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I think most of the things that I hate the worst can be attributed to a matter of one individual ruining it for everyone. It’s the kid who prompts the recall of a really cool toy because he manages to stub his pinky toe in a totally idiotic and improbable way. It’s the melodramatic friend of a friend who gets drunk and dissolves into torrents of hysterical tears at the bar because his or her crush of the moment hasn’t texted back. It’s that one player on your favorite sports team who thinks the world revolves around him. In the case of Upper 90, it was the previous tenants.

Named for the top corners in a soccer goal, Upper 90 (as in 90-degree angles) is a new, intimate bar on the Near Southside. It’s the latest enterprise by two of the owners of Lola’s SaloonBrian Forella and Ryan Higgs — and Juan Solis, who owns Tina’s Cocina, U90’s new next-door neighbor.

With business hours that will extend from 7 a.m. (!) to 2 a.m. and a subscription to satellite-broadcast soccer games, U90 is designed for fans of the other kind of football. Unfortunately, like an American football game choked with low-yardage running plays and never-ending penalties, U90’s arrival has been tedious and frustrating. Instead of yellow flags, it’s been held up by red tape. Specifically: A neighbor protested the bar’s TABC license.

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Boo on crotchety neighbors, right? Normally, yes, except in this case, the gripe was valid. For a short while not long ago, the spot was leased by a shady pool hall. I used to get tacos at La Media Naranja, the former taqueria in the spot now occupied by Tina’s, and occasionally I’d peer through the pool hall’s tinted windows and into the ominous darkness beyond, wondering what kind of sketchy shit went on behind the door. Regardless of what was happening inside, it was the noise that leaked outside that inspired the neighbor’s protest. The front door was always closed and foreboding, but the back door was usually open, Forella said, spilling loud music and even louder drunks into the lot behind.

U90 has been open only a few times, selling liquor under the auspices of the nearby Usual’s license (sort of like a catering permit), but Forella expects his bar’s permit to come through any day now. Under the terms of an agreement reached with the city and the TABC, U90 also will build a fence out back to cut down on potential noise. Cross your fingers, because if there’s one thing lacking on the Near Southside, it’s a sports bar, internationally flavored or not.

Because it’s tucked in between Tina’s and a washateria in that little shopping center at West Magnolia Avenue and College Street, U90 might go unnoticed by potential customers if not for its fairly prominent signs and fenced-in front patio. Behind the dark glass of the front door is a Golden Tee, above which is the first of nearly a dozen TVs. The entryway opens onto a small, high-ceilinged room, its walls gray and somber. There’s not much to look at now except for a couple of Upper 90 logos; in fact, the eastern wall is intentionally left empty to function as a space for the projector. When I dropped by on Monday night, it was almost like being on the sidelines at JerryWorld: The Bucks and Ducks were nearly life size.

The bar’s six taps were still empty, and the margarita machine didn’t look hooked up. But when Upper 90 is finally put together, it’s destined to be a great spot for sports and hearty snacks –– Tina’s will serve you right at the bar. And the joint is non-smoking.

I’m grateful that, in this case, a neighbor’s complaints inspired a creative solution, especially when it resulted in an option for smoke-free, early-morning boozing. –– Steve Steward

 

Contact Last Call at lastcall@fwweekly.com.

20 COMMENTS

  1. This article (and the bar itself) is misleading. The place will not open until 11 AM on the weekends, when only 1 EPL game will be on. A customer will miss 90% of these games if they follow the U90 schedule. Which is ridiculous considering you are marketing yourself as a soccer bar. Opening during weekdays (not weekends) is 100% irrelevant to soccer viewing.

    Go to Zio Carlo

  2. They are not marketing as a Soccer Bar. They are marketing themselves as a Sports Bar with hours to cater to the graveyard shifters in the neighborhood. Read up on the subject before you go blasting.

  3. They are not marketing as a Soccer Bar. They are marketing themselves as a Sports Bar with hours to cater to the graveyard shifters in the neighborhood. Read up on the subject before you go blasting Jeff.

  4. They are not marketing as a Soccer Bar. They are marketing themselves as a Sports Bar with hours to cater to the all grave yard shifters in the neighborhood. Read up on the subject before you go blasting Jeff.

  5. I just researched the 3rd paragraph of this article we are all commenting on. The article says this bar is specifically designed for soccer. Tell the author to do their research, not me.

    Opening at 7 am during the week is great. No problems with that. The name of their bar is a soccer term. Call me crazy, but I would assume if you’re willing to open early on weekdays, a sports bar called Upper 90 would do so on the weekend as well. No?

    As far as doing my research, whatever that means for getting local bar hours, read through their Facebook page. Myself and someone else were asking about hours to watch EPL games. Their response was akin to “we open at 7.” Which is not an accurate response to that question. Is that not misleading?

    You guys sure take this personal. Jeez.

  6. I just researched the 3rd paragraph of this article we are all commenting on. The article says this bar is specifically designed for soccer. Tell the author to do their research, not me.

    Opening at 7 am during the week is great. No problems with that. The name of their bar is a soccer term. Call me crazy, but I would assume if you’re willing to open early on weekdays, a sports bar called Upper 90 would do so on the weekend as well. No?

    As far as doing my research, whatever that means for getting a local bars hours, read through their Facebook page. Myself and someone else were asking about hours to watch EPL games. Their response was akin to “we open at 7.” Which is not an accurate response to that question. Is that not misleading?

    You guys sure take this personal. Jeez.

  7. I just researched the 3rd paragraph of this article we are all commenting on. The article says this bar is specifically designed for soccer. Tell the author to do their research, not me.

    Opening at 7 am during the week is great. No problems with that. The name of their bar is a soccer term. Call me crazy, but I would assume if you’re willing to open early on weekdays, a sports bar called Upper 90 would do so on the weekend as well. No?

  8. Did some more research. According to the article we are commenting on, no where does it state anything about the graveyard shifters.

    But for you graveyard folks, my previous research on their Facebook page does mention this.

  9. Why are there so many graveyard shift working sports fans in this neighborhood? Are there a lot of graveyards? Is this neighborhood haunted? A haunted bar would be a cool idea. I should do some research into that. Research.

  10. Wait, so Tony Danza is going to be at this bar? That’s pretty cool I guess. I loved him in “Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter is Dead”.

  11. Damn it Messi, Tony Danza wasn’t in “Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter is Dead”. That was Christina Applegate. Sounds like somebody didn’t do their research.

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