Frank Loesser’s tune "Baby, It’s Cold Outside" might ring true for only a couple weeks in Cowtown, but that’s just long enough to sip a drink at one of these cozy watering holes. Who said snowy weather is mandatory to warm up in a bar with a local beer or cider?
So, strip your mittens and scarves and toast to winter weather at these five drinkeries.
The Basement Bar
Just walking down into this (you guessed it) basement to have a drink feels so much cooler than your average street-level bar. Though this place is in the busy Stockyards, it feels like a well-kept secret for inexpensive drinks and local flavor. Bring out-of-towners and use the Basement Bar to begin or end your night. Come early for cheap drink specials or stay late when the dancing picks up. Be warned. this place can get rowdy on weekends when there’s a live DJ.
Nearby University of Texas at Arlington gives this bar a young crowd, but the house-style building with heavy wood accents makes the place feel worn in and inviting. Extensive happy hour specials make it easy to stay a while and drink on the cheap. Even if you’re not in the mood for a beer or Maple Bourbon cocktail (served with bacon, of course), you’ll find a decent selection of bar food and burgers. Check online for a calendar of poker games and trivia nights.
For a place with walls lined in taxidermied animals wearing Santa hats, the local beer and specialty coffee menu is as perfectly weird as you’d expect. This (relatively) new coffee shop and bar combo touts seasonal lattes, green juices, craft beers, and a decent happy hour starting at 9 pm. You can’t go wrong with any of Mudsmith’s grilled-cheese sandwiches. The side room has a strong library vibe, making it the perfect place for a long conversation.
T & P Tavern
Named after the Texas and Pacific Railroad that helped put Fort Worth on the map, this tavern still sits within the T & P Station. The cafe-bar hybrid has preserved a lot of historic relics from the 1930s and on. Even the names on the menu, such as Loose Caboose and Night Train, will make you feel nostalgic. An extensive craft beer list and daily drink and food specials make T & P good for a weekday happy hour or date night. No need to wait for bearable weather to play corn hole or darts outside — the dog-friendly patio is fully covered. Ask about the seasonal martinis. You won’t regret it.
Ye Olde Bull and Bush
With a name like Ye Olde Bull & Bush, you know this place must be authentic. The Arlington Heights pub prioritizes good beer, and craft beer drinkers won’t be disappointed with the on-tap and bottled selection. An easy atmosphere and no-frills drinks make this dive of British pub a solid option for a calm night. It checks all the boxes for a classic neighborhood drinking hole: a full bar, friendly staff, comfortable setting, darts and games, and a decent patio.