Where to Drink
Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best bars for brunch cocktails
As the old saying goes, “You can’t drink all day, unless you start in the morning.” Plus, getting out of bed is easier when there’s a Bloody Mary waiting. But brunch drinks have evolved beyond the basic mimosa. Today, bars and restaurants are getting glitzy with brunch cocktails, offering fresh fruit and coffee infusions, high-end spirits, drink flights, and even magnum bottles of bubbly for a crowd. Up your brunch game by sipping at these five Fort Worth hot spots for day drinking.
This coffee shop by day moonlights as cocktail lounge by night, combining the best of both beverages into one sleek space. The alcohol starts slinging here at noon daily. Brunch-inspired sips include the 7th Street Sunrise, a strawberry and peach smoothie spiked with vodka; and something called The Weekend, stirred with Patron coffee liqueur, Patron Citronge Orange, and cold brew coffee. The list doesn’t end there; tea lovers might like the spiced rum-spiked Live Fast, Chai Young, and the refreshing Texas Rose Water made with silver tequila and Topo Chico. There’s a quaint coffee house vibe upon arrival, but Ampersand’s alter-ego hip bar area is located behind what looks like wall, in sneaky, speakeasy fashion.
With its new South Main Street location comes a newly launched brunch menu, and the “Lady” is expanding Fort Worth’s mimosa scene. Find mimosas in carafes or by the glass in watermelon-basil, lemonade and lavender, mango nectar with lime and morita peppers, and OJ with rosemary. Micheladas here are made with local brews from Martin House, Rahr & Sons, and Wild Acre Brewing; and the current seasonal offering features Martin House’s Salsa Verde ale infused with Hatch chiles. Other players on the brunch cocktail list range from a mezcal-based grapefruit juice concoction with mineral water and lime to a breakfast shot of whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice, and bacon. Newbies to the reincarnated Bearded Lady will find double the seating capacity of the original, a bigger patio, bigger bar, and more lounge areas to sit and sip brunch drinks on Saturday and Sunday.
The Shops at Clearfork bar and restaurant just launched an expanded new brunch menu, and that includes brunch cocktails. Sip what tastes like pancakes in a glass with the Flapjack Old Fashioned. The potent pour of rye whiskey is stirred with butterscotch schnapps and orange bitters, and then garnished with candied maple syrup and bacon. The new Beermosa combines not only beer and OJ, but Tanqueray gin. Bloody Mary fans can get full on the Hot Blooded, which comes crowned with fried onion rings, candied bacon, spicy pickles made in-house, pepperoni, pickled jalapeños, and a hard-boiled egg. Bring friends for a mimosa flight, or sip bubbly by the magnum bottle. The 6,000-square-foot space with nearly two dozen TVs, big booth seating, and a copper-clad bar offers a cozy option for Saturday and Sunday brunching and game-watching, too.
Funky Picnic Brewery & Café
The Near Southside brewery-café just launched Sunday brunch service, which means beer-based brunch cocktails are now on the drink list. Find two options for micheladas, one spicy and one mango-infused, and both made with the brewery’s Mexican lager, La Raza. The beermosa combines orange juice with You Wanted a Wit — the brewery’s Belgian-style witbier brewed with coriander and sweet orange peel. With bar seating, tables, and a couch nook, the space seats just more than 120 people. There's not a patio, but there are barstools that sit against garage windows along the outdoor sidewalk, providing a sunshiny space for brunch sips.
Just like in New Orleans, the cocktail mecca for which the bar is inspired, day drinking starts early here. This Fort Worth spinoff of the Deep Ellum original (crowned Fort Worth Bar of the Year at the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards) opens at noon Saturday and 11 am on Sunday, just in time for brunch imbibing. Go for frozen Irish coffee, the traditional New Orleans Pimm’s Cup, a nice Black and Stormy with rum and ginger beer, or the refreshing lime blossom with tequila. With its expansive patio outside and leather seating amid dim lighting inside, it’s easy to get comfy here and stay awhile.