Best of 2018: Nightlife
Reader Pick: BRIK Special Events Venue
One of the newest additions to the growing Fort Worth event venue inventory, this 100-year-old Near Southside building off of South Calhoun Street was vacant for years until 2015, when Lynsie Blau, who’d worked for years in the events business, acquired it and set off on her dream of owning an event venue. The rustic and modern space offers separate ceremony and reception areas and an outdoor courtyard.
501 S. Calhoun St., brikvenue.com
Editors’ Pick: The 4 Eleven
Here’s another addition to the event scene that’s even more recent than BRIK. A venture of entrepreneur Jamey Ice and partners, The 4 Eleven — 411 South Main St. on the Near Southside — offers multiple looks for events: a 1920s renovated warehouse with customizable space, a garden with ivy-draped vintage brick walls, and a two-room kitchen and living space furnished in midcentury modern.
411 S. Main St., the4eleven.net
Reader Pick: Oktoberfest Fort Worth
Sept. 27-29, Panther Island Pavilion
Editors’ Pick: Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival
April, Various locations
First Date Spot
Reader Pick: Bird Cafe
The Bird will bend to your style, a perfect place for a first date. Sit inside in the main dining room, or the more casual bar, or outside on the covered patio overlooking Sundance Plaza. Share the beef tartare and baby back ribs starters if one of you is adventurous and the other not so much. Somebody doesn’t want to share just yet? (The restaurant asks this question on its menu, apparently aware it’s a great date for people who don’t quite know each other yet.) Well, then, dive in on the Bird’s robust selection of steaks, chops, burger and fish entrées. You can drop in for a pre-theater drink. Or, if the date’s going well, come by for a nightcap and late kitchen hours.
155 E. 4th St., birdinthe.net
Editors’ Pick: Hotel Madrid - La Zona
1264 W. Magnolia Ave., lazonafw.com
Girl’s Night Out
Reader Pick: Ephemera Terrariums
1208 W. Magnolia Ave., ephemeratx.com
Editors’ Pick: Winslow’s Wine Cafe
4101 Camp Bowie Blvd., winslowswinecafe.com
Reader Pick: Benbrook Stables
10001 Benbrook Blvd., benbrookstables.com
Editors’ Pick: Fort Worth Stockyards Stables and Horseback Riding
128 E. Exchange Ave., fortworthstockyardsstables.com
Live Music Venue
Reader Pick: Billy Bob’s Texas
2520 Rodeo Plaza, billybobstexas.com
Editors’ Pick: Shipping and Receiving Bar
This South Calhoun Street staple has established itself as the go-to spot for live music since it opened in 2013. The indoor/outdoor venue hosts big names like Bob Schneider under the lights in the beer garden with killer views of downtown, and also makes its stage available for up-and-coming acts, thanks to events like “Wide Open Mic Night” where anyone can take the stage.
201 S. Calhoun St., shippingandreceiving.bar
Reader Pick: Ampersand
Ampersand is one of the newer coffee shops to open in the West Seventh Street area, known in the daytime as a relatively docile spot to sip a Vietnamese iced coffee on the patio. But mind you, this is West Seventh. So, naturally, Ampersand becomes a bumping club in the evenings, as the back of the space opens up to host DJs and serve inventive cocktails.
2905, 3009 Bledsoe St.
Editors’ Pick: Thompson’s Bookstore
Thompson’s Bookstore stays true to its roots as a former pharmacy and bookstore, maintaining a classy, 1920s vibe and serving both classic and specialty cocktails. The basement speakeasy isn’t so secret anymore, but it still requires a password to get in. Keep an eye on social media for the hint. 900 Houston St., thompsonsbookstore.com
Reader Pick: Twilite Lounge
It bills itself as a “neighborhood bar,” but this Near Southside lounge is actually a Fort Worth offshoot of a Deep Ellum music lounge started by musicians Danny Balis and Jess Barr. Balis describes it as “a beer and a shot type of joint, but a dive bar you could take a date to.” New Orleans-style po’boys and cocktails, plus a patio make this more than just a dive.
212 Lipscomb St., thetwilitelounge.com
Editors’ Pick: America Gardens
This West Seventh-area bar has a menu of distinctly American casual fare like po’boys, lobster rolls and burgers; décor depicting American archetypes like Uncle Sam; and, lest we forget, the deliciously superfluous America’s Milk Shake, overflowing with candy bars, sprinkles and a glazed doughnut. Why? Because ‘Merica, y’all.
2833 Morton St., americagardenusa.com
Reader Pick: Panther Island Pavilion
395 Purcey St., pantherislandpavilion.com
Editors’ Pick: Lola’s Trailer Park
2735 W. 5th St., lolassaloon.com
Reader Pick: Bar 2909
2909 Morton St., Find Bar 2909 on Facebook
Editors’ Pick: HG Sply Co.
1621 River Run Drive, hgsplyco.com
Place to Dance
Reader Pick: Hooky
Billy Bob’s Texas might have its first real competition now that Hooky is in town. The West Seventh Street spot is a self-proclaimed honky-tonk but regularly serves up a mix of all genres. Head in for dance lessons on Thursday nights to get ready for the always-packed dance floor.
2800 Bledsoe St., Ste. 125, Find Hooky on Facebook
Editors’ Pick: Studio Eighty
500 Taylor St., Find Studio Eighty on Facebook
Place to Watch a Game
Reader Pick: Reservoir
1001 Foch St., bar-reservoir.com
Editors’ Pick: City Works
5288 Monahans Ave., cityworksrestaurant.com
Reader Pick: The Bearded Lady
1229 7th Ave., Find The Bearded Lady on Facebook
Editors’ Pick: Ye Olde Bull & Bush
2300 Montgomery St., yeoldebullandbush.com
Reader Pick: Coyote Drive-In
It’s hard to beat watching movies the old-fashioned way under the stars with views of downtown just straight ahead. For the full throwback experience, go on a Classic Drive-In Movie Night to see old-school flicks like “The Wizard of Oz.”
223 NE 4th St., coyotedrive-in.com
Editors’ Pick: Rose Marine Theater
The charming Rose Marine Theater opened as a movie house in the 1920s and today stands as the home to Artes de la Rosa — the Latin Arts Association of Fort Worth. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the theater holds events throughout the year, including Palabrazo — performances of poetry, rhythms and slams — on the third Monday of every month.
1220 N. Main St., artesdelarosa.org
Reader Pick: Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
111 E. 3rd St., beerknurd.com
Editors’ Pick: HopFusion Ale Works
200 E. Broadway Ave., hopfusionaleworks.com