Where to drink
Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 6 best new bars for February
Another round of new bars opened in recent weeks, and each is unique in concept and location. Geographically, they span from Southlake to the Near Southside, from Keller to the Cultural District, and from Grapevine to the Stockyards. One is a purposely hidden speakeasy and another shares a name with a TV network. Each are worth a visit this month for experiencing something new and sipping something tasty, too. Here are the six best new bars to check out this month.
Cowboy Channel Bar
Fun fact: The Cowboy Channel network headquarters is located in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The channel is the official network for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Just steps away on East Exchange Avenue is the brand new Cowboy Channel Bar, just opened in December and touted as the first and only sports bar dedicated solely to Western sports. From roping and reining to barrel racing and bull riding, there’s always some sort of rodeo action broadcasting from multiple TVs. (Be prepared to stand and take off your hat when the National Anthem comes on — you can hear a pin drop in the bar when it does.) Patrons can belly up to the long wooden bar or sit at one of the copper-topped cocktail tables, which offer luxurious leather and cowhide seating from Runyon’s Fine Furniture in Roanoke. Word is there’s a secret bar located underground that opens on the weekends. Order a longneck bottle or a shot of whiskey, or both.
West Jax Cigars & Spirits
The Near Southside just got swanky with the opening of this premium cigar bar and cocktail lounge. Named for the owners’ hometowns — West Texas and Jackson, Mississippi — West Jax features a narrow but comfortable arrangement of plush furniture to sit back and smoke, as well as a lengthy spirits list for pairing. Start with one of the bar’s suggested “signature pairings,” like the Scotland Sun that comes with a Cohiba Nicaragua cigar and Macallan 18-year scotch. Smokers and non-smokers alike can partake in the cocktail menu, which includes the West TX Ranch Water made with sotol instead of tequila (the spirit comes from a shrub similar to agave), and the Classic Martini shaken with vodka and vermouth and garnished with olives.
Opened in December, this strictly 21-and-up bar and eatery originates from Austin’s hard-partying Sixth Street. The Fort Worth version landed on Foch Street, where Punch Bowl Social briefly sat and before that, the beloved Times Ten Cellars. While Dogwood has Texas roots, there’s a Southern vibe throughout — from the magnolia flowers painted on the exterior to the chicken and waffle sliders on the menu. The name Dogwood itself comes from the owners’ grandmother’s favorite tree. The bar has two locations in Austin, one in Houston, and one in Nashville. Tenured Texas country fan favorite Roger Creager performed for Dogwood’s grand opening event late last month, so big name shows are potentials here. Order anything with Dripping Springs-based Deep Eddy Vodka, especially the Sweet Tea version, which is served ice cold on tap.
Cowtown Brewing Company Southlake Tap Room
A second location of the popular downtown Fort Worth brewery opened near Southlake Town Square in December. With it came 24 taps of Cowtown Brewing Company craft beers along with wine and a few ciders. There’s a food menu, too, featuring barbecue smoked on-site at the brewery’s original location. Locals are already loving their new watering hole, as the cozy taproom stays busy for trivia nights, game-watching, and weekend imbibing. Don’t miss Cold Fort Worth Beer, a lager named for George Strait’s famous song lyrics and a medal winner in the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship, which takes place annually in Ohio.
Walk through the lobby hallway of Grapevine’s artsy Hotel Vin and find the telephone booth. Once inside, pick up the antique phone and listen for instructions to come from the “man with no name” — a.k.a. Clint Eastwood. There’s a painting of the Hollywood legend hanging above the phone, and his voice will provide directions on how to obtain a secret code to access a secret door. Use the keypad to do so and enter Magnum, a hidden, dimly-lit speakeasy with just enough room for about 18 lucky guests. The vibe is Art Deco, with dark print wallpaper, low seating, and crystal chandeliers. In the corner, a well-dressed mixologist is ready to craft libations using house-made ingredients and fine spirits. Note the cocktails are on the pricier side, ranging from $16 to $45, but consider them part-drink, part-entertainment because their execution is just as intriguing as the final product. Try the Gold Fashioned, make with Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon, cocoa bitters and actual gold.
Shotzee’s Bar & Grill
There are more than 50 shot varieties at this new Keller bar and eatery, as to be expected with a name like Shotzee’s. Knock back fun selections like the Mexican Candy, made with tequila, watermelon Schnapps, and Tabasco sauce; and the Peanut Butter Cup, made with Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Kahlua, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Shots run from a very reasonable $4.25 to $7 each, so be careful — they’re as easy on the wallet as they are going down the hatch. Opened in January on South Main Street, Shotzee’s has been busy with neighborhood crowds that come for libations, weekend live music, sports on multiple screens, and a menu of Hereford beef burgers, tacos, hot dogs, wings, and green chile queso topped with brisket. There are also more than a dozen beers on tap, including several from local breweries (think Grapevine’s Hop & Sting and Fort Worth’s Fort Brewery), and a long cocktail menu.