to electronica and Americana.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Double Wide is the quirkiest and most unique dive bar in Dallas.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $3 wells and domestics during Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-9 pm and Sat-Sun 1-7 pm.

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Club Dada Dallas
Photo courtesy of Mike Brooks

When it comes to Deep Ellum's live music venues, you'd be hard pressed to find a place more revered than Club Dada. Before it closed in 2009, the club enjoyed more than two decades of hosting big-name gigs and helping to launch careers of home-grown favorites like Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Now Dada is back up with renovated digs that include stages both indoors as well as outdoors in a large, landscaped patio. Expect to find a diverse range of local and national artists covering a wide range of musical genres including, rock, rap, metal, country, and even hardcore punk.

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Dada has earned the reputation for being the best venue to see a variety of music spanning all the genres.

Ilene's expert tip: All shows are 21 and over unless otherwise noted. If the show is not sold out, you can purchase tickets (cash only) at the Box Office before the show.

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Photo courtesy of Shane McCormick @portraitgod

Inspired by Budapest's legendary ruin pubs, this sprawling indoor-outdoor bar and eatery is one of the best spots to go for those who have an affinity for agave-based spirits. We're talking a bar list that spans over 100 selections of tequilas and mezcals, plus an extensive lineup of rum, whiskey, brandy and liqueurs. Foodwise, expect a super-slick menu of regional Mexican cuisine with Caribbean and South American influences. As if you need any more reasons to come, Ruins also boasts a weekly roundup of entertainment, ranging from live music to DJ sets, dance battles, and karaoke. Did we mention that the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m.?

Recommended for Deep Ellum's Best Nightlife because: Ruins is a great place for a meetup with friends.

Ilene's expert tip: Parking is located directly across the street in the Stack garage. Follow on Facebook for events, drink, and food specials.

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Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene