Photography by Kathy Tran.

When the weather warms, Laurel Tavern becomes more patio than restaurant. The large front windows open to let the air blow through. The large misters, umbrellas and fans keep the patio from getting too hot. Patio dwellers don’t have to go inside for drinks. The bar has its own window so cocktails and beers can be passed through. 

For those who prefer indoors, dozens of vintage black and white photos hang from the rafters. Bonnie and Clyde, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Bob Dylan can be found scattered among old yearbook pictures and archive photos of Lower Greenville and the surrounding neighborhood from the ’60s and ’70s. 

“If you look at all the photos, it’s just people having a good time and hanging out,” says regional director Russ Neipp.

He says everything from the decor, to the staff, to the weekend happy hour is to make Laurel Tavern “the place that all the neighborhood people want to come to eat, drink and have a good time.” 

Customers can “donate a dollar to the rafters” by doodling on a dollar bill and hanging it on the ceiling.

The menu is mostly burgers, sandwiches and fries that have been perfected over 14 years at Laurel’s California locations. Patties are made from brisket, short rib and chuck ground in-house to give burgers a better taste and quality, Neipp says. Not much is different between the California and Dallas locations except for the queso and table service.

Neipp prefers the jalapeño burger, but the fan favorite is the chicken sandwich. The artichoke and brussel sprouts are good for the health conscious, but the garlic Parmesan fries are where it’s at. 

Customers who stop in on a Friday night might get to sample some free whiskey if they’re lucky. Laurel Tavern invites liquor brands to come a couple times a month so customers can sample drinks they haven’t tried before. However, friendly and knowledgeable bartenders will give recommendations on any night. 

Laurel Tavern

1920 Greenville Ave.

Tues-Thurs: 5 p.m. to midnight

Friday: 4 p.m. to midnight

Sat-Sun: noon to midnight

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