Sometimes you just need a friendly place where you can saddle up to the bar and drink alone, and these low-key hangouts are great late-night, weekday options. The hallmark of an underrated bar is its unexpected charm that lures you into a night of debauchery and bad decisions on a school night, and the force is definitely strong at these updated neighborhood watering holes. Skip the obvious picks and check out one of these five underrated McAllen gems instead.
Casa Petrides – 735 Dove Ave
Yes, there are still places in McAllen where the bar experience comes with a puff of premium cigar smoke, and this is exactly what makes Casa Petrides stand out from the pack. The speakeasy vibe at this tucked-away neighborhood bar in North McAllen is ideal for enjoying a stogie in a laid back atmosphere where you don’t have to worry about running into people you knew in high school. It’s also ideal for mustache-wielding dads, which makes it the perfect place to take your old man for a drink. The move here is to peruse one of it’s two walk-in humidors to pick the perfect stogie, then head to the back of the store to find the lounge. The bartender will cut your cigar and put it on the bar tab. Its beer selection matches its cigar options, with 50 beers on draft and more than 60 bottled beers of the craft variety. Sit at the bar or find a seat on one of its oversized, leather lounge chairs and take pleasure in a place that’s tailor-made for relaxing and appreciating the finer things in life.
Pro Tip: Head to Casa Petrides on Sunday when cigars are 30% off.
London Grill & Tavern – 129 E. Nolana Ave
Daily happy hour drink specials and reasonably priced pub grub makes London Grill & Tavern a prime spot for after-work drinks, but it’s the good vibes and friendly bar staff that keep you there way past your curfew. Pull up a stool at the bar and make friends with strangers here, where its late night crowd can handle its booze. Have people here maybe had a few too many? Absolutely. Are they puking on floors and starting fights? No. This is what makes London Grill & Tavern one of my favorite bad-decision bars in town. If you like having fun and paying for it in the morning, this is the place for you.
Pro Tip: Go on Thursday for the $5 pizza.
Bourbon St Grill – 4800 N. 10th St
The best parts about late nights are the inevitable bad decisions they bring, and the best decision you can make is a trip to Bourbon St. Much like its namesake in New Orleans, this updated take on a neighborhood dive comes complete with ubiquitous neon signs and offers wallet-friendly drinks with live entertainment daily. The chill vibe and lack of pretention makes people drink like they’re on vacation at this buzz-worthy bar, where it’s not uncommon for bar goers to buy you unsolicited rounds of shots or for the staff to chat you up all night. Bourbon St is one of McAllen’s finest late-night institutions, and also one of the best places to get smashed in the wee hours on a weeknight without waking up to an empty bank account and only a conscious full of regret.
McAllen’s Cigar Bar – 2200 Nolana Ave
Not to be confused with the aforementioned stogie spot, this cigar bar is your quintessential shot-and-a-beer type of place. Cigar Bar’s affordable drink specials make it a hot spot for the up-for-a-good-time 20-somethings crowd, which not surprisingly makes it a fun place for single dudes in their 30s to hang out. The drinks specials are unbeatable at this no-frills bar, where every beer is $2, including imports, and well drinks only set you back $3. If slamming back a round of 6 shots with your friends for $20 is on your bucket list, then Cigar Bar is the place to cross that one off, which makes it a perfectly reasonable neighborhood bar.
Your choice of bar says a lot about you. At these underrated McAllen bars it says one thing: You came to get sloshed, but you want to be classy about it. Next time you’re looking for a boozy bar where you can rub shoulders with a diverse cross section of locals while having an unexpectedly good time, choose one of these underrated bars.
Did I leave out your favorite underrated bar? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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