Where to drink
It’s hard not to have fun on a rooftop, especially when cocktails are involved. Look up and feel free as a bird. Look out and witness breathtaking cityscape views. Look down and feel sorry for those stuck at ground level. Here are eight of Fort Worth’s best rooftop bars — a mix of new hot spots and old favorites — to enjoy a drink in the breeze while surveying the horizon.
Located atop the new six-story Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU at 2512 W. Berry St., right on the Texas Christian University campus, Lot 12 is the Horned Frog fan’s hottest new hangout. The indoor-outdoor rooftop terrace bar provides a birds’ eye view of the university grounds, nearby neighborhoods and downtown in the distance. Twinkling string lights, neatly potted greenery, and lots of clean lines from contemporary tables and benches don’t distract from the expansive views. Inside, the Horned Frog love is heavy with memorabilia and an array of black and white snapshots from TCU sporting events. Two TopGolf Swing Suites are available for reservations. Try the Frog 75, a purple gin-infused take on the classic French 75 topped with sparkling wine and garnished with a lavender flower. Lot 12 opens Tuesday through Thursday at 5 pm, and Friday through Sunday at 11 am.
The rooftop bar atop the 17-story Sinclair Fort Worth hotel (512 Main St.) is special perk available only to hotel guests on Friday and Saturday nights — but just for a few more weeks. The hotel says the sky-high bar will open to the public by the end of May or early June. That means anyone will be able to grab a seat at a teakwood table or the sleek white bar for a cocktail this summer. There are uncovered seating areas as well as a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure that provides views of the clouds. The full bar, which also serves a bar bites menu, opens at 5 pm Friday and Saturday.
By the way, don't confuse the Sinclair with the Kimpton Harper Hotel, opening June 2 at 714 Main St. with a 24th-floor whiskey bar and cocktail lounge called Refinery714.
Free Play Fort Worth
While downstairs is a gamer’s paradise with more than 100 vintage arcade games, the open-air, uncovered rooftop deck draws patrons for its quiet treetop views and more than 3,000 square feet to spread out. Folks might remember the space when it was once home to the Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge. Free Play (1311 Lipscomb St.) took over the location in November 2019. Arcade play is unlimited although not quite “free” as there’s an $11 admission fee for access. But there’s no admission for the rooftop or ground-level patios. Try one of the more than 120 beers available, including about two dozen on tap. There’s also a full bar and a food menu of appetizers, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Free Play is open Monday through Friday at 3 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 11 am.
This one feels like someone’s welcoming patio atop a cozy downtown loft. Located at 113 S. Main St. in the busy South Main Street area of Near Southside, Tinie’s second-story deck features wooden tables, a mix of wood and iron fencing, potted plants, and outdoor rugs all crowned with rows of string lights. The bar, called Escondite ("the hideaway"), is an homage to dark mezcal halls such as Palenquito in Mexico City and Fort Worth favorite, JJ's Hideaway. Patrons can sit and sip tequila awhile, whether in a margarita (try the Casita Margarita made with citrus simple syrup) or straight up. Tinie’s is open Tuesday through Thursday at 5 pm, Friday and Saturday at 4 pm, and Sunday at 11 am.
Perhaps the most beloved rooftop bar in Fort Worth is that of Reata (310 Houston St.), Sundance Square’s crown jewel of cowboy cuisine. There are two levels here, and both overlook the bright lights of downtown. Vines and greenery (and even a bucking cowboy topiary) surround the spacious patios, where the outdoor main bar sits adjacent to the famed rooftop dining dome. Parking has been confusing lately as Sundance Square management abruptly halted valet service back in February. But valet is back with updated pricing of $7 every 30 minutes with a max of $21. (Note that Sundance Square parking garages are free evenings and weekends.) Try the longtime fan-favorite Cowboy Cosmo, made with Dripping Springs vodka, Cointreau, lime and cranberry juices. The rooftop opens at 4 pm daily, but call ahead to make sure it’s not booked for a private event.
Branch & Bird
While not quite on the roof of the 25-story Frost Tower in downtown Fort Worth, Branch & Bird (640 Taylor St.) sits atop the still very high 12th floor terrace. Horizon views and an expansive covered patio combine for an intimate date-night setting. Minimal décor lets the skyline serve as scenery. While the actual bar is inside, there’s table service outside. Go for live music on Wednesday (when there’s half-price bottles of wine) or Saturday nights, and toast the sunset with a glass of wine or a cocktail like the Social Dove, made with strawberry and lime-infused tequila topped with Topo Chico.
Craft & Vine
Located in Old Town Roanoke (310 S. Oak St.), this third-floor rooftop patio is popular for its westward sunset views along the open horizon — there are not many high-rises out here to get in the way. The bar and restaurant has more than 70 beers and wines on tap, along with a lengthy list of martinis and cocktails. (Note that on Wednesdays, all Deep Eddy Vodka martinis are only $5). Snag a couch on the covered patio, and save room for truffle fries, smoked brisket egg rolls, and tempura deviled eggs. Craft & Vine opens daily at 5 pm and for brunch on Sundays at 10 am.
The nearly 360-degree panorama view of the city’s center doesn’t get old at Tim Love’s Spanish-inspired rooftop tapas bar, which sits on the roof of the Springhill Suites Stockyards location at 2315 N. Main St. A go-to for pre- or post-dinner drinks, the indoor-outdoor space offers rustic luxe lounge seating, high-back barstools with views of the open kitchen, and cushy chairs outside along the perimeter. Try the signature Aigua de Valencia made with vodka, orange juice, and Cointreau and topped with bubbly cava, or the warm weather-friendly blood orange sangria on ice. Atico is open Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am.