Even on an unexpectedly rainy Saturday evening, you can see the appeal of the outdoor space at the Dawson (730 W. Grand Ave., West Town), one of the five new patios we recommend checking out this summer. It's big, for one. It's well-designed. And it's got a second bar set up to keep you from having to shuttle to and from the main indoor drink area all night. Basically, when it comes to outdoor drinking spots, the Dawson makes a strong case for itself.

A few brave souls stuck it outdoors through the showers and sprinkles, either sticking themselves in one of a few covered spots or grabbing an umbrella-covered table to enjoy some offerings from Clint Rogers' cocktail menu. The rest opted to drink indoors instead. On nights when it's not raining, there's a sizeable fireplace that runs all night long, which is perfect to perch nearby and enjoy frozen mai tais and shareable canteens of punch. Expect this patio to be hopping all season long. And if you want to avoid the crowds, now you know a secret—swing by when the weather's off.

Here's what we saw when we stopped by.