May Nightlife: Rio Grande Valley, TX
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Below are Shannon's May picks for Rio Grande Valley, TX
by Shannon Simpson
If you're looking to shake it on Saturday night, throw down a couple RB & V's (Red Bull & Goose) and check out the men of RGV then Barcode (4801 Closner, Edinburg) is the place to see and be seen. The Code features 2 bars - one to talk, chill and refresh the cocktail - the other with a dance floor, dual-leveled seating area and a 50 foot bar so all you lushes can get your drink on. Saturday features a brief show by Katelyn York and male strippers typically starting at or after midnight. Cover on Saturday's is $7. Go early for good parking.
Put on the Ritz - The Valley's Martini Lounge is a direct transport to Miami. Red carpets, feathered disco balls, DJ's to spin you right-round and a patio to rival only those you've seen in magazines. This place is the model for other clubs and bars. Elegant, stylish, fresh. Shine (100 South 17th ST, McAllen) takes you to that next level. It's a mix lounge/bar/patio with primarily straights, and a few family but you'd swear Elton herself did the decorating. They make a fabulous Cosmo and the patrons are so hot you may have to 'go down in the pool'. Leave Ugly Betty at home because the cover is $10, just to keep her out. Bottle service will run you so don't forget the plastic. Dress to impress or you'll be sorry you didn't.
First Friday of each month should be reserved for Art Walk (North Main St, McAllen), or at least Roosevelt's & Espana. Art Walk closes North Main down through Pecan St. and hosts live bands in the park, vendors, and a myriad of artists to wet the palette of anyone looking for an original piece of work - art or man. Dress is casual but look nice if you're going for a drink or 2 at Espana which features a candlelit patio, Nuevo Mediterranean cuisine and live bands. Roosevelt's is a little more subdued with its sandlot patio, several draughts on tap and tavern feel inside. Art Walk has something for everyone and who isn't into checking out, er, uh, the Art at the Walk! No cover but bring your walking shoes. Times are 6-10pm First Friday's of the month.
Casa de Palmas
CDP (101 N Main, McAllen) is a hidden gem in the RGV and one I thought twice about sharing because I don't think many know about it and I've kind of liked it that way. The hotel offers only what you'd think you would find in Mexico City or Beverly Hills. Meticulously clean yet rustic and secluded. The staff is professional and your whims are catered to. CDP is a great place for romantic dinners to Sunday brunch or bonding on the pool patio with friends. Take it easy, kick off the flippies, watch the palms in the wind and sip your Mary because Casa de Palmas is the place to make it all go away.
Did you meet them on gay.com and don't know where to meet? Get together at CafĂ© Shiraz (800 E. Alton Gloor, Brownsville). But before you enter stop by the wine store 20 feet down the sidewalk owned by the brother of CafĂ© Shiraz, and get to know each other picking out a bottle of wine to share. The soft and warm Shiraz-made pita chips will melt in your mouth coupled with the fresh mixed olive tapenade. The menu is simple and the selections easy (I recommend the gyro); prices are reasonable and won't set you back for the weekend. Don't be surprised if Chef comes out to check on you - he's good for checking up on his guests. So falafel on over and get to know your date or bring your partner. You'll leave happy and be glad you came.
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