Shoals sound & Service is an ideal hangout when cruising through Dallas's Deep Ellum neighborhood. Known for a simplistic, yet mouth watering cocktail menu, they are a choice spot by Dallas locals to kick it and dive into a good record. Open seven days a week, this joint lets the good times roll. Make sure and pair your drink with the Nitty Gritty — you won't be sorry!
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ryan Kirk Contributing writer
Soul and southern rock run the table at Shoals. A record player spins vinyl over the sounds of ice pouring and cocktail stirring. No aux cord, no jukebox, and the only DJs are the bartenders as they flip over and change out records from a turntable. You know the name of every cocktail on their list, and if you don’t already, probably the name of the barman who fixes your drinks.
The cocktail menu behind the bar is spelled out in black and white, and it’s the most unpretentious set of choices in Dallas
The couch inside looks like the same one all of our grandmas used to put a slipcover over – the one with the orange fabric and zig-zag designs. This is Shoals Sound and Service, where if there’s anything complicated inside, it had to have come in on two legs and through the front door.
Shoals offers an escape from the modern and a return to the classics. It welcomes the gentleman who knows what he wants, the guy who taps his foot to the sound of rock ‘n’ roll and mouths the words to every Bowie track.
The cocktail menu behind the bar is spelled out in black and white, and it’s the most unpretentious set of choices in Dallas. Because it features twenty vices made to order, you can grab a French 75, a Bloody Mary, or a Moscow Mule and then order it again, because that’s your darling and there shouldn’t be anything complicated about that. There is something calming about ordering a drink and knowing exactly what you’re about to get – the true way to cap off a day well spent.
The name Shoals comes from a legendary Alabama music studio, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, which helped shape southern rock ‘n’ soul music and has inspired countless artists. The jams played inside the bar are either 1960s and 1970s songs from the south or were inspired by them. Behind the bar, they play full LPs; once that needle hits the vinyl, it’s not coming off until the record is getting flipped.
The neighborhood, Deep Ellum, is knee deep in gentrification, which has brought the likes of themed bars and complicated drink recipes to the area. Shoals, classic cats that they are, have rolled with the “less is more” strategy. Rest assured that the digs inside match the vibe of the music and drinks – nothing flashy. It’s a dimly lit vintage hangout that encourages grabbing a stool, bellying up to the bar, and amplifying the speakers in your eardrums.
Shoals invites you to stroll in and get lost in the classics, with your choice drink paired nicely with a soundtrack to the evening. After all, their motto is “Sound and Service.”
Top notch vinyl collection. Let the good times roll as you belly up to the bar and the music flows into your eardrums
The bar is named after Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in northern Alabama, a historic recording studio used in the 1970s by The Rolling Stones and Willie Nelson
With a classic cocktail menu, our CYTIES cocktail recommendation is a Bloody Mary, every one made from scratch with each order — no mix involved
Shoals is a non pretentious bar that immediately makes you feel right at home
Hungry or not, you must try the Nitty Gritty!