I’ve never been to Tree’s in Dallas, so I really can’t compare the two, but I can describe The Cotton Club (located in the basement of The Tabernacle).

It’s an oddly-shaped venue, very short from front to back, but quite long from side-to-side. Also, you can head upstairs onto two balconies that are pretty far from the stage, but offer a great view of the whole show. I’ve never seen a show there that had security, so typically, if you’re early enough, you can nestle right up against the (low) stage. The stage is smallish, and most of "backstage" is to the side of the stage, completely unfettered by curtains, so you can check out all the gear easily. Due to the weird acoustics, shows can be really loud, so bring ear-plugs.

As for refreshments, they have three bars, only two of which I’ve ever seen open, that serve a variety of beer, liquor, and soft drinks. They also have a small menu with things like hot dogs and nachos.

With a medium-sized audience, you can usually wander around the back of the crowd and get good views of the shows. Be warned that if you want to sit at one of the few tables, it’s best to have a group and only get up one at a time, as these get usurped pretty quickly by folks looking for a place to sit.

Overall, not a bad place to see a show, but it’s in a really crappy location. After seeing all the glitz that is The Tabernacle upstairs, it’s kinda disappointing to shuffle down the stairs and into the basement.