There are a million – and by “a million,” I mean, two billion – sports bars in the world, and probably half of them are in Texas. Easily a quarter are in the 817.
True, across the country they mostly look and feel the same. In any self-proclaimed sports joint from here to the wilds of Alaska, you’ll find neon beer signs, daily specials on domestics, and a gaggle of different-sized TVs tuned to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, heck, even Versus for Fight Night. (Anyone even watch boxing anymore?! The sweet science?! A shame.) There also is typically a jukebox filled with hard rock and country and an adequate-at-best though, um, physically gifted bartender, schlepping semi-cold domestic bottles across sticky bar tops and enduring hours upon hours of googly-eyes from the mostly male and thus always lecherous clientele. Not that there’s anything wrong with a great sports bar! It is what it is, y’know?
All my gal and I wanted on the way home from running errands a couple-a weeks ago was a cold beer or four. We were out on Camp Bowie West, and while there are a ton of bars visible from the street, none of them was really doing it for us. In trying not to get too lost on the backroads, we stumbled on a homey-looking bar on the back lot of Starlite Lounge (another cool hangout, BTW). The Home Plate Sports Bar is effectively unmarked and, inside, very unassuming. We pulled up a stool, and a young but super-tall guy in a baseball raglan practically sprinted over to take our order. Kevin not only took great care of us all night but also was just damn friendly. ‘Course it’s hard not to like a person handing you a seriously frozen mug o’ brew and only charging a dollar per, with a smile to boot.
Every one of the two dozen various- sized boob-tubes was tuned to the NBA playoffs, giving the place a nice, low-lit glow but boring TV. Oh, well. What I could see of the other amenities was stock: pool tables, a jukebox (which was pretty good, too), a few neon signs, and a smattering of obvious regulars. And even though he said he’d been working at the Home Plate for only about a month, Kevin knew just about everyone’s name. He also seemed personally vested in the place, talking excitedly about easy things to be done to make the place better. The whole experience was kind of pleasantly Cheers-y, even though no one knew our names.
The Home Plate used to be on Camp Bowie Boulevard by good ol’ Zeke’s Fish and Chips and moved several months ago after the rent was jacked up. Never matter, though. The Plate displays a rare combination of cleanliness, safety, comfort, and, most importantly, fun, probably not because of its location but its vibe – and my new favorite bartender in town.
– Joshua Loewen
Home Plate Sports Bar
3137 Alta Mere Dr, FW.