Photo courtesy of Happy Hour Hike

The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and you're all ready for some summer fun. Plano's where it's at, with everything from concerts to happy hours on tap this summer.

Dive in
From Memorial through Labor days, take a refreshing dip in 168,000 gallons of saltwater that's shaped like the great state of Texas. This membership-supported community pool (there are tourist passes available) features a diving board, two water slides, and an island with a shallow "South Texas" wading area for the little ones. Picnic tables, a beach volleyball court, barbecue grills, and a snack bar complete the experience.

C'mon, get happy
Head to Legacy West for its monthly sip-and-shop Happy Hour Hikes, where you can sample beer, wine, cocktails, and food; receive exclusive offers at shops and restaurants; and enjoy entertainment throughout the Legacy West neighborhood. There are also photo opps, featured local artisans and nonprofits, and a chance to win a $300 gift basket to your favorite store.

The hikes happen from 6-9 pm the first Thursday of the month, aka June 1, July 6, and August 3 in the summer. Participants must be 21 and up, and groups of 10 or more get a discount by emails happyhourhike@lot32.com.

Tasty tunes
From Monday night karaoke to a concert lineup that includes all your favorite genres of music, live music at Legacy Hall is a rockin' good time. Check upcoming acts here, and then arrive early to enjoy dinner from nearly 20 eateries and craft cocktails from five-plus bars.

For an even more elevated experience, reserve a Balcony VIP Lounge (21 and up only) and enjoy dedicated cocktail service, soft seating, and the best view of the stage. Fridays and Saturdays also come with free admission to the Late Night After Party on the third floor of Legacy Hall in High Bar.

First-rate Fourth
America's birthday is a big deal in Plano, beginning with a free patriotic concert on July 3 at 7 pm. Plano Community Band will be playing in Haggard Park in the Downtown Plano Historic Arts District.

On the Fourth itself, cheer on — or walk in! — the Rotary Clubs of Plano 4th of July parade at 7:30 pm. The route travels along Spring Creek Parkway in between Collin College and the Red Tail Pavilion, and you can sign up to participate here.

The parade is smack in the middle of Plano's All-American 4th, a free festival that starts at 6 pm and features a kids’ zone sponsored by Champion Energy Services and a fireworks show beginning at 9:30 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs, and coolers are welcome, with food and beverages available for purchase from onsite vendors — sorry, no pups allowed.

Staycation vibes
With all this fun on the agenda, you'll want to stay more than a day. Immerse yourself in Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel's "West of Zen" culture, with gorgeous artifacts hidden away in every public corner, and the menus for both beverage and food offer a bold take on Asian fusion.

Dine in the main restaurant, ŌMA, grab a quick bite at the quaint Texas Teahouse & Marketplace, or dip into The Whiskey Moon Bar + Lounge to sample its impressive selection of American, European, and Asian whiskeys.

Enjoy DJs on the pool deck every Saturday afternoon during the summer or live music at Whiskey Moon every Saturday evening — see a lineup here.

Speaking of the rooftop pool, you can now book private cabanas through Resort Pass and stay shady all summer long.

See all your Plano accommodation options here.

Happy Hour Hike at Legacy West

Photo courtesy of Happy Hour Hike

Join the Happy Hour Hike the first Thursday of each month.


For a complete guide to Plano, head to www.visitplano.com.

Facebook/Thirsty Lion Gastropub

Reverse happy hours top off this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best bars with reverse happy hours. A term that’s beginning to build momentum, “reverse happy hour” refers to a late-night version of the typical happy hour discounts on drinks and bar food. Here are five top Fort Worth go-to’s for the burgeoning reverse happy hour — because saving money will always bring happiness, no matter what time of day.

2. Academy of Country Music Awards return to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2023 show. The next Academy of Country Music Awards will take place at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco on May 11, 2023. The 2023 edition of the Academy of Country Music Awards will mark a return to Texas for the first time since the landmark 50th ACM Awards, which took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2015.

3. Big BBQ switchup tops this roundup of Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of Fort Worth dining news has plenty of big news: big openings in the world of BBQ, desserts, and top chefs. There's also new menus and new lunch at an award-winning pizzeria. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

4. These are the 7 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week. There’ll have been multiple ways to escape (at least mentally) this week, and they continue into the weekend. Pretend to be on the beaches of Mexico at one of two National Tequila Day celebrations, for instance.

5. 5 postcard-worthy family getaways from Fort Worth on one tank of gas. High gas prices, expensive airfare, airport headaches, and pricey car rental fees make travel planning a little more difficult this summer. But a postcard-worthy family vacation is just one gas tank away thanks to picturesque resorts and parks located within a short road trip from Fort Worth.

Happy hour takes place Friday and Saturday nights at Thirsty Lion.

Thirsty Lion, happy hour, cheers, toast
Facebook/Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Happy hour takes place Friday and Saturday nights at Thirsty Lion.
Facebook/Thirsty Lion Gastropub

Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best bars with reverse happy hours

Where to drink

A term that’s beginning to build momentum, “reverse happy hour” refers to a late-night version of the typical happy hour discounts on drinks and bar food. As the workforce becomes more flexible and steers away from a typical 9-to-5 schedule, more restaurants and bars are adding after-dark deals. Most reverse happy hours happen during the week and typically begin around 9 pm. Others might land on a weekend or even carry over from the early afternoon specials. Here are five top Fort Worth go-to’s for the burgeoning reverse happy hour — because saving money will always bring happiness, no matter what time of day.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
The family-friendly chain stays busy after dark, especially Sunday through Thursday, from 9-11 pm, during reverse happy hour. Specials include $3 domestic bottled beer, $3 chips and dips, $5 BJ’s signature beers and select wines by the glass, and $6 margaritas, select spirits, and select appetizers. (Faves include deep-fried chicken pot stickers.) Mini deep-dish pizzas are also half-off. There are four BJ’s locations in Tarrant County, all situated in busy shopping districts near Hulen Mall, Northeast Mall, Alliance Town Center, and Arlington Highlands. Important note: the specials are only available in the bar and patio area. Also good to know ahead of fall sports watch parties, the specials are available during all pro football games.

Game Theory Restaurant + Bar
Fuel up for a little friendly competition at this hot spot for board games (more than 500 of them) and gastropub-style food and drink. Located on South Main Street, Game Theory offers late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday from 9-11 pm. Patrons can choose from several $5 craft cocktails, including favorites like the Brown Derby, shaken with bourbon, orange juice, and house-made honey syrup; and the tropical Blue Hawaiian, which combines vodka, coconut rum, and Blue Curacao. Highlights from the happy hour food menu include $6 rosemary truffle fries, $6.50 crispy Brussels sprouts with sweet Thai glaze, $8 barbecue chicken flatbread, and $8 Cajun lump crab dip. Eat, drink, and get your game on.

Lazy Dog
This late-night happy hour is for the dogs, literally. Canine friends are always welcome on the patio at Lazy Dog, which has locations in Euless and Arlington and features actual menu items for furry friends. The reverse happy hour here — offered Sunday through Thursday — runs later than most establishments, lasting from 9 pm until midnight. Among the many specials are select $3 domestic drafts, $4 well drinks and select wines, and $6 Orange Tang margaritas and Pink Lemon Drop martinis. Or, try the house beer tasting flight for only $6 or share a pitcher of house-made sangria for $15. Diners can stay well-fed with more than 21 happy hour dishes, too, including street corn fries, chicken lettuce wraps, and Buffalo chicken nuggets, each $6, and wok-fried calamari and chipotle chicken quesadillas for $7. Need a late-night pick-me-up? Stay perky with a $7 coffee martini.

The Lazy Moose
This lodge-like West Magnolia Avenue bar is not stingy with its weeknight happy hour, which lasts from 4 pm all the way until 11 pm, Tuesday through Thursday. Patrons can find deals like $2 off all draft beer, $5 premium wells and margaritas, and $6 house wine and house-made sangria. Nosh on Lazy Nachos piled with house-made tortilla chips for $7, loaded cheese fries for $7.50, and fried dill pickle spears for $6.50. With happy hour lasting much more than an hour here, pass the time with a game of pool or shuffleboard or grab a booth and get cozy.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Most happy hours, whether early or late, skip the weekend. But not at this American gastropub chain. Here, reverse happy hour is only on Friday and Saturday nights, available from 9:30-11:30 pm. Folks get $1 off all draft pints and can choose from classic cocktails ranging from $7.95 to $9.95. (Think Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, and the Mojito.) Late-night bites range from garlic sesame edamame and Caesar salad for $6.95 to grilled salmon cakes and bacon-wrapped barbecue prawns for $8.95. Located in Euless’ Glade Parks development, the lively restaurant draws crowds for its big screens, big portions, and massive menu.

Happy hour takes place Friday and Saturday nights at Thirsty Lion.

Thirsty Lion, happy hour, cheers, toast
Facebook/Thirsty Lion Gastropub
Happy hour takes place Friday and Saturday nights at Thirsty Lion.
Photo courtesy of Trinity College Irish Pub

Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 8 hottest happy hours for June

Where to drink

Like sweltering summer temperatures, prices for everything are on the rise. Thank goodness for happy hour deals, which make dining and imbibing a little more affordable, which means more fun, too. Cheers to these eight current Fort Worth deals on drinks and eats during happy hour — possibly the happiest (and cheapest) time of day.

Blue Mesa Grill
Fill up on $2 tacos and wash them down with $5 large blue margaritas during happy hour at this favorite for Southwestern and New Mexican cuisine. The covered patio is kept cool with misters and fans or find an air-conditioned spot in the spacious bar area. The happy hour taco menu includes ground beef-chorizo, grilled chicken, red hot chicken, and pulled barbecue pork. Drink specials also include $5 mojitos and house wines. Visit Tuesday through Friday from 3-6:30 pm.

Trinity College Irish Pub & Beer Garden
The specials go on and on at this Ireland native-owned pub and grill near West 7th Street, where a tented patio provides respite from the sun’s rays and there is plenty of table seating inside. Happy hour here is Monday through Friday from 3-7 pm and features Shiner Bock and Manhattan Project Irish Red pints for $4.50 and Irish Mule craft cocktails for $6. Also on the drink menu are $5 house wines and Irish car bombs. Don’t miss the drunken mussels ($6 for a half-pound), which are steamed in creamy beer broth and served with toasted garlic crostini. Other stand-out happy hour dishes (all only $6) include the corned beef and cabbage rolls, Irish nachos, and spicy cheese curds. Even more, fish & chips are buy-one-get-one with the purchase of two drinks on Mondays, and whiskeys over $12 are half-off on Wednesdays.

The Bearded Lady
The funky South Main restaurant is worth an afternoon hang for well-crafted cocktails at budget-friendly prices. The Bearded Rita, shaken with fresh lemon and lime juice and topped with a splash of club soda, is only $5. So is the popular Southside Mule and the Orange Highball made with whiskey and ginger beer. Local craft beer fans will appreciate the lengthy list of cans on special for $3.50. Also local are the ingredients in the Best Maid Martin House beer-infused dill queso with house-made kettle chips and the Best Maid Salty Lady fried pickles with homemade ranch, both on the happy hour bites menu for $6 each. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm.

Buffalo Bros.
The frugal feast well at this TCU hangout that’s popular for pizza, wings, and beer. There’s also a sprawling location in Sundance Square, and both always broadcast every major live sporting event on multiple TVs. Domestic draft beers here are super cheap during happy hour — only $2.50 for Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite on weekdays from 3-6 pm. Even more, well liquors are only $3. Stay nourished with 75-cent boneless wings in any flavor (try the Cajun or garlic parmesan) and half-price pizza by the slice.

The sophisticated downtown fine dining establishment is where folks go to get fancy, but that doesn’t mean the bill has to be through the roof. Visit Grace’s chic bar area and patio during “bubble hour,” when all wines that sparkle and fizz are sold for half-price — both by the bottle and the glass. This means Italian prosecco can be as low as $3.50 a flute, and bottles are as inexpensive as $13.50. Bubble hour is from 4-6 pm every day of the week. Don’t miss chef Blaine Staniford’s chorizo-stuffed dates ($12) or the house-ground tenderloin burger with fries for only $16.

Cru Food & Wine Bar
Relax and “un-wine” at this modern but approachable Clearfork wine bar, where happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3-6:30 pm. Get $3 off all wines by the glass or wine flights, and pair them with fancy happy hour dishes like ahi tuna tartare, margherita pizza, and steamed Prince Edward mussels, all only $8 each. Don’t miss Pizza Mondays when customers can get a free pizza with the purchase of any wine bottle, or Champagne Social on Thursdays when every bottle of champagne is half-off after 4 pm.

Branch & Bird
Take happy hour to new heights at this sky-high downtown bar and restaurant. Branch & Bird is located on the 12th floor of the Frost Tower, where skyline views are paired with good deals on cocktails and bites. Grab a table on the breezy terrace for High-Rise Happy Hour, held Tuesday-Friday from 4-6 pm. Margaritas and the day’s featured cocktail are only $5, domestic beers are $3, and all cocktails with house liquors are $6. Or get a glass of happy hour wine for $5. Happy hour bites range from savory spiced peanuts for $3 to Buffalo chicken flatbread for $10. On Wednesdays there’s live music from 5-8 pm, along with half-priced bottles of wine.

The Post at River East
Every day features a different, budget-friendly drink special at this Race Street bar, restaurant, and live music venue. Here’s the lineup: Lone Star beers are $2 on Tuesdays; house wines and house-made sangrias are $5 on Wednesdays; classic cocktails (think gin Fitzgerald, French 75, and old fashioned) are $5 on Thursdays; craft beer cans are $5 on Fridays; and brunch cocktails including mimosas, bloody Marys, and micheladas are only $3 on Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy live music in the open-air courtyard with patio seating under umbrellas, or sit inside the Trinity Room where live shows are held. All drink specials run all day long.

Fish & chips are buy-one-get-one with the purchase of two drinks on Mondays at Trinity College Irish Pub.

Trinity College Irish Pub
Photo courtesy of Trinity College Irish Pub
Fish & chips are buy-one-get-one with the purchase of two drinks on Mondays at Trinity College Irish Pub.
Photo by recep-bg/Getty Images

Texas pops the cork on study of biggest virtual partiers during COVID-19 shutdown

Cheers, Y'all

If your social calendar suddenly swelled during the pandemic, you're not alone. Virtual happy hours have suddenly become the way to relax and connect with friends — especially in Texas.

A recent study from lifestyle website Improb.com has crowned us one of the nation's virtual party hot spots, with Texans attending an average of four online parties a week during lockdown.

Not only that, but the data reveals we knock back about four drinks per party. Nearly half (48 percent) said they're regularly cheers'ing with beer, while 31 percent prefer wine, 13 percent drink spirits, and 8 percent are mixing up cocktails. Overall, one in 10 of the participants admitted to experiencing more hangovers during lockdown than before it started.

People apparently miss their coworkers too, with one in 10 surveyed attending online drinks hosted by their employers.

The website surveyed 3,100 Americans who are sheltering in place across the country to get its results.

The least sociable states include Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon, who only party virtually two days per week. And the most sociable? Arkansas and Washington, whose residents are raising a glass six days a week. You've got to have at least one day to recover, after all.

Photo courtesy of RadioShack

RadioShack reboot powers this week's 5 most popular Fort Worth stories

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines.

1. Fort Worth-based RadioShack powers back up with futuristic new store. Like a robotic phoenix rising from the ashes, RadioShack is back. The Fort Worth-based electronics store that was so popular in the ’70s and ’80s but faded in recent years has returned, opening a new store at 121 Rufe Snow Dr. in the Keller Town Center.

2. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 hottest happy hours for August. Discounted drinks and eats rarely put folks in a bad mood. That’s why happy hour is a win-win for both bars and patrons. Here are five hot places, both tenured and new, to belly up for not only great specials but a great scene.

3. Top fall social events every arts-loving young professional in Fort Worth should attend. The future of Fort Worth arts is in good hands, if the energy surrounding young professional groups is any indication. This fall is full of events tailored to up-and-coming young arts patrons whose passions range from '80s movie soundtracks to contemporary art. Save the date for these essential arts-focused YP parties.

4. New Asian restaurant in Grapevine hits trendiest Southeast cuisines. Grapevine lucks out with a cool new Asian restaurant that combines a variety of cuisines. Called Sabai Sabai Southeast Asian Kitchen, it's at 2350 Hall-Johnson Rd., where it opened in early August.

5. New Fort Worth theater co. has passion for tall drinks and taller tales. Raise a glass to the new kid in town: Taphouse Theatre is gearing up for its first production, a site-specific staging of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream that's set in a bar. Taphouse declares its mission to be "an immersive theatre company designed to empower local artists, promote local businesses, and build community through storytelling."

The Shack is back.

RadioShack Keller
Photo courtesy of RadioShack
The Shack is back.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Cafe with made-to-order mini-doughnuts to open near TCU in south Fort Worth

Doughnut News

Little doughnuts are rolling into south Fort Worth via a new doughnut cafe. Called Batter & Beans, it'll serve doughnuts, coffee, and more, and it's opening at 3548 South Hills Ave., south of TCU in Westcliff Center.

They'll be right around the corner from Cafe Bella [which it should be noted recently won Best Neighborhood Restauant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards].

Batter & Beans will be a family-owned collaboration between Matthew Whip, a partner at Ernst & Young, and his brother-in-law, who worked for a restaurant group in Michigan and brings the food knowhow.

They'll be doing miniature doughnuts, similar to the Pittsburgh-based Peace, Love, and Little Donuts chain (which has one location in Texas, in Southlake).

They're aiming to be open by early fall.

"We'll be doing fresh, made-to-order mini cake doughnuts plus premium coffee we're sourcing out of Chicago, from Metropolis, a small-batch artisan roaster," Whip says. "We're originally from the Chicago area, and that's always been my favorite roaster, and they also roast coffee for Yolk, which has a location in Sundance Square."

The cafe will also offer fresh lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream, for neighbors who want to stop in for a treat at night.

Whip and his family first relocated from the Chicago area to North Texas in 2018, then moved down the street from the shop last year. It's a small storefront, about 920 square feet, and they're currently in the final stages of design and permitting.

"There's lots of kids in this neighborhood, and I think a place with mini doughnuts would do well," Whip says.

It was only after they signed on to do the shop that they learned from a neighbor that the space they're taking had good doughnut karma, with a longtime history as a doughnut shop, most recently a place called Donut Palace. Sadly, it closed during the pandemic. Now the doughnuts will return.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus navigates marriage pitfalls in You Hurt My Feelings

Movie Review

Anybody who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows that it’s almost impossible to be completely honest with his or her partner. There are always going to be moments – whether for the sake of expediency, in a show of support, or other reasons – when one person withholds their true opinion so as not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

That idea is the central tension point of You Hurt My Feelings, which follows Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a writer/teacher, and her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist. Beth is in the middle of trying to get her first fiction book published, a process that is causing her unceasing anxiety. Don sees a series of patients, including a constantly-bickering couple (played by real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn), and a few lapses cause him to question his commitment to the profession.

When Beth and her sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), accidentally overhear Don telling his brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), that he doesn’t like Sarah’s new book and is exhausted having to tell her otherwise, it sends Beth into an emotional spiral. The aftermath winds up pulling in not just the two couples, but also Beth and Don’s son, Eliot (Owen Teague), dredging up feelings that all of them normally try to keep hidden.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film is a funny and genuine look at how even the best couples can run into pitfalls. By most measures, Beth and Don get along fantastically well, supporting each other unwaveringly and showing their love in a variety of ways. When the story puts them at odds with each other, there’s never a question that they belong together, as even their arguments are tinged with exasperation instead of anger.

Holofcener complements the story of Beth and Don with a nice variety of side plots, including Eliot trying to start his own writing career while working at a weed store; Beth and Sarah’s mom, Georgia (Jeannie Berlin), offering up support and criticism in equal measures; and more. Don’s patients and Beth’s students offer an opportunity to expand the two characters’ personalities outside of their marriage while also adding a few other funny roles.

While perhaps not the most insightful film about marriage that’s ever been made, it is still highly enjoyable thanks to Holofcener’s writing and the strong performances. Filmed in New York City, the particular feel of that urban landscape and the way it affects the lives of the characters also plays a big part in the success of the film.

Louis-Dreyfus, as always, is a delight to watch. A kind of spiritual sequel to her previous collaboration with Holofcener, 2013’s Enough Said, the film gives her plenty of room to show off both her comedic and dramatic skills. Menzies makes for a steady presence, showing good chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus and a preternatural calm in therapy sessions. Watkins, Moayed, Teague, and Berlin all fit in seamlessly.

You Hurt My Feelings is not a world-changing kind of movie, but rather a solidly-told story about how relationships can be complicated. With actors who are easy to like and Holofcener’s reliably great filmmaking, it’s a movie for adults that’s nice counter-programming to the glut of summer blockbusters.


You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings

Photo courtesy of A24

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings.