I remember when the fall Daylight Savings Time was a celebratory event, because it meant one extra hour to drink at a bar before the lights came up. Staying out until 2am or sunrise is rare for me now, unless I’m having a bout of insomnia. That doesn’t mean I cannot experience closing time at a bar, however. I recently went to new watering hole The Lazy Moose, and our server politely provided the tab — without our asking — at 10:30pm on a Thursday so the staff could close up shop for the night.
Truthfully, I only care about a place’s hours of operation if I want to go back, which is the case for this West Magnolia Avenue joint. The lodge-style bar is the product of a collaboration between Vance Martin (Lili’s Bistro, Cat City Grill) and David Shaw (Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill). The décor here is as much at home in Fort Worth as it would be in a ski-resort town in Utah, except I’d expect only après-waterski revelry in North Texas. Score one for truth in advertising: There is an actual moose head mounted on the wall that’s exceptionally lazy because it’s dead.
The beautiful stone fireplace taking up one wall of the room is an interior design win, undoubtedly. On the night I visited, it was hard to get close to the hearth for a while because there was a couple having a particularly fiery argument in front of it. The woman was agitated enough that she tried to break into the single person ladies room with me, presumably to chat about how her significant other was Mr. McLiar, head of the Pantsonfire clan. Thankfully, the staff handled the awkward situation well and led her away from the bathroom door, open flames, and flammable substances.
When I see a place promote “live piano music,” I get nervous because generally it involves a Bill Murray-style SNL lounge singer situation or a Pete’s Piano Bar reenactment. Thankfully, the delightful Jim Newsome did not try to sing the Star Wars theme or start an Aggies vs. UT fight song war. He did provide relaxing and enjoyable background music.
The bar has a few standout drink options, and I recommend you swing in 4-7pm Tue-Fri, when the specialty cocktails are $7 and draft beers like Alaskan White and Sweetwater 420 Extra IPA are $4. Keeping with the lodge theme, two signature cocktails to toss back are the Moose Drool Old Fashioned, made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon infused with charred pecan, Luxardo cherry bitters, and burnt orange and the Maple Bacon Cider, featuring TX whiskey, cider, maple syrup, cayenne, and cinnamon.
My visit to The Lazy Moose was not the first time the crapshoot of opening and closing hours at places on Magnolia has thwarted my good time. I lived in the Fairmount neighborhood for a few years, and, if I wanted to grab a drink, late lunch, or dinner nearby, I invariably would pick a place that closed at 1:30pm but may reopen at 5pm instead of 4pm, except during brunch, but not if it’s Monday or Tuesday or Mercury is in retrograde.
There is money to be made in creating an app that automatically checks the date, time, and your GPS coordinates on this street to determine where the lights are on. Feel free to send me a royalty check when you get this public service project off the ground.
The Lazy Moose
1404 W Magnolia Av, FW. 682-708-3822.