Upon arrival to Rangers Republic –– the newest addition to Texas Live!, the massive entertainment complex adjacent to the new Globe Life Field and mere steps from AT&T Stadium – it was apparent that the newly opened restaurant/sports bar was essentially a nirvana for Texas Rangers fans. What Hard Rock Cafe is for music lovers and Planet Hollywood offers movie buffs, RR is for fans of the 2010 and 2011 American League champions.
Rangers memorabilia from franchise icons such as Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Rafael Palmeiro, Pudge Rodriguez, Nolan Ryan, Jim Sundberg, and Michael Young adorn the restaurant in display cases, and banners from the team’s World Series appearances hang above the bar.
Texas Live! opened in August 2018, and so far it has benefited from the spillover of fans leaving Globe Life Park and Jerry World. The development doesn’t lack for variety. Troy’s upscale bar grub, Pudge’s Pizza, Miller Tavern & Beer Garden, Lockhart Smokehouse, and more are all within walking distance.
While there has been a lot of buzz about the venue’s Arlington Backyard outdoor concert area and the Live Arena’s huge TV setup that resembles a Las Vegas sports book, the one thing that was missing was a landing spot for Tex-Mex, and that’s where Rangers Republic fits in.
Nate Werner, general manager for Rangers Republic, said his eatery’s concept was built on the motto “Play Hard, Party Harder,” which encourages fans to visit his place before and after the games played nearby.
“Rangers Republic is a celebration of the history of the Texas Rangers geared up with what’s going to happen with the new ballpark opening up in March,” he said. “The Tex-Mex food ties into the opening, as we have this really great food concept that is different than anything you can get at the ballpark.”
Game days are obviously huge at Rangers Republic (and all of Texas Live!), and when my guests and I visited prior to a Dallas Cowboys home game, the sports cafe was offering a huge fajita tailgate buffet featuring shrimp, chicken, and steak to accommodate the several thousand people wanting to grab some food before venturing across to the stadium.
Other highlights on the Rangers Republic menu include guacamole, queso fundido with chorizo, enchiladas with house-made mole sauce, and elotes with Cotija cheese, crema, and cilantro.
On weekend nights when there’s not a sporting event or concert at one of the nearby stadiums, Rangers Republic offers VIP happy hour specials that kick off at 10pm and go until closing time at 2am. There are live DJs hosting the events that include games with prizes.
My crew and I also dropped in on the Friday night before the Big 12 Championship game, and the place was full of fans clad in gear from both Oklahoma and Baylor. Tables near the inside entrance had been cleared to make way for a dance floor as well as games such as Mario Kart for Nintendo being played on the big screens to the right of the entrance. There were strobe lights flashing throughout and a wide-range of blaring music that included Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, and Journey. The atmosphere still felt more like we were at a big party rather than an exclusive Dallas ultra lounge or nightclub.
“Rangers Republic is really built for late night,” Werner said. “We will be starting a night concept called ‘Extra Innings’ that is tied to being the place to come hang out after Rangers games. We’ll have specials and incorporate our party games into giveaways like game tickets to the new Globe Life Field and tickets to Chris Stapleton,” the first concert at Globe Life Field on March 14.
1650 E Randol Mill Rd, Arlington.