Are we about to see a local craft cocktail movement like we've seen with beer? That day may still be on the horizon, but Fort Worth just gained a retro-chic cocktail lounge that is as innovative with its recipes as it is with decor.
The bar's location on Houston Street was once home to a bookstore called Thompson's Bookstore and the layout indoors plays off that largely forgotten bit of history. The main entryway is simple and elegant with creamy white wood paneling trimmed with gold. The main lounge area consists of a long, dimly lit room with an extended bar along one side and couches, chairs, and low tables on the other. Everything about the space exudes a classy nostalgic feel, from the straight-ahead jazz lightly wafting through speakers to a quiet fireplace surrounded by bookshelves.
The current cocktail list has 11 original recipes with literary-inspired names like Killing Pablo (a margarita-inspired cocktail made with fresh lime, Maraschino liqueur and a homemade jalapeno syrup) and Grapes of Wrath (a whiskey-based concoction made with simple syrup, egg whites, Michelle Syrah wine and more that defies easy categorization). My choice during a recent visit was the Buffalo Soldier, a blend of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, maple syrup, and cherry bitters served with a single, large ice cube. The cocktail was a harmonious blend of maple-tinged bourbon and mild citrusy flavors.
If mixed drinks aren't your thing, Thompson's offers a small, but respectable selection of beers and a comprehensive list of wine. The cool-factor of this place went through the roof when we found out that a secret panel of the library led down a staircase to a separate bar below called the Rx. The space is covered with medicinal artwork that gives the space a 19th century doctor's office feel. Several tall private tables separated by curtains offer a great space to take a date and a full-service bar means you won't have to leave your spot.
Follow Thompson's Facebook page for updates on special events and new drink announcements. Friday and weekends you'll need to know a password (updated on Facebook and Twitter) to get in the Rx. Like the speakeasies of yesteryear, this eclectic cocktail lounge is full of secrets and surprises.