Island in the Stream
I used to be a fan of pirates — at least until everyone ran pirates into the ground. I still harbor a love for ships, however, and that’s part of why I like the Poop Deck. The walls of the TCU-area haunt are adorned with nautical-themed decorations and images of tall ships, and the back-bar mirror is dominated by a ship’s wheel, which I think is pretty sharp. What can I say? I’m a sucker for details.
I’m also a sucker for good service and a hospitable vibe, and The Poop Deck delivers both in spades. Last Monday when I stopped by was no exception. Nobody gave me any guff, and after I had let my whiskey and water marinate a little, a nice woman introduced herself and asked me what I played.
I think she assumed I was there to jam, because every Monday at the Poop Deck is blues-jam night. I do play bass, but I was there only to hang out. The jams feature a rotating cast of dudes (and the occasional dame) picking and grimacing over tasteful solos and familiar grooves. Sure, there are some sour notes here and there but certainly no more than you’d hear at any given karaoke night – and since it’s an improv jam, you don’t have to wince at tuneless attempts at Nickelback. At least as far as I’ve noticed, anyway. Karaoke does make its appearance a few times a week at the Poop Deck, but I can’t fault any bar for having it — the hypnotic glow of the blue screen gets people in the door, and even the most long-suffering bartender can’t complain about that.
Indeed, I have been to the Poop Deck on a karaoke night, and it was actually enjoyable. More than a couple of ringers were there, which helped. The last occasion was on Halloween Eve. I might have been a little out of sorts (and by “might have been” I mean, “was totally“), which might not surprise regular readers of Last Call. But there was karaoke, and there were costumes, and the combination of the two was pretty surreal. For example, this one guy looked so much like Kenny Rogers that I thought he was in costume. If he had started singing “Lady,” I would have asked for his autograph, and that would have been awesome enough. But instead, he sang some song entirely in Japanese. When you’re hazy and a guy who might as well be Kenny Rogers sings in Japanese, it’s definitely an experience. I had to order another beer.
As soon as Kenny Rogers sat down, a character named “Confucius” got up. If you’re curious about what Confucius sings at karaoke, it’s Kenny Chesney. Interestingly enough, the ancient philosopher wasn’t half bad. Perhaps more interesting, though, is the idea of a white guy pretending to be a famous Asian participating in an activity that’s famously Asian, especially since the activity in question involves Asians pretending to be famous white guys (you know, through the magic of song).
So I like the Poop Deck a lot. Even when I think I have a gripe with the place, I really don’t. Last time I was there, I thought it was a little too bright. I mentioned this to Bree, the bartender, and she was as happy to dim the lights as she was to refill my drink. Like I said, I’m a sucker for the details, and the Poop Deck gets all of them right. — Steve Steward
3570 W Seminary Dr, FW
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