In the hot spot of the West 7th corridor sits a mini-hot spot of sorts that we like to call Carroll Corner, a small cluster of bars at the corner of West 7th and Carroll streets that are all within empty beer bottle-tossing distance of one another. Though names and owners have changed hands over the years, the current lineup consists of The Shamrock Tavern and two bars sharing the same building, Poag Mahone’s and Wired Willy’s –– but if all goes as planned, Carroll Corner will expand by two over the next few months.
We were the first in town to tell you about the forthcoming Gold Standard, a bar-bar by Brad Hensarling (The Usual, The Chat Room Pub) and Jimmy Moore, who owned the previous business in the building, the 7th Haven. Now we’re breaking the news of Matt’s Pub, a new establishment in a previously unused (or underused) space between Poag Mahone’s and Wired Willy’s. Owner and namesake Matt McEntire, who also owns the building and the Sham building (and some convenient parking spots), expects the pub to open in the late fall. “It’s a big remodel effort,” he said.
At 1,200 square feet, Matt’s Pub will be the same size as the first bar that McEntire opened in Fort Worth, The Shamrock Pub, on Taylor Street, in 1990. Matt’s Pub “is just going to be a regular bar,” he said. “It’s going to be a quiet bar so people can come in watch a little TV. There won’t be any pool tables, no machines of any sort. Just a couple of TVs.”
McEntire will lease out the Sham to the family team of Jim, wife Kelly, and son Matt Suarez and longtime Sham bartender Mike Burke. The Sham will be renamed The Abbey Pub. Burke, McEntire said, “has always wanted to get into bar ownership, and he made me a good offer. It was a good time for me to step back and let somebody else come in and do whatever they want or have to do.”
McEntire expects the Abbey to be open by the first of August. There will be no closure between the changeover.
In the storefront adjacent to the Sham/Abbey will soon open a Greek restaurant, The Vine. “For the first time in years, all of my property over here is 100 percent leased,” McEntire said. “Can you believe it?”