Where to drink
Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best bar patios to hit in May
Patios are a hot topic in town, especially this month, when the weather (mostly) cooperates to create a comfortable outdoor experience. But sometimes our patio desires don’t involve a desire to order a meal. A drink or two on a sunny day or breezy evening, perhaps with some live music and yard games nearby, is all that’s needed. Here are five of Fort Worth’s best bar patios (a mix of new entries and old favorites) to check out before the scorching summer arrives in June.
Rusty Nickel IceHouse
Newly opened in the former Smokestack 1948 property at West Berry Street and 8th Avenue, this neighborhood hangout is already drawing crowds for its spacious outdoor area that’s anchored by a stage for live music. Picnic table seating, fire pits, string lights, and shady oak trees add to the relaxed vibe, which is almost reminiscent of a scene in Luckenbach. There’s a grassy lawn for yard games as well as crushed granite grounds. Open-air structures made from corrugated metal add to the “rusty” but comfortable atmosphere. Food trucks visit regularly, featuring everything from Asian wings to crawfish boil. While it’s easy to wash down a few cold domestic beers here, don’t miss the craft cocktails and locally roasted coffee beverages – the latter available spiked if desired.
Kung Fu Saloon
This West 7th district patio is full of potential shenanigans. Channel your inner child and bounce with a buddy on one of two giant see-saws. Play a game of ping-pong or cornhole. Or reserve your own private patio-side karaoke trailer to sing with a group of friends. Opened in 2018, Kung Fu Saloon is popular for its covered outdoor area made cozy with green turf, plenty of table seating, and its own dedicated full bar. There’s a food menu to satiate any hunger pangs, offering wings, tacos, handhelds, and apps. Don’t miss the sake bomb menu, which gets a little wild with crazy combinations like the Crain Kick. It features a shot of Gekkeikan sake dropped in a pint of Blue Moon topped with Stoli vanilla vodka. Brunch lovers will appreciate that mimosas are only $2 on Sunday from 11 am-2 am, when all arcade games inside are free to play, too.
There are two levels of patio paradise at this West 7th-area bar, where the upper and lower outdoor areas are connected via colorful, interior-lit, adults-only slide. Access the 21-and-up second floor patio through an illusive mirrored hallway. It’s here where folks can order bottle service and dance to DJ music before sliding down to the more laid-back, pet-friendly lower level. At the bottom, a vine covered ceiling, cedar wood swings, and lawn games contribute to the backyard garden feel. Pour Decisions opened in 2022 and is also popular for its wings in various levels of heat and its large format cocktails made for sharing. Try the massive Texas Mule or “Mega Mosa.”
Lola’s made a big move away from the West 7th area to a big space on West Berry Street last summer. The popular live music venue and bar took over the two-story structure that formerly housed Americado, a second rendition of The Moon Bar, and most recently, Berry Street Ice House. Lola’s is known for hosting lots of local and regional musical acts. With the new location came a newly built outdoor stage that’s conveniently covered and flanked by patio table seating – which may be cleared and transformed into a dance floor or “pit.” The string-lit grassy lawn hosts outdoor markets each month, including a farmers market on second Sundays and a “Rummage Sale” on third Sundays. Both are family-friendly, pet-friendly, feature live music, and are free to attend. Choose from a dozen beers on tap while there.
The Horny Toad
Here’s a hidden bar that nearby locals might want to keep secret. While The Horny Toad has been open since 2011, it flies under the radar of more well-known watering holes. That may change soon as it’s located in far West Fort Worth in what’s now dubbed as the burgeoning Westland development. Inside, patrons will find pool tables, drink specials, neon lights, and a good time. But the recently renovated outdoor patio has a vibe of its own with its crushed granite, metal beer signs, string lights, picnic tables, patio furniture, and makeshift stage under the trees for occasional live music. (It’s reminiscent of “The Fort” at Fred’s Texas Café’s first location on Currie Street.) The Horny Toad is known for weekend karaoke, palomas, and cheap, ice-cold schooners.