Fort Worth trades out one vintage dive bar for another with the arrival of The Bucket, a newly opened bar near the Benbrook traffic circle. It's located at 3512 Alta Mere Rd., the former home of Sam's Bulldog Saloon, which closed in February 2016.
The Bucket represents another venture from Robby Turman, who was down one bar after he closed the Mule Pub, his bar off Camp Bowie Boulevard, in July. The Mule has become Whiskey Business, a new spot from bar veterans Kevin Dunlap and Josh Campbell, two of the owners of the Rail Club.
The Bulldog was around for more than a decade, located in the same strip center as Salsa Fuego, which closed in October 2015. It was previously known as Sam's Bulldog Saloon, after original owner Edris "Sam" Cogburn. Fans called it a "diamond in the rough," touting its cleanliness, ample lighting, and friendly regulars — a good place to play some pool and chill. Fort Worth Weekly gave it a nod for best cheap buzz.
The Bucket is just as unpretentious, with an ad that touts amenities such as "indoor plumbing." There's Golden Tee, pool tables, and $2 longnecks all the time. A small menu of snacks includes nachos, wings, and French fries. They're already winning over locals with drink specials and occasional offers of fried catfish bites during the dinner hour, free while they last.
For Turman, it's an expansion of his footprint in that center, which is also home to the Dive Oyster Bar, a seafood spot two doors down that he opened in Salsa Fuego's former space. Turman also owns Oscar's Pub in Ridglea Hills.
Turman was on vacation, but a spokesperson at The Bucket said that they'd done a substantial renovation of the space. "There's no smoking, and we have great 60-inch TVs," she says. "It's a lot nicer."