Back in February, when I wrote a piece on the history of Fort Worth’s metal scene (“Still Riveting,” Feb. 29), I learned a ton about the late, apparently great Tattoo Bar on Lancaster Avenue. Though I never made it to the Tat Bar on even so much as one of its tamest nights, I’ve spent plenty of time at its successor, The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge. Based on pictures I’ve seen, I always try to imagine the room under the vibe of its old occupant whenever I duck into Ozzie’s benevolent, reddish glow. I certainly did on Saturday, when I had a beer with my girlfriend on Ozzie’s patio.
We were people-watching and talking, probably, about how it was foolish that I’d gotten the large bowl of pho for dinner, when I saw this drunk punk-rock dude fall out of his chair, off the deck, and onto the pavement. Even though the deck is only maybe a foot off the ground, his tumble was a multi-part movement that seemed to take hours. I imagined that was the sort of thing that happened all the time at The Tattoo Bar, as if its ghost were still moving knickknacks (and customers) around to let you know it’s still there. Or it could be that a punker dude falling out of his chair is just something that happens all the time at Ozzie’s. Or just at bars in general.
We’d gone to Ozzie’s after eating at Pho 95 and getting in a first round at Bobby V’s Sports Gallery Café. I’d seen the sports bar while we were on the way to dinner and asked her if she’d ever been. “Bobby V’s?” she said. “Gross.”
“Bobby V’s, it is then,” I said.
Now, I didn’t think Bobby V’s was gross, but, well, you know when you go to a Burger King and you’re looking at those orange, rectangular floor tiles and you think, “Man, those will never, ever look clean”? That’s kind of what I was thinking when we sat down in a Bobby V’s booth and I glanced at the floor. The tiles kind of looked Burger King-y. And, in truth, despite the sparkly gold vinyl seats and vintage baseball cards lacquered to the tables, the interior of Bobby V’s is kind of drab, in a weird, cluttered sort of way because there’s sports stuff all over the place. It’s like getting beers at your grandpa’s house if your grandpa was Bob Uecker and Bob Uecker lived in a massive greasy spoon-type restaurant.
Bobby V’s indeed has food, though I didn’t bother looking at a menu since I’d already eaten about five gallons of pho. While the café side is sort of homey, with its wood fixtures and Googie-ish kitsch, the lounge side is darker. And louder, with a big bar in the middle that leads the eye to a phalanx of hanging flat-panel TVs all tuned to different games, like if NASA Mission Control was monitoring March Madness. The Cowboys were losing to the Chargers, and every time the game went to commercial, jukebox songs faded in, cutting off abruptly when football came back. One time it was “Hotel California,” a detail I remembered after reading that the Cowboys were staying in Oxnard a few extra days. During another commercial, a Nickelback song came on, and I saw some dude singing along. I’m sure that’s what my girlfriend meant by gross.
Really, gross is in the eye of the beholder, because at Ozzie’s, we walked in during the Gaelic bro-down of some Dropkick Murphys song, and if you’re the kind of person who sings along to Nickelback songs at sports cafés, you’d probably think punk rockers nodding along to Irish-punk tunes about crow’s nests and unions is also pretty stupid. Get in where you fit in, I guess. No matter where, someone’s going to fall down drunk, and that’s a tune we can all sing along to. –– Steve Steward
The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge
6463 E Lancaster Av, FW. 817-446-9010.
Bobby V’s Sports Gallery Café
4301 S Bowen Rd, Arlington. 817-467-9922.
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