Dallas, TX 75206
- Sun 12pm-2am, Mon-Sat 10am-2am
Dallas Observer's Description
Ships is one of the oldest dives in town and it sits in between the Lower Greenville club scene and an old East Dallas neighborhood. Visiting Ships on any evening offers a one-of-a-kind look into what happens when the two worlds collide. On one end of the bar, you'll see folks who've been regulars since the bar opened some 50 years ago. And, just a few seats down, you'll usually see musicians and artists mixed in with people trying to catch a game on TV. The older regulars like to keep the place quiet, and they enforce a strict no-cussing policy. So be prepared to use your inside voices-or at least keep it to a dull roar. Ships has all the charm of an old-school neighborhood dive, but the people you'll rub elbows with there make the place such an interesting bar.
The cozy, welcoming place dates back to the '50s and has been owned by Charlie Red around 30 years. Red may be the reason there are few patrons disturbing the peace at Ships. One barmaid says he's been known to break his own no-cussing/no-fighting rules when it comes to enforcing order. But he's also the kind of peacekeeper who's willing to buy a round for the house after enjoying a few himself.
Ships shows every second of its age in its attitude and catch-as-catch-can decor. A cramped walkway separates the bar from a row of tiny booths, a set-up better suited to quiet conversation than group commotion. As its name implies, there's a nautical theme, from the anchor design upholstered to the blue padding on the front door to the submerged treasure chest painted on a closet in the back. Pieces of the glossy black ceiling are peeling off in sheets, and the men's and women's closet-sized restrooms share a common sink. Don't bother pulling out your plastic here: The antique brass cash register is just that-a cash register--ready to make change for the Best of Dallas-winning jukebox stocked with classic Motown, country, soul and blues.
And while it may be beer and (boxed) wine only, Ships is a great place to watch the Cowboys, as happy hour prices ($1.25 drafts) apply during the game. There's a sizable flat-screen behind the pool table but the older regulars seem to prefer the smaller set by the front door.
Ships is the kind of place its loyal patrons can depend on. The sign says its hours are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, but one bartender explains that whoever opens will usually relent for the early birds waiting outside. And every day means every day--Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter.
Tips from foursquare
I can bring my own Jameson? Yes, please!!
No liquor. No credit. No cursing. No fun.
You better bring cash. Does it look like that register takes credit cards?
A bartender that almost certainly is on drugs and a table full of aggressive but seemingly experimental lesbians. Can't beat that.
The waitresses are super friendly and attentive. The decor is charming and festive. You must check out the juke box. The newest songs are from the 60s except one Celine Dion album. Come aboard Ship's!
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Best Of Awards
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