With the holiday season comes coordinating visits with out-of-town visitors. That’s where great hotel bars help. They can be convenient meeting points for pre-dinner drinks, end-of-the-evening nightcaps, or catching up on a year's worth of news with friends. For locals, hotel bars are often hidden hot spots for cocktails and bar bites away from the chaos of holiday restaurant dining. Here are five of the best around town, from a quiet and sophisticated wine bar to a full-on dance club open well after dark.
WXYZ Bar inside Aloft Fort Worth Downtown
No matter how you spell it, the ultra-contemporary bar is downtown’s most under-the-radar spot since opening late August. With its sleek and shiny white bar, metal barstools, colorful lounge furniture, lantern pendant lighting, and splashy artwork, the ground floor lobby space draws hotel guests and in-the-know locals for mixed drinks and bar bites. Cocktails have a Fort Worth flair, at least in the names, and include the Sundance Chilton made with vodka and Texas grapefruit, the Trail Boss shaken with a hefty pour of TX Whiskey, and the Third Street Smash made with gin and cucumbers. There’s also local craft beer, a small wine list, a blue pool table, and plenty of TVs. Bonus that it's within walking distance of all the buzzy restaurants and shops of Sundance Square.
Cassidy’s inside Radisson Hotel Fort Worth North-Fossil Creek
Dancing shoes are required at this hotel bar, as it becomes a hopping nightclub after dark. The longtime lounge, bar, and restaurant stays busy with both out-of-towners and locals who visit for theme nights like country, retro, and ladies night. Dark wood fixtures and multilevel lounge seating surround a dance floor, where guests boot-scoot to DJ music until 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Try one of the flavored mules — cranberry, strawberry, black plum, or blood orange, and ask for a bartender named Nancy Pants, just like the regulars do.
Booger Red's Saloon inside the Stockyards Hotel
Settle into a saddle barstool at this 34-year-old Stockyards watering hole, which is connected to the historic Stockyards Hotel. With creaky wooden floors, taxidermy on display (including a rear end), and signs with sayings like, “If our service is not up to your standards, lower your standards,” the old-timey bar is all about Western kitsch and fun. Order a bottle of Buffalo Butt beer — exclusive to the bar — or the signature Anita-Rita margarita, named for cattleman William Hunter’s daughter and made with serrano pepper extract. The bar is also connected to H3 Ranch restaurant and is a popular place to wait for a table or have a cold beer while perusing East Exchange Avenue.
Wine Thief inside the Omni Fort Worth Hotel
Dimly light and elegant with décor in shades of rich reds and shimmery golds, the sophisticated wine bar is tucked in a quiet nook of the busy downtown hotel lobby. There arewell over 100 wines available by the glass or bottle, but non-wine drinkers will appreciate the beer list, full bar, and bar bites menu of spiced duck satays, crispy lobster tail, and pink pepper-crusted tenderloin sliders. While the interior is cozy and quiet, a small outdoor patio provides glimpses of bustling downtown streets and a peek at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Check the schedule for monthly wine tasting events.
R Bar & Grill inside the Hilton Arlington
Okay, not technically Fort Worth, but a good choice for those meeting up between Fort Worth and Dallas, or before or after a big game. Close to AT&T Stadium but away from the mayhem of the tailgate scene, this hotel bar and restaurant makes for a convenient pit stop before a Dallas Cowboys game. Or, stay and watch on one of the numerous TVs surrounding the 360-degree bar. The space is bright and vibrant with floor-to-ceiling windows, and there’s a spacious outdoor patio for warmer winter days. Cocktails are many, but try the classic margarita, a sneakily potent favorite with regulars.