A fresh, exciting batch of bars has just arrived in Fort Worth. These new watering holes range from places to sing and play (as in playground equipment) to hidden lounges that take some work to find. Wine bars are making a comeback, too. Here’s where to sit and sip this month.
The Amber Room
Thus far, only those in the know have experienced this hidden speakeasy and cocktail lounge, which is tucked inside the new Wishbone & Flynt restaurant. Guests may enter one of two ways: through a large gold door — dotted with several door knobs and handles — hidden near the restaurant bar, or from Bryan Avenue via a door with no signage whatsoever. Once inside, guests will find exposed brick walls, retro lounge chairs, fine rugs, jewel-toned drapery, and a cocktail bar with plenty of drinks to peruse. Some highlights include the Scarlett Letter, made with mezcal, Aperol liqueur, green Chartreuse liqueur, and fresh lime juice; and the tropical Bermuda Triangle, made with gin or vodka, pineapple juice, Campari liqueur, and orgeat syrup. The Amber Room opens at 4 pm Monday through Saturday.
Ellerbe Fine Foods
The 10 year-old, nationally acclaimed destination for a sophisticated dose of Southern charm is certainly not new, but Ellerbe Fine Foods’ elegant new wine bar is just weeks old. Enter through the glass double doors onto the white and sage tiled floor and, just to the right, find a long bar made from repurposed wood, which sits in front of a breathtaking mural of white magnolia flowers. Brass shelving and upholstered seating add airy touches, and there’s an antique communal table bordered by cushy barstools that can seat 10. Visit for co-owner Richard King’s favorite sparkling rosé this spring, and order from a tapas-style bar menu from chef Molly McCook, who was just nominated for a prestigious James Beard award. The bar opens at 2 pm Tuesday through Friday and 3 pm Saturday.
Playground Neighborhood Bar
While the concept isn’t new, Playground is the latest to jump on the “play yard” theme with adult versions of childhood games like seesaw, swings, spring riders, giant Jenga, Connect 4, and even hop scotch. “Neighborhood” is in the bar’s name, but Playground is located in the very bar-centric West 7th district. (In fact, it's owned by the company behind neighboring bars The Yard W7th, Landmark Bar, and Texas Republic.) Find all the favorite college bar amenities here: a jumbo screen, large format drinks that require at least three people to order, and plenty of White Claw. (There’s even a White Claw game that lets users grab their own with a mechanical claw.) Cocktails with a retro twist include the Sunny Delight made with orange vodka, Capri Sun made with strawberry vodka, and Yoo-Hoo made with Patron XO Café and vanilla vodka. The bar is open daily until 2 am.
Rancho Loma Vineyards
Here’s another hidden bar located along South Main Street that, like The Amber Room, takes a little effort to find. Head down the alleyway next to The 4 Eleven event venue and find Fort Worth’s newest wine bar — Rancho Loma Vineyards. The tasting room, which boasts a spacious courtyard patio, comes from West Texas — Coleman, to be specific. Wines are made from the vineyards of the Texas panhandle — think Tempranillo and Viognier. The patio welcomes with an outdoor bar, teak furniture, and cushy lounge seating. Inside, find contemporary décor, large windows, a marble bar, and bit of cowhide. Rancho Loma is open every day but Monday. It opens at 2 pm Tuesday through Friday, 11 am Saturday, and 12 pm Sunday.
Brand new in The Foundry District, catty-corner to the wine bar 38 & Vine, Tulane’s aims to bring a taste of New Orleans’ French Quarter bar scene to Fort Worth. While the interior is dark and mostly sparse, Big Easy vibes can be found in the chandelier lighting, background jazz music, and most notably, the cocktails. Find well-concocted libations, including the gin and bubbly-spiked French 75, classic Sazerac, freshly-shaken rum punch, and a blood orange juice hurricane. They also sell pizza by the slice, which doesn’t really fit the Crescent City theme but is served until 2 am daily to satisfy late-night hunger pangs. Tulane’s opens every day at 3 pm.
Harken your inner Freddy Mercury, Adele, or Post Malone at this brand new Crockett Row karaoke lounge. This is the first Texas location for the Portland-based entertainment venue, which offers eight private karaoke suites for guests to stay comfy with friends (tended to by wait staff), and an open lounge area. Need some liquid courage? Try one of several sake-spiked cocktails to wet your whistle, or a sake Jell-O shot. Then peruse through more than 71,000 songs and take the stage.