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Our Award-Winning Downtown

Downtown Arlington is home to a wide variety of acclaimed destinations to eat, drink, work, and play all day long. From gaining recognition from prestigious institutions such as The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Report to climbing the rankings in local and state-wide magazines and newspapers, our downtown district has a longstanding history of scoring great distinction for our high-quality services.

Hurtado BBQ, the Sanford House Inn & Spa, Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery, Maverick Bar & Grill, and more have all been recognized for their outstanding food and hospitality, and this past month, several more downtown destinations joined the award-winning club! Here’s are three places you need to visit this coming year and a special shout out to UTA for their excellence in continuing education.

Free Play Arcade

Relive your glory days in the pixelized world of video games at Free Play Arcade featuring over 130 games from all time periods. In addition to this wide variety of retro gaming options, enjoy old school classics playing over the speakers, a bar with over 100 craft beer options, delicious food, and an amazing outdoor patio for you to relax and take a brief break between games. Discover new activities and games or see if you “still got it” at all your favorites from your childhood.

Congratulations to Free Play Arcade Arlington for winning the gold People’s Choice Award from The Dallas Morning News for “Best arcade in the DFW!” Additionally, Free Play also won silver in “Best beer selection” and “Best sandwiches.” The people have spoken! Visit Free Play Arlington and experience for yourself the joys of this award-winning arcade.

Union Worx Coworking

Union Worx Coworking is Downtown Arlington’s premiere coworking space dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and work-from-home employees with an open space to create and communicate with other professionals. Union Worx offers a variety of office spaces, cubicles and desks, shared workspaces, and a meeting room for large gatherings. Members also have full access to the kitchen amenities as well as their beautiful patio. If you’re tired of working from home or need a little more work/life separation, Union Worx is the place to be!

This week marks their 5th Anniversary, and we couldn’t be prouder of our neighbors and our favorite coworking destination! Be sure to check them out for yourself and follow them on social media to stay in the know about their fun events and to learn more about their free coworking days. Congratulations to Union Worx Coworking for winning silver for the People’s Choice Award from The Dallas Morning News for “Best shared workspace.”

Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club

The Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club is an Arlington staple and one of downtown’s and UTA's favorite

destinations for renowned burgers and fries and great entertainment. Their fan-favorite burgers, beers, and appetizers are often accompanied by local musicians who put on a show while you dive into some mouth-watering grub. Grease Monkey also has a nice patio with a ton of seating for you to enjoy the wonderful weather while watching the game, meeting new people, or catching up with old friends.

From being the go-to spot for game night, date night, college night, and just about every other social gathering to offering a cool auto mechanic-themed vibe, it’s no surprise Grease Monkey was voted Top 2 Burger Joints in North Texas by KERA News! Plan to visit Grease Monkey today and discover how they beat over 30 other restaurants and landed a place among the best of the best.

The University of Texas at Arlington

UTA’s campus anchors the southside of our Downtown Arlington district, covering 420 acres, including more than 100 buildings dating back to 1919, and representing students from every state and over 100 countries. The university provides our students with the best real-world experience and education, utilizing state-of-the-art labs, equipment, studios, and facilities to create authentic practicums for all degrees and build concrete skillsets for the future.

With a population of over 40,000 students, UTA is ranked the fifth most ethnically diverse university according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2023 rankings. UTA continues to uplift its minority population from freshman year through graduation, with the university being ranked #3 for awarding bachelor’s degrees to African American students, #12 for Asian American students, #15 for Hispanic students, #10 for Native American students, and #8 for total minority students according to “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education,” a national magazine examining the diversity of the American education system.

Earlier this October, UTA received yet another great ranking. Congratulations to the University of Texas at Arlington for being ranked the top public university in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and the #3 public university in Texas on Wall Street Journal’s 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.! The world-renowned newspaper listed the following reasons as the catalysts behind their decision:

  1. Highest Salary Impact
    1. UTA has the highest salary impact of any public university in DFW based on the median salary of alumni compared to how long it would take to pay off the net price of attending. For context, UTA is ranked #56 in the nation for least amount of debt among graduates according to U.S. News and World Report.
  2. Social Mobility
    1. The university enrolls the highest proportion of students coming from lower-income families while maintaining high graduate rates.
  3. Salary and Economic Impact
    1. UTA and its alumni have created a $28.8 billion economic impact in the State of Texas, generating over 249,000 jobs and employing more than 8,000 people.