What does five years mean to you? An anniversary you never thought you’d reach, that pesky question about goals you always get in interviews, or the absolute latest you plan to throw out that expensive tube of mascara, perhaps. But for Sunset Lounge, five years marks an epic saga in Dallas nightlife, successfully entertaining the discerning masses for a half a decade and showing no signs of slowing. In fact, if we transferred Sunset’s history into dog years, we could arguably say he is turning 35- respectable, mature, possibly with those sexy salt and pepper strands, but still a weakness for a good party.
When I discovered Citysearch posted last year that Dallasites voted Sunset Lounge as one of the “Best Dive Bars in Dallas”, I was a little miffed. Not that I don’t adore my dive bars, actually most of the time I revere these locations more than their pretentious counterparts. However, Sunset lacks the main factors I believe make a bar a “dive” in the first place, namely: 1. neon beer signs; 2. at least one television (being conservative here); and 3. an aging curmudgeon bartender who serves you three fingers of whiskey while calling you “hun.”
Sunset Lounge lacks all of these.
In their stead, you will find a dimly lit space filled with some couches and nooks for late night carousing, a, dare I say, “clubby” atmosphere that encourages dancing wherever your feet feel comfortable. The music is always enthralling, pumping out new catchy beats or those old school tunes you’re embarrassed still linger on your iPod playlist. The enclosed outdoor patio with slotted wood walls, a small extra bar and even more couches attract the last breed of smokers still loitering around Dallas (I am, admittedly, one of these rare creatures.)
However, the Lounge still doesn’t fit in on the other side of the tracks, either. It’s unassuming locale, hidden down on Ross Ave under the high humming roadways of Central Expressway, make it more a Deep Ellum spot than an Uptown hangout. Still, don’t think you are going to have to trade glitz for gang signs– Sunset still boasts affordable bottle service and a killer food menu.
“We get a mixed crowd,” said one of the owners, Tommy DeAlano. “But we have the best people in Dallas here. They are sophisticated, laid back and know how to have a good time.”