12 best Fort Worth bars to watch TCU Football in the National Championship
The biggest football game in Horned Frog history is happening Monday, January 9 as TCU takes on No. 1 Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship (6:30 pm local time). But if you’re not heading west to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the “Natty,” not to worry. There’ll be watch parties all over town as Fort Worth unites to cheer on the home team. Here are 12 of the best bars to do so. Wear your purple, and all glory to the Hypnotoad. (If you know, you know.)
The brewery and pizza joint is all in on the Hypnotoad hype – so much that it brews a beer named after the mesmerizing meme mascot of TCU that’s been credited for “hypnotizing” opponents all season. Hypnotoad Haze will be $4 a pint during the game, which will be broadcast on Fort Brewery’s 12-foot big screen. There’ll even be a free pizza buffet. The party starts at 4:30 pm.
Panther Island Brewing
Wear purple and get your first Tailgater blonde ale for free during “Purple Out” watch party at Panther Island Brewing. The North Fort Worth brewery will also draw raffle tickets for prizes after every quarter. Smokin’ Cactus food truck will be on-site serving tacos, nachos, bowls, and desserts. Doors open at 5 pm.
Perfect beer for the game.Courtesy photo
Longtime Horned Frogs know that the latest restaurant concept from chef Jon Bonnell isn’t the first “Jon’s Grille” to exist near the TCU campus. Jon Meyerson first opened his namesake burger joint in 1989 (in the current space of Dutch’s Hamburgers), where he fed students and fans for years before taking his life in 2001. Bonnell’s version – a tribute to Meyerson – sits on W. Berry St. and serves burgers along with barbecue, tacos, baked potatoes, and the Big Frog Dog. Visit during the National Championship for purple beers, purple shakes, and Hypnotoad Margaritas.
There are two locations of this popular spot for wings, pizza, and games – one right on the TCU campus and a newer, flashier outlet downtown in Sundance Square. The original on S. University Drive has long drawn Horned Frog fans for game-day gatherings. The Sundance Square location boasts a 360-degree bar with TVs inside and outside the perimeter. Speaking of TVs, there are more than 90 here, along with a private room with five screens and stadium seating. Snag a seat early as both venues will be packed.
Maple Branch Craft Brewery
The Foundry District brewery is normally closed on Mondays but will open for the National Championship game. Go for wood-fired pizzas and giant Bavarian pretzels and wash it all down with the brewery’s own Hypnotoad American lager. Doors open at 4 pm and the kitchen will be open until 10 pm.
Located on the rooftop of the Hyatt Place TCU, this open-air hotel sports bar is home to TCU’s “most elevated” tailgate scene. There’ll be a tailgate taco bar with $3 tacos, select $3 beers, and $4 Epic Western seltzers. There’s also an entire cocktail menu dedicated to TCU-themed drinks, including the purple-hued Frog 75 made with gin and sparkling wine, and the sangria-inspired Frog Fountain. Lot 12 will open at 4 pm.
Fred’s Texas Café
The game audio will be on loud at both locations of Fred’s Texas Café, where Fredburgers can be paired with Purple ‘Ritas during the game. While the spacious new Camp Bowie West location draws crowds for its bar and enclosed patio scene, don’t sleep on Fred’s Texas Western Center. Word is Frog fans came out in full force for the Fiesta Bowl at this popular North Fort Worth neighborhood hangout.
Love those Purple 'Ritas.Courtesy photo
The Rabbit Hole Pub
The popular college bar on White Settlement Road will run lots of watch party specials, including $2 domestic beers, $2.50 well drinks, and $5 Purple Toad shots just for fun. Also don’t miss Rahr & Sons berry flavored seltzer called Frog Water. There’ll also be a taco truck on site.
Open since 1981, The Pub is perhaps the longest-running campus-adjacent watering hole. It’s where most Horned Frogs wind up at least a time or two, especially on game days. The Pub has created a custom National Championship pint glass and look for other “Natty” swag including stickers and shirts leading up to the watch party there on Monday. You can also find Fort Brewery’s Hypnotoad Haze on tap, along with lots of TVs and feisty Frog fans.
Neutral Ground Brewing Co.
The Race Street brewery and tap room will open up on Monday night for a watch party. Visit for $5 full pours on all brews, including Neutral Ground’s surprisingly refreshing King Cake beer, a favorite during Mardi Gras season.
Downtown Cowtown at the Isis
The historic movie theater in the Fort Worth Stockyards will broadcast the game on the big screen with free admission. A little history: Opened in 1914, the Isis Theater was destroyed by a fire in 1935, rebuilt, then damaged again by a flood in 1942. It sat dormant, shuttered, and dilapidated for decades until it was finally purchased and restored to its original glory and reopened in 2021. With seats for 500, there’s room for lots of Horned Frog fans. The full bar will be open to serve cocktails and beer on tap.
Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena
While not exactly a bar, TCU will open its state-of-the-art basketball arena to the public for a free watch party. All concessions will be open (including beer sales) and there’ll be free rally towels. Note that only clear bags will be allowed into the arena, which has seating capacity for nearly 7,000. Doors open at 5:30 pm.