Elbowing your way to the bar for a cocktail? An evening out with your special someone deserves more. These intimate bars are delightfully relaxed, with cozy nooks, proper service, and drinks well-suited for a romantic occasion — even, a proposal. They're not the newest, flashiest places in town, but they're classic haunts and tucked-away gems worth rediscovering when love is in the air.
Head a bit off the beaten path for after-dinner drinks at this pretty Fairmount neighborhood favorite, where the wine selection is pretty special, too. You'll find limited-production wines made by independent producers from obscure regions around the world — nothing mass-produced here. About 19 wines are on tap, too, providing for a fun way to try unique varietals. With Old World-style furnishings, a fireplace, and a quaint, string light-lit patio, the wine bar is an easy place to sit and stay awhile. (Food may be ordered from Chadra Mezza & Grill next door if sustenance is needed.) If the upstairs seating area is not booked for a private event, head there for even more quiet one-on-one time.
Perhaps the classiest bar in town, the Sundance Square favorite exudes romantic elegance. Its allure comes from a combination of outstanding service, sleek downtown scenery, and polished cocktails that quickly work their magic. The bar area tucks in cozy alcoves with small round tables — perfect for strategically sitting close to a companion. If the weather’s nice, the plush couches on the chic outdoor seating area beg to be nestled upon. Try the Seven, a cucumber-mint cocktail made with organic vodka and rimmed with a cayenne pepper and salt blend. It’s sure to set the tone for a spicy night. Also note that oysters — those famous little aphrodisiacs — are on the bar bites menu, too.
Ancho Bar at Michaels Cuisine
Like a great marriage, Fort Worth patrons' love for Michaels — open since 1992 — has grown stronger with each passing decade. Walk inside and head to the right for the Ancho Bar, where comfy seating and a warm fireplace awaits. The welcoming bar provides for a distinctly grown-up respite from the nearby college bar scene. The lighting is dim, the furniture is dark, and the servers treat everyone like someone. (Trying to impress a date? Owner and chef Michael Thomson himself might even pop by to say hello.) Martinis are the thing to order here. Try the jalapeño tequila-infused Upper West 7th, or the “Shadytini” — named for Shady Oaks Country Club — shaken with gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, and fresh basil.
Branch & Bird
Nothing says romance like sky-high horizon views, and this downtown bar offers some of the most dazzling vistas in town. Located on the 12th floor of the Frost Tower, the bar-restaurant with an expansive covered patio is peacefully quiet — perfect for an intimate outing or even a top-of-the-world proposal. Spacious, sleek seating areas are accented with minimal décor — the views provide for the scenery on their own. Toast your love with a glass of wine, or perhaps the gin-based Fitzgerald, and steal a kiss under the skyline at sunset.
When former lawyer-turned-distiller Markus Kypreos opened Blackland Distillery nearly a year ago, he said he wanted to be near the West 7th Street nightlife, but not in the middle of it. The sexy retreat from the nearby rowdy bar scene is still a hidden gem, with its Art Deco-era design, including club chairs, chandeliers, and plush booths. The lighting is low and there are no windows, meaning it can feel like an intimate evening no matter the time of day. All spirits — including vodka, gin, rye whiskey, and bourbon — are made here. Share a tasting flight of each with your love, and then buy a bottle to take home. Try the Hemingway gin and tonic or classic old fashioned, too. The cocktails are painstakingly well-crafted and deserved to be sipped with someone special.