Much is touted about the large tourists’ bars and Historic stockyard bars in Fort Worth, Texas. Certainly, if you’ve never strolled down old brick streets, smelled lingering scents of longhorn cattle, meandered among tall cowboy hats and towering Texas hair, you need to visit the Historic edge of Fort Worth.
However, there is a great deal more to Fort Worth – not the cosmopolitan feel of Dallas, not the Jazz beat of Denton, or even the rolling hills, eclectic sense of Austin – no, Fort Worth is a cross of modern buildings effectively layered into the existing and revitalized history, surrounded by beautiful old brick buildings.
If you find yourself visiting Cowtown, but not looking for the standard tourist stops, then add these to your agenda.
The Library – 611 Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas. On the perimeter of Sundance Square and along the Molly the Trolley route, this wooden floor, leather-couched bar is open and welcoming. Meshed against towering 20 foot walls, and well above patrons’ heads, are book-lined shelves. There are a few shelves within reaching distance for those who’d like to have a quiet drink and a contemplative read. A small patio area is available and with the surrounding buildings shade can be found in spite of late afternoon sun. The four-sided bar makes easy access for those who want to place their own order or the multiple couches are ready for the weary of strolling. There is a ‘bar’ menu, but we didn’t check out the offerings. Happy hour is an afternoon treat here.
Thompson’s Bookstore – 900 Houston St, Fort Worth, Texas. From the front entrance across hardwood floors, lush sitting areas are staged for the enjoyment of the aficionado of fine cocktails. The ‘house’ rules alone make this a bar stop worth the visit. The bartenders should be termed ‘mixologist’ as the subtle flavors and nuance of cocktails are their specialty. No matter your favorite liquor or brand (bottom shelf to top) this subtlety elegant bar is a lovely respite from Texas heat. Not to worry if you’re strolling in your shorts and t-shirt, casual attire is welcome, but an inside voice is requested at all times. If wild and raucous is on your menu, then there are plenty of other Fort Worth bars more to your style.
Scatz Jazz Lounge – 111 W 4th, Ste 11, Fort Worth, Texas. A little crazy, a little spicy, and a lot of speakeasy edge best describes the Scatz Jazz Lounge. Heed the Google directions as this getaway is tucked down an alley. Descend in the elevator and enter a jazz environment to make your toes tap and hips sway. Cover required on some nights, not on others; so check their schedule. Excellent talent fills their stage – and sometimes marches around the room with a little New Orleans flavor – bartenders know their drinks and the clientele are there to enjoy excellent music.
Whiskey & Rye, 1300 Houston St, Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas. For those who want a bit more cultured environment, stop by the Omni – doesn’t that say it all – and enjoy a cocktail while snuggled in deep leather seats. Prompt wait staff, still with that Texas ‘howdy’ welcome; the occasional entertainer on their small stage; the quiet click of pool balls on the expensive carved tables and valet service right out the front door.
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar – 621 Houston St. Fort Worth, Texas. For those who want to group-date, celebrate a graduation or upcoming wedded bliss, or just spend several hours rubbing elbows with their fellow humans in a lively musical stop – this is the place. Expect great music – loud at times; happy, hollering folks – also loud at times; and a good evening. Not for the boot-scooting, Stetson-sporting, bronco-belt buckle type, but if you love a rowdy crowd with a backdrop of ivory-tickling, hammer-pounding musicians then visit Pete’s.
Howdy, and Welcome to Fort Worth.