The music just got a little louder in the West 7th corridor with the opening of 88 Keys Dueling Piano Bar, the newest venture by One Entertainment Group, the company behind Texas Republic Bar & Kitchen, Landmark Bar & Kitchen, and The Yard W7th.
The prevailing question when a new spot opens in the cluttered West 7th scene is usually, “Does this area really need another bar?”
So far, 88 Keys, which opened its doors in mid-September, has been packed for the most part. The owners believe the place is standing out in the crowded entertainment district because the bar is unique for the area.
“Take the frontman from your favorite rock group, a nightlcub DJ, your top 100 favorite songs, and put them all in a mixer and shake it with 10 shots of whiskey, and that’s 88 Keys,” said Sam Sameni, principal of One Entertainment Group. “We like to do concepts that are destinations for people that don’t typically go to West 7th. When we bring big shows to The Yard, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people that come for the show, then bar hop to the other 20 bars that are within walking distance. We feel the same with 88 Keys, where people will come for the show, spend a couple of hours with us, then go hit the block and experience all of our neighbors.”
The dueling piano bar features an all-request show where the diverse patrons control the playlist. A typical dueling piano bar may skew on the older side, but 88 Keys’ crowds have been wide-ranging on most nights, which translates into a wide variety of music on offer each evening. Request sheets greet guests at every table, and the pianists choose their sets based on what the people want to hear.
“We are flying in all of our artists from across the nation, so you won’t see the same show every weekend,” Sameni said.
The bar offers bottle service, tableside kegs, and more than 30 specialty cocktails, many of which are designed to be shared by large groups. The novel drinks all have musically themed names, including “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Friends in Low Places,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” and more. True to the owners’ nightclub background, the place also uses confetti cannons and other party-starting flourishes, just in case you forget you’re in West 7th.
The place doesn’t serve food, but you can order off the menu at neighboring Landmark Bar & Kitchen. Patrons are also welcome to hire caterers for special nights.
There are VIP packages available for events such as birthday parties, corporate gatherings, and bachelorette parties, all of which include a VIP entrance, private VIP booth, bottle of champagne, personalized Snapchat filter, and decorations for the occasion.
The bar is open from 8pm to 2am Thu-Sat. There’s a paid parking lot attached to the property. Cover is free before 9pm and $5 after. There is no cover for students, first responders, and nurses. The place also hosts a service industry night on Thursdays that is designed for those who have to work on Friday and Saturday nights. Specials for that night include no cover and a 25-percent discount for those in the service industry.
88 Keys Dueling Piano Bar
3009 Morton St, FW. 817-386-4996.