Where to drink
Spring is a season for new life — and another round of newly budded bars. This month the lineup gets creative with fun themes, big footprints, and a couple of hidden agendas. (One brings new meaning to knocking out a load of laundry.) Here are Fort Worth’s newest watering holes, all worth a stop and a sip (or two) in April and beyond.
A new laundromat has opened on Foch Street, but before you separate your lights and darks and load up your basket, a closer look is in order. Dirty Laundry, with its Dirty Dancing movie-inspired logo, is actually Fort Worth’s newest speakeasy bar. Hidden behind those fake commercial grade front-load washer and dryers is a dimly lit, full-service cocktail bar. It’s easy to be fooled here. The exterior has “Wash” and “Dry” signage on the windows, and the small entry area boasts only a black-and-white checkered floor and what appear to be eight or so functioning washers and dryers. But behind the washing machine facades are actually monitors playing images of spinning clothes on repeat. (Even “swish-swoosh” washing audio plays on speakers in the background.) These folks are tricky, and seasoned. Dirty Laundry comes from the same group who operates Bodega, another nearby speakeasy that hides behind a convenience store. Find the washer that has a handle to enter the lounge, where cocktails on the Laundry List drink menu range from the Absolut-ly Filthy Martini to the Mai Tai’d. Don’t expect to get any chores done.
Bars were some of the hardest-hit businesses of the pandemic shutdown in 2020, and Shipping & Receiving was one that never bounced back. Now the space has received new life thanks to Distribution Bar, which opened in February. The watering hole and live music venue comes from part of the Trident Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Wishbone & Flint and Parker County Ice House. While the bar is touted as a laid-back place to watch a game, play pool, or listen to open mic night, the lineup of spirits is impressive. For example, there are more than two dozen nice tequilas and mezcals alone — a rarity in a typical “bar-bar” that’s not slated as a “cocktail lounge.” Visit seven days a week until 2 am, but eat before you go — there’s no food here.
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Bourbon Street Bar & Grill is brand new in Bedford and does have a location in The Colony, but there was also a short-lived outlet in the cursed (and now vacant) corner of Montgomery Plaza, where nine restaurants came and went in about a decade. That location was from a different ownership group and closed in 2019, and nothing’s been in the space since. The new Bedford rendition opened just in time for Mardi Gras weekend and serves a lengthy food menu along with beer and cocktails, including the expected New Orleans-inspired hurricanes and the not-so-expected oyster shooters with vodka. Also expect plenty of Crescent City kitsch inside, like beads and fleur de lis decor. Located right off Airport Freeway, the flashy, standalone building is hard to miss.
Pinky's Champagne Room & Velvet Jazz Lounge
Pinkies up! A new Fort Worth champagne bar deserves a toast. Pinky’s Champagne Room & Velvet Jazz Lounge opened late last month on S. Jennings Avenue in the Near Southside, touting itself as “a place for cool cats to break it down, imbibe, and enjoy local jazz.” Patrons will find bubbles of all sorts, from champagne and other sparkling wines to bubbly concoctions, like Aperol spritz topped with prosecco. (A full bar is also available.) Pinkies has no cover charge, meaning jazz lovers can pop in and pop a cork anytime, Wednesday through Saturday, and enjoy live music. Get dressed up and grab a cozy booth by the green velvet drapes. This one’s great for a date night or a girls’ night.
Central Office Bar & Kitchen
Here’s a reason to head to the “office.” Central Office Bar & Kitchen opened last month in Bedford on Central Drive, where the only agenda item is to kick back with a cold one. The new bar is a spinoff of Euless’ Office on Trinity. The Bedford outlet also shares a sports bar theme with multiple screens including a 120-incher for broadcasting games. The interior is simple: there’s a long bar with barstools, a handful of high-top tables, and a few games including pool, darts, Lane Master bowling, and karaoke on Saturday nights. Monday night means trivia, and the April 18 edition will be sponsored by Troy Aikman’s trendy new Eight Elite Light Lager. Patrons can get grub here, too. A menu of traditional bar food includes wings, burgers, sandwiches, jalapeno poppers, fried okra and even mac and cheese wedges.
Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden
The West 7th bar scene just leveled up with last month’s opening of Bottled Blonde, the popular bar and restaurant chain that has locations in Miami, Scottsdale, Houston, and Dallas. (Locations in Las Vegas and Nashville are on the way, too.) While “pizzeria” is in the title, the concept is more known for its buxom bartenders and bottle-service babes, the latter who are hoisted above crowds to sell liquor while dressed in lingerie. There is indeed a pizza menu along with a lineup of apps, salads, sandwiches, and brunch featuring Butterfinger French toast. The indoor-outdoor venue runs nearly a block down Morton Street from Foch Street almost down to Currie Street. Being over-the-top is Bottled Blonde’s superpower, from the sprawling patio and large format cocktails intended for sharing (like the Ranch Water Tower) to the amount of skin exposed on a single Saturday night.