OK, here’s a question: Have you ever seen a ghost at a bar? Because I’ve drunk at lots of the allegedly haunted bars in town, and the scariest thing I’ve seen was two hardly attractive people getting waaaaay too friendly by the restrooms. Well, that and a couple of my bar tabs.
When I was in college, I was always hearing about a ghost at the old Oui Lounge who supposedly hung around the men’s room. Depending on who was telling the tale, the resident apparition either opened and shut the men’s room door for no reason or mysteriously made customers’ drinks disappear when they weren’t looking, two things that don’t seem to require a ghost to explain them. I certainly saw plenty of cocktails vanish before my very eyes at the old Oui, but there was always a perfectly reasonable explanation. If you’d like to hear it, my liver can fill you in.
Nowadays, the only things haunting the Oui Lounge are its original sign and some of the regulars who’ve kindly returned since it was bought and remodeled last year by Lonesome Dove’s Tim Love and a bunch of investors. You’d think the building would be home to the spirits of Kathy Graham and Trent Reid, two beloved bartenders who passed away in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Both of them poured drinks there for decades, and it stands to reason that their presences would linger posthumously. Maybe they don’t like the new, swanky digs, or maybe the men’s-room ghost doesn’t like roommates. Regardless, Kathy’s and Trent’s essences seem to have left the building.
One particularly notorious bar ghost seems to spend his time voodooing the tunes coming out of a juke. My girlfriend and I went to V.I.P. Lounge last week, home to a phantom that my gal didn’t know about, but the bartender, a welcoming lady named Becky, was happy to fill her in. “Oh, all kinds of weird things have happened,” Becky said. “Doors shut, there are strange noises, and we’ve seen lots of pictures that are full of orbs.”
The skeptic in me wanted to say that the orbs were probably flecks of dusts, but the two skeptics at the other end of the bar from us agreed with her. “I don’t really believe in that stuff,” said one of them, a middle-aged dude, “but there was this one time …”
His buddy finished for him. “There were only a few people in here, just sitting at the bar, listening to the jukebox. Some country song started up, but then it cut out all of the sudden, and we heard a voice that said, ‘No more country music!’ ”
Of course I laughed, but a chill ran up my spine all the same. These guys, while not exactly a Statler-Waldorf type of duo, seemed to be the kind of friends who wouldn’t hesitate to call bullshit on any sort of nonsense, supernatural or otherwise. Their gravitas lent Becky’s stories a lot of credence. Then she asked us if we wanted some tamales.
Combined with the bar’s congenial vibe, affordable prices, and the possibility of a spectral encounter, the homemade snacks made me want to hang around as long as possible. Since I still walk among the living, I’ll have to make “V.I.P.s” or “Vips,” as it’s commonly known, one of my regular haunts. –– Steve Steward
3237 White Settlement Rd, FW. 817-335-1647.
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