TRAVEL THERE: URBAN RIO IN PLANO TX IS URBAN HIP, BUT I’M AFRAID I NO LONGER AM
It’s no secret that Friday night happy hour is not my regular scene. It used to be. Wellington’s, The #3 Lift, Pappagallo’s, Arthur’s , The Bijoux, Daddy’s Money, The Currency Club, elan and The Point were my regular hangouts – along with a list of places I can’t even remember. Then came a new wave of clubs, Studebaker’s was one of my favorites and though I didn’t go for happy hours, later in the evening you could find me at the Stark Club or Beethoven’s. But not so much this day and time.
Meeting for Dinner/Happy Hour
Once in a great while, someone will drag me out of my lair on a Friday night and on a recent Friday night it was to Urban Rio. Maybe I was still feeling frisky from my cruise or I just needed some Tex-Mex, but when my best friend suggested I should join her and another friend there, I did. I also thought a Tex-Mex Cantina in downtown Plano seemed like a safe place for an old fuddy duddy like me to hang out.
My first ah-ha was that downtown Plano is a pretty happening place. A mixed-use neighborhood has been growing up around the DART station there, but I’d never been when things were really hopping. Well, they were hopping on Friday night. DART delivered week-weary professionals to the stop on a regular basis, but people were also headed there in their personal vehicles. I got there about 5:30 and parking was challenging. Who knew?
My friend expected to get there around 5:30, also, but when I got there, she wasn’t. This is one of my least favorite situations. I go all awkward when I’m waiting for someone. I’m not really egotistical enough to think anyone is paying any attention to me, but this weird demon sits on my shoulder shouts, “Everyone here is watching you. They think you’re fat and that your clothes are frumpy. Your friend isn’t coming. She doesn’t like you anymore. In fact, no one likes you.”
As the demon assails me, I try to sit nonchalantly and observe the decor and clientele. About 90% of the folks who walked in were way cool. The women had really huge designer handbags, their shirt tails hung out beneath their jackets, their necks were draped with those huge scarves everyone else seems to think are so attractive and there was a lot of air-kissing going on. The other 10% looked as frumpy as the demon was telling me I was. The decor was definitely hip. Sleek wood, multi-patterned upholstery, lots of noise. That kind of place.
Finally, to shut the demon up, I called my friend. She was just minutes away and she still loved me. When she arrived, she looked pretty cool, too. Friday-casual denim and she’d changed the part in her hair. I swung my large designer bag onto my shoulder and hoped no one would realize my snakeskin printed jeans were over a year old. I think I might need a cool monitor.
On the Rocks
Deb didn’t see her friend in the downstairs area, so she started texting. Deb also has an iPhone, so she looks cooler than me when she does that. Maybe I’ll grow up someday and have an iPhone, too. Her friend was upstairs in Urban Rio’s cantina, On the Rocks. Seems the building holding Urban Rio used to be an ice house and the bar’s name is a nod to the past.
Upstairs was loud. I’m convinced that most of the noise downstairs is just overflow from upstairs. The hip factor went down a bit, though. The unhip held a larger margin upstairs than they did down below, but the energy level was almost as high as the volume. Deb ordered a carafe of margaritas on the rocks to share with me, but her friend was already sipping frozen ritas. Deb and her friend ordered various skewers, which were delicious. I ordered nachos. Little did I know they’d need heavy equipment to deliver them. We three girls nibbled on them forever, but there was still at least a quarter of the plate left when we begged them to take the debris away.
For the next few hours, Deb and her friend caught up with one another and I had plenty of time to remind myself why I don’t go out for happy hour very often. Yelling to be heard is not as much fun for me as it used to be. My life is pretty boring, too. I’m just an old married lady and Deb’s friend was living The Young & The Restless. Eventually, it was time to go home. Drat those margarita carafes. I pretty much fell asleep as soon as I got home.
But I recommend Urban Rio for the hip and the unhip, though in the future I’d probably stick to the downstairs. You young’uns can have the noise. The food is very good and I enjoyed those margaritas when I was drinking them. So, yes, do go to Urban Rio!