October Skies

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Posted March 22, 2006 by Last Call in Clubs

Whoever said bar bosses don’t work hard should meet October Pennington. She spent years busting her butt at the Poop Deck Lounge, a salty Southside karaoke den; the whole time she pinched pennies and wooed investors in the hopes of someday launching her own joint. Then last weekend, the twentysomething entrepreneur realized her dream near the Cultural District, and on behalf of all of Clubland, Last Call would like to thank her dearly.

Stocked with top-shelf booze (no well brands), bartenders who know how to work a martini shaker, and lots of class, Ten is a sweet little departure from the rest of the ‘hood, which is awash (albeit happily) in denim and beer halls. The roomy 4,000-square-foot space includes a Rat Pack-ish cigar bar, and the menu of appetizers (cheese and crackers, steak skewers, other assorted finger foods) was surprisingly affordable. Nothing topped the $10 mark.

On the night I swung by, Pennington was true to form, working hard but doing it so darn gracefully. Going from table to table and chatting up customers, she literally glided across the floor, and the sparkle in her smile was, frankly, hypnotizing. I don’t know why, but for some reason I kept wanting to ask her for her autograph.

Even though Ten has a lot of potential, I’m not ready to put it atop my list of favorite hang-outs – yet. What’s holding the place back, in my humble opinion, is its approach to ambiance. I’m not talking specifically about the d├ęcor, which is standardissue cosmopolitan swank. I mean: Where are the curtains? The storefront faces out onto a godforsaken parking lot, not exactly the Manhattan skyline at twilight or the Rocky Mountains. Tint those windows, y’all, and hang some velvet drapes. Also, at the time of my visit, the overhead lights were on full blast, which more than a few times tricked me into wrongfully thinking that last call was right around the corner. Why no candles? Why no lava lamps? Why no … ambiance?

Minor quibbles, all. But let me tell you, folks, I’ve never believed in a Fort Worth lounge as wholeheartedly as I do Ten. You will not be disappointed.

The Swallows

Those Flying Saucer folks are a crafty bunch, I tell ya.

They all know that most of their clientele grew up in the ’70s as part of arguably the first generation to be fully and freely exploited by corporate America. Not only did we impressionable schmucks feel like losers for not seeing Star Wars seven times every weekend, but if we didn’t own the big Darth Vader action figure (not the little one), well, we might as well forget about showing up to school on Monday morning.

Those Flying Saucer folks know that years of programming are hard to rewire. Not too long ago at the Sundance Square draught emporium, all of us Gen-X’ers were having our nostalgia buttons pushed – and hard. In the middle of the bar were a bunch of Britons, yapping about and handing out snifters of a nutty, full-bodied brew by the name of Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale. Yes, that Monty Python, the ’70s-era British troupe whose surreal comedy sketches were beamed into our young brains five days a week back in the day.

Courtesy of Yorkshire’s Black Sheep Brewery, Holy Grail really hits the spot. If you can pull yourself away from playing naked superheroes, swing by the Saucer and sample some yourself.

Contact Last Call at lastcall@fwweekly.com.

Ten
835 Foch St, FW. 817-850-9900.

Flying Saucer
111 E 4th St, FW. 817-336-PINT


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