The 10 Best Bars to Drink With Musicians in Dallas-Fort Worth

Yes, that's Madison King, and yes, she'll be serving your drink. Now what are ya having?
Yes, that's Madison King, and yes, she'll be serving your drink. Now what are ya having?
Mike Brooks

Musicians are, by virtue of their profession, creatures of the night. Playing live music often means late gigs in bars, and musicians might even have jobs working the door or serving drinks at those same establishments. But where do North Texas musicians go to unwind and, most important, where can we go to hang out with these cool kids? These 10 bars are surefire places for each.

10. The Boiled Owl Tavern

Unless there’s some show going on elsewhere in which the bands share the same members, you can catch a good sample of Fort Worth’s musicians at The Boiled Owl. They'll be there, mid-hang-out, inhaling PBRs and nodding their heads to the Uncle Acid on the jukebox. The Dandy Warhol’s Zia McCabe (aka DJ Rescue) pops in to spin records once or twice a year, too. Then there’s the bar’s role in Leon Bridges' origin story: The Owl was where the then-girlfriend of White Denim’s Austin Jenkins noticed Bridges' pants, which led to the recording sessions at Jenkins' studio that launched Bridges' career. If you come to the Owl’s weekly karaoke night on Mondays, you might still catch Bridges jumping in on some soulful classics. Steve Steward

909 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, facebook.com/The-Boiled-Owl-Tavern

Cosmo's
Cosmo's
Dallas Observer

9. Cosmo's Bar and Lounge

When you're feeling too cool to go next door to the Lakewood Landing, or maybe just want to hide in the corner with some low-key mood lighting, then Cosmo's is the place to be. Funny enough, though, you're still likely to be surrounded by musicians, and they're probably there for the same reasons. With a wide selection of drinks and friendly bartenders, there's always reliably good conversation and a lax atmosphere. If you head out to the patio, you might see some more musicians unwinding around a bonfire — and they might even bum a smoke off of you. Caleb Wossen

1212 Skillman St., Dallas, cosmosbar.net

Free Man
Free Man
Dallas Observer

8. The Free Man

The Free Man is run by a musician, John Jay Myers, from the Freeloaders. If you want to smoke, drink and talk politics with resident guitarist and singer Stevie James, we wish you the best of luck. You may see Mike Mitchell, one of the best drummers on the planet, eating grilled catfish. It seems like Charlie Crockett is perpetually either walking in or out of the place, even if he's not playing. Leon Bridges has proclaimed his love for the place a couple times on social media. In fact, it would be really strange to go to the Free Man and not run into a musician who might be charitable enough to hang out with you. Jeremy Hallock

2626 Commerce St., Dallas, freemandallas.com

Paschall Bar
Paschall Bar
Dallas Observer

7. Paschall Bar

Although the unmarked door is hard to miss, Paschall is not a speakeasy, so don’t ask. Paschall Bar adorns the top of a formerly semi-iconic Denton music venue, Andy’s Bar. The folks behind the bar are none other than the five original members of Midlake, McKenzie Smith, Tim Smith, Eric Pulido, Eric Nichelson and Paul Alexander. Maybe the most aesthetically pleasing bar in town, Paschall is often filled with cheery folks on dates, craft cocktail lovers and musicians alike. Under the management of five of Denton’s more prominent musicians — two of whom also own music recording studios in town — Paschall also makes for a lovely watering hole when your well-known guests are visiting from out of town. Sara Button

122 N. Locust St., Denton, facebook.com/PaschallBar

The Chat Room
The Chat Room
Dallas Observer

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6. The Chat Room Pub

If Fort Worth’s band dudes and ladies aren’t gigging, and they’re not at the Boiled Owl (or the Grotto, for that matter), they’re probably at the self-proclaimed Eighth Best Bar in Fort Worth. The Chat Room Pub and the Owl exist on opposite ends of the Magnolia, and in a lot of ways, the two are yin-and-yang – the Chat is bright, the Owl is dark, but both are full of musicians sharing smokes and cadging drinks. But the Chat’s been there the longest, and you’re likely to see some of the most colorful characters in the annals of Fort Worth music history. And yes, Bridges hangs out there a lot, too. SS

1263 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, thechatroompub.com


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