Food & Drink

The 11 Most Essential Bars in Fort Worth

Published On 05/12/2015 Published On 05/12/2015
The Boiled Owl Tavern
The Usual
Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill
Corporate Image
Billy Bob's Texas
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1. Boiled Owl Tavern 909 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

The Owl’s crowd is an all-over-the-place mélange of service-industry peeps and desk jockeys, cyclists and Hummer enthusiasts, slacktivists and military vets, and every skater, lawyer, drummer, doctor, dork, and hipster in between. With its carefully curated jukebox and ever-changing selection of over 50 craft beers, the Owl offers plenty for those who pride themselves on their impeccable tastes.

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2. A Great Notion 2024 Ridgmar Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76116

The Notion’s one of Fort Worth’s best-kept secrets, a loveable dive where you’re practically guaranteed to make a new friend over a couple gin and tonics, especially if he or she likes your jukebox picks. If you want to see what your parents were like before you came along, this is great place for them to get drunk and relive the memories, because the bar looks about the same as it did during the Reagan administration.

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3. Lola's Saloon 2736 W 6th St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

A classic local dive bar in the Stockyards, with $2.25 drinks during happy hour, sports on all the time, and no cover ever.

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4. Thompson's 900 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Thompson's is a cozy little hangout in an old bookstore. Though the high-class cocktails indicate a mature clientele, even the most professional will get giddy as they descend the secret passage behind the bookcase into "the pharmacy," another bar space evocative of an old-school apothecary/modern day haunted house.

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5. The Usual 1408 W. Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104

The Usual is all about cocktails, going to great pains to tweak and perfect each of the specialty mixed drinks on its menu so that once it hits your lips, it's exactly what it's meant to be. Even with 11 signature cocktails to choose from, don't be afraid to order off-menu now and then.

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6. Barcadia 816 Matisse Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Fort Worth’s Barcadia is loaded with games and craft beer — if Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter II, Burgertime, and a host of other arcade classics don’t distract you, maybe you need a beer; with over 30 taps, you’re bound to find something to sip on, especially if you’re into the Texas craft brew scene.

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7. Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill 425 W 3rd St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

By virtue of its sheer acreage of TV screens, there is no better place to watch a game in Fort Worth than Frankie’s; there are even screens embedded in the bathroom mirrors, so the only way to miss the action is to show up too late or wear a blindfold. But even without a zillion TVs, Frankie’s offers a wide variety of high-end pub grub, plus a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar on the weekends.

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8. Reservoir 1001 Foch St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Reservoir is the West Seventh corridor hub of short dresses, bumping jams, and chef-driven noshes, brought to you by the people behind Downtown ultra-lounge Vice. If you can take your eyes off the highly attractive scenery, there are 38 flat screens hanging around, making it a pretty sweet spot to watch TCU get edged out of another championship.

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9. Corporate Image 5418 Brentwood Stair Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76112

Tucked into a strip mall just inside the corner of I-30 and I-820E, Corporate Image is one of those hidden gems you pop into because you don’t have anything better to do and then end up staying there for the next twenty years. Karaoke and pool are practically national pastimes here, but Corporate Image’s vintage vibe and affable bartenders are what keep people coming back night after night.

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10. Billy Bob's Texas 2520 Rodeo Plz, Fort Worth, TX 76164

This iconic Stockyards dancehall is a must on your Cowtown drinking itinerary, whether you’re there for a show or merely just to shoot pool, eat popcorn, and watch people in Wranglers manage to line-dance to “The Wobble.”

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11. Ozzie Rabbit Lodge 6463 E Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76112

Fun fact: long before the owners of Arlington’s Caves Lounge added Ozzie’s to the family, it was called the Tattoo Bar and co-owned by none other than Pantera’s late, great Dimebag Darrell. And while the wild days of the Tattoo Bar are history, this Eastside lounge still carries the ghosts of late-night dodgeball parties, rooftop sex, and other types of ‘90s-era metal magic mischief, as evidenced by a rowdy blue-collar crowd that matches the punk rock and country on the jukebox. With stuff like bingo nights, a shot wheel, and patio cookouts, there’s something for everyone.