Frankie’s, a cocktail-and-sports bar last sighted on McKinney Avenue, has a new home downtown. And, judging by the bustling crowd, Dallasites have already accepted the venue’s newest incarnation as their lunchtime, game time, and nighttime go-to.
The Atmosphere: Frankie’s Downtown is immaculate, well-organized, and lacks the grungy, beer-stained feel that you might associate with the “sports bar” moniker. The atmosphere is a mix of ’80s comfort music (think Eurythmics), comfortable lighting, black-and-white photo prints of places in Dallas, earth tones, and flashing flat screen TVs. There are two arcade games in one corner, plenty of attractive black-clad waitresses, and tons of seating–both at the bar and at tables scattered around the space. Late at night, Frankie’s opens its downstairs lounge, which features a spacious seating area, smaller bar, and cozier vibe.
What to Order: There’s a food menu full of typical bar-type fare: wings, pizza, sandwiches, you know the drill. But I’ll admit I was surprised by the extensive cocktail menu, created by Eddie “Lucky” Campbell. The drink selection includes sections for classics, mules, champagne cocktails, margaritas, specialty cocktails, beer cocktails, and sangrias. There’s pretty much something for everything: a sweet vodka, kiwi, and cilantro mix; a spicy jalapeno-infused tequila drink, and a $13 treat called the Frankie’s Stein (six liquors topped with a can of Red Bull). Proceed with caution.
The Bartenders: The bartenders generally consist of young women in matching black tank tops. They’re attentive, they know their booze, and they’re often quick with suggestions: one bleach-blonde bartender couldn’t pick a single favorite cocktail, so she recommended three: the Old Fashioned, the Garden Gimlet, and the Ward 8.
Who’s There: The weekday clientele is predominately business professionals who come from nearby offices for lunch and/or after-work happy hour ($4 Old Fashioneds!). The pace picks up at 9 p.m., and weekends see a good mix of young professionals, couples, dining families, and sports fans.
What I Didn’t Like: Frankie’s has 44 TVs. I understand that TVs are important at a sports bar, but I was a little overwhelmed. This might not be the best place for a date or somewhere you want to talk without distraction.
What I Did Like: The laid-back atmosphere. I got the sense that Frankie’s isn’t trying to be trendy or unique–it’s trying to be fun and comfortable, which is certainly not a bad thing.