From Ribbit to Woof

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Posted June 21, 2006 by Last Call in Clubs

There’s no telling precisely why Froggy’s Beach Club on White Settlement Road never took off. Owner Mark Walden’s spacious slice of seaside nightlife looked like a lot of fun. The sand volleyball court, the breezy patio, the cool and dark interior – I mean, for anyone who’s ever been on spring break (and remembers it), what was not to like?

Apparently, something. When Walden opened the place a couple of years ago, his ideal customer was an upper-middle-class gal or guy from nearby Rivercrest or Crestwood. When Muffy and Biff didn’t show up, Walden got a little nervous and started delving into gimmickry – bikini contests, karaoke, spaghetti wrestling, you name it. The response was hit or miss, but even when the cash register was ringing, Walden wasn’t exactly ecstatic. Nothing against young party-people, but there may be no easier way to keep out the mature crowd you want than by throwing down the spaghetti-stained welcome mat to rowdy ruffians. “The image that Froggy’s had is that it was just a college bar,” he said. “A lot of locals didn’t come by because they thought it was just that.”

Walden, who also owns Burleson’s Penalty Box sports bar, isn’t giving up on the place, though. Three weeks ago, “human error” forced him to surrender his alcohol sales permit and begin serving drafts and well-drinks for free. About $15,000 in sales: down the drain. Now that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has given him the green light to re-open, he’s said goodbye to Froggy’s Beach Club – and pretty much everything the name has come to represent – and hello to Big Dawgs.

Walden hopes the new name will help him attract the kinds of people currently crowding into joints like Jack’s Off the Wall, Michael’s Ancho Chile Bar, and other respectable but fun hang-outs.

The full transformation from Froggy’s to Big Dawgs isn’t necessarily going to be speedy. Walden said he’s already spent nearly $8,000 on paperwork – for the name change alone. Once he’s better able to usher in the physical transformation, expect some changes inside and out.

We just hope he keeps the volleyball court.

‘Tending Comp

A lot goes into a great bartender. Speed, knowledge, courtesy, accuracy, good looks – they all totally count. But if you’re anything like Last Call (in other words, if you’re in a spring break state of mind every day), you know that great bartenders are so much more than mere embodiments of assorted technical skills. The great ones also have attributes that are impossible to measure in any empirical way. Yet the phenomenon of bartending competitions goes on. This week, the region’s two Baker St. Pub & Grill locations are hosting the Quest for the Best Bartender, Monday at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd. and Tuesday in Arlington at 254 Lincoln Square (also called Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub & Grill). Contestants will be judged for “flair” (which I guess is the technical term for being able to flip and catch bottles) and, yes, speed. The booze starts to flow on both nights at 8 p.m. Winners will advance to Sherlock’s finals a few weeks from now. For more info, call the Camp Bowie location at 817-377-9772 or Sherlock’s at 817-226-2300.

Contact Last Call at lastcall@fwweekly.com.

Big Dawgs
4400 White Settlement
Rd, FW. 817-737-8550.

Baker St. Pub
& Grill
6333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW.
817-377-9772.

Sherlock’s Baker
St. Pub & Grill
254 Lincoln Sq, Arlington.
817-226-2300.


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