Across the street from a row of trendy new apartments and restaurants on SMU in East Dallas, there’s a dive bar that will take you back a few decades.
Milo Butterfingers has been around the neighborhood for upwards of 40 years, and it hasn’t changed much in that time, except for a couple of location swaps in 1974 and 1982. But its overall vibe has stayed largely frozen in time. “We’re not trendy,” says manager Tom Willard. “At all.”
Step inside the dimly lit bar, and you’ll find cushioned chairs, dart boards, foosball and pool tables that give it a distinct “sit and stay awhile” feel, which is exactly how people use it. During the day, Milo sees a slightly older crowd made up of neighbors and working professionals seeking a quiet place to unwind or wait out traffic after work. As the night draws on, the bar gets rowdier as SMU students begin to pack the place. Although alcohol is Milo’s bread and butter — it is a bar, after all — it also serves a slew of hearty tavern foods with none of those gourmet, organic offerings that tend to draw hordes of hipsters. Menu items such as Ned’s famous jalapeño burger and the fiesta nachos are just as deliciously greasy as you’d expect them to be — the kind of food that turned boys into men back in the day. Suffice it to say, if you want a craft beer, go somewhere else.
5645 SMU Boulevard
Price range: $2-$9
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Sun: noon.-2 a.m.
Did you know? Film director Oliver Stone and actor and filmmaker Tom Cruise filmed a scene for the movie, “Born on the Fourth of July” at Milo in 1989. The TV show “Walker, Texas Ranger” also filmed occasional scenes there.