Having long-distance family in town for the Thanksgiving holiday is great — until it's not. If you've had your fill of aunts and uncles asking you when you're getting married, having a baby, having another baby, getting a job, getting a promotion, or other things that aren't even remotely their business, we've got an answer for you: Thanksgiving Day drinkin'. It won't solve your problems, but it might take your mind off off them for a while and give you some liquid courage for round two with the family.
For classy day drinking, Smoke offers two holiday cocktails to spice up festivities. The Sweet and Spicy Rum Cider with Cranberry Vodka Fizz ($9) will make you forget that cranberry sauce served in the shape of its can. And we'd be willing to trade the sweetness of mom's yams for the sweetness of the Muddled Pear cocktail (also $9).
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (till 8 p.m. in Plano). 901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, and 2408 Preston Road, Plano. smokerestaurant.com.
Trinity River Tap House
Making the holidays hoppier, Trinity River Tap House (formerly The Pour House) in Fort Worth will feature rare beer releases throughout the day. It's also a donation center for the North Tarrant Food Bank, so bring some canned foods with you and remember the "giving" part of Thanksgiving. The tap house will also have a Thanksgiving potluck and Cowboys watch party.
Dallas Woody's Sports and Video Bar
Woody's will offer its usual happy hour special of $1 off everything until 8 p.m. $4 Jäger specials will be offered all day long.
This restaurant in the W Dallas offers its regular 5@5 special: five drinks (selection changes weekly) and five appetizers, with all offerings costing $5 each. The bar will be open much of the day, but the 5@5 pricing is good from 5 to 7 p.m.
If you want a family room feel without the family being present, try this quaint stop that offers cozy furniture for your sitting pleasure. Regular Thursday specials run from opening till 10 p.m. and include $2 wells and domestics, $4 select wines and half-price sliders.
Ser Steaks + Spirits / Media Bar + Grill
The dining and drinking establishments inside the Hilton Anatole (which seems to like using plus signs instead of ampersands) will each be open Thanksgiving Day. They'll both have a holiday-inspired drink special : a $12 pumpkin spice martini.
Ser: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Media Bar: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. 214-761-7470. ser-steak.com.
The Ginger Man
After a big Thanksgiving meal, it's time to start thinking about the next holiday on the calendar: Christmas. Head to beer bar the Ginger Man, which has a huge array of Christmas beers, including staff favorites St. Arnold's Christmas Ale or the Rahr Winter Warmer. Don't know what you want? Ask for a sample. The knowledgeable bartenders give great suggestions.
Maybe you're looking for a hot date. Or you want to watch football. Or both: Nodding Donkey is the place. The bar is indoor-outdoor in warmer months, but they'll seal it off and pull out the heaters if it's chilly. On Thursdays, local beers are half price. If you make it between 5 and 7 p.m., happy hour is in effect and brings with it $3 domestics and wells, $4 imports, local drafts and house wine, and half-price appetizers.
Katy Trail Ice House
Let's say you aren't participating in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Katy Trail Ice House in Uptown is serving its regular menu, plus smoked turkey from the barbecue pits, cornbread and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day. It's open normal hours, too — 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. —so stay all day if you want. Friendly servers will provide blankets in the backyard if you get chilly. During happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., get $1 off beer, wine and wells.
The Old Monk
One of Dallas' best beer gardens opens at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day -- the perfect time to get out of the house. (If one of its sibling bars is closer to you, they're just as good: Renfield's Corner, Idle Rich Pub and Blackfriar Pub are all located on or near McKinney Avenue in Uptown.) Bartenders will make you a hot drink if you desire, or serve you a cold beer. Everyone is treated like family inside The Old Monk.
Watch the Cowboys on the big screen at this Lower Greenville bar. Happy hour runs from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy $5 Sailor Jerry Dark & Stormy, Tullamore Dew Manhattan, French 75, Hendricks Bee's Knees cocktails and $1 off all other drinks.
Sarah Blaskovich and Jackie Hoermann contributed to this report.