Where to drink
Three weeks into the season and college football is on fire, thanks in part to an interesting shift in hierarchy: Alabama is taking a tumble down the polls, Texas is making a statement, and – love him or loathe him – viewers just can’t get enough of Colorado’s “Coach Prime” and his gleaming Blenders sunglasses.
At home, the 2023 College Football Playoff runner-up TCU Horned Frogs are still trying to save face after an embarrassing National Championship appearance back in January. The saga continues every Saturday at a sports bar near you. Here are nine of the best to visit in Fort Worth right now - a mix of old favorites and a few new surprises.
Texas Ice House
Those looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination to catch afternoon and night games will find it at this brand new hidden North Side sports bar. Texas Ice House opened in July at 2350 Decatur Ave., just a hop away from the Fort Worth Stockyards, in a quiet industrial district. The indoor-outdoor bar now opens earlier weekends, at 2 pm, offering a covered patio with multiple 65-inch flatscreens and a cozy interior bar with more TVs inside. Specials during college football games include $6 margaritas and $18 mix-and-match beer buckets. There's also stage for live music outside, where dancing often takes place after dark.
Open 10 years now on West Magnolia Avenue, Upper 90 still flies under the radar as a sports bar destination. After all, the eclectic Near Southside is not exactly known for its sports bar scene. Dark and divey, the bar is named for a soccer term that refers to the top corner of the goal. While big soccer matches will likely take precedence over college football on any given Saturday, Upper 90 is still a great, low-key spot for catching a key matchup. There’s not a lot of flash, but there are plenty of screens, and the full bar stays stocked with spirits and cold beer. Bonus: Customers can order food from Taqueria San Andres just next door.
The Rabbit Hole Pub
Vibes are always friendly at this White Settlement Road watering hole, where on Saturday, college football will always take precedence on the big screens. Glass garage doors slide open to a string-lit covered patio area, and there’s plenty of table seating both inside and out. The Saturday specials run deep: $4 mimosas and $5 bloody Marys until 3 pm, and beer buckets range from $16-$22 all day. But don’t miss the Rodeo ‘Rita, made with whiskey in lieu of tequila.
Watch parties go to new heights at this rooftop sports bar that offers sips and skyline views. Located on the rooftop of the Hyatt Place TCU, this open-air hotel sports bar is home to the Horned Frog’s “most elevated” tailgate scene. There’s 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. Don’t miss the Topgolf Swing Suite while waiting for kick-off.
The original Buffalo Bros. on South University Drive has drawn TCU Horned Frog fans for game-day gatherings since 2007. But when a flashy new location opened in Sundance Square in 2019, the watch party bar was raised. Here there are more than 90 TVs to catch all the college football action. A 360-degree bar boasts more TVs both outside and inside the perimeter. Even more, there’s a side room with stadium seating and five more screens. Wings, pizza, and subs come out quickly, as does cold beer by the pint, schooner, or pitcher.
Far from a sports bar, this West Magnolia Avenue coffee, dining, and drinking destination has long been known for its warm and cozy atmosphere, craft coffee, frilly cocktails, and elevated comfort food. But hold the phone: Brewed has gone purple with an over-the-top, football-themed pop-up not to be missed. Perfect for a pre-game pit-stop, the space currently features festive decor photo-ops galore, from purple pillows and balloon displays to hanging lights, floral, tinsel, neon signs, and even purple umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. While there’s just one TV for which to catch the actual game, the atmosphere will transport Frog fans to the heart of the action. Order a “Fight ‘Em On The Ice Mimosa” by the glass or carafe to share.
It’s always a party at this West 7th District bar, nightclub, and Mexican restaurant, where three 100-inch LED walls and seven 55-inch TVs ensure that no play is missed. Fans can enjoy half-price a la carte tacos and BOGO on select longneck bottles during games, and up to two hours after the final score. Other game-time specials include a massive molcajete bowl filled with grilled skirt steak, chicken, and shrimp accompanied by guac, elote, quesadillas, tortillas, and salsa - for $29. If your team wins, celebrate by staying late for DJ music and dancing.
Clearfork’s premiere destination for game-watching is City Works thanks to a dozen extra large HDTVs and more than 9,000 square feet of space to spread out. Add 90 beers and eight wines on tap plus a long list of shareable gourmet bar bites, and you’ve struck game-day gold. There’s also an array of sangrias, margaritas, mules, and old fashioneds. Booth and high-top seating along with extra high ceilings add to the spacious, sit-and-stay-awhile feel. Expect big crowds on Saturdays, especially during TCU away games.
For a Texas-sized watch party, there’s no place bigger than Texas Live! in Arlington. With a scene that rivals that of an actual stadium, the multi-venue entertainment complex is anchored by the Shift4 Arena. Here there’s more than 35,000 square feet of bar top, multilevel seating, screens, and a 100-foot LED HD TV at the center of it all. A full menu of apps, burgers, and wings is available, and reservations are always recommended to guarantee seating.