Is it just me or is business parlance becoming hip? North Texas already has more than a few bars with names like The Office or Throckmorton Mining Company, and now Fort Worth is adding to the trend. Shipping and Receiving Bar, located on the fringes of the Near Southside district (between South Calhoun Street and East Broadway Avenue), is a stylish new bar that mixes a potent cocktail of regular live music shows and great craft beers.
By the time I finally visited S&R last year, several friends had already talked my ears off about the place. The first thing that caught my attention was their mention of a full-sized outdoor stage. This sounded like a place that took its live music seriously. S&R is surprisingly spacious with a single massive bar serving as the indoor centerpiece and three large leather couches sprawled out around it. Around the side of the bar there’s a pool table and shuffleboard for late night group fun. Custom molded wood cabinets and oversized renaissance oil paintings (on bare concrete walls) gives this place a quirky upscale feel, all without seeming uppity.
The roster of bands regularly performing here is impressive, ranging from local singer-songwriters like Jacob Wayne Floyd to straight-ahead jazz groups Tom Reynolds Quartet and Flipside. Speaking of Jazz, S&R features a jazz group every Thursday as part of its Jazz Thursdays program. Having been to one of these events, I can say it’s refreshing to experience the technical virtuosity of these musicians in all of its unfettered amplified glory rather than just as background filler in a restaurant.
One concert you shouldn’t miss features Whiskey Folk Ramblers, The Rye Boys, and The Hanna Barbarians April 18 at 8pm. Whiskey Folk Ramblers employ a hybrid mix of reverb-drenched guitar solos, down-on-your-luck lyrics, folksy train beats, and lively guitar pickings to create a sound that is both progressive and timeless. The Rye Boys masterfully blend carefully layered vocals, alternating acoustic and electric guitar strummings, and boot stomping beats. Nothing personal, but if you haven’t heard of The Hanna Barbarians then you probably need to spend more time out in Fort Worth’s local music scene. This psychedelic rock group is one of the most active (and popular) bands in town, and for good reason. Tickets are $2 at the door. That’s as good as free in my book.
When you finally give into your friend’s pleadings to check out S&R, and you will, leave the business attire at home. S&R is corporate in name only.