For years, there’s been talk that the block of bars and parking lots sandwiched between West 6th and West 7th streets near University Drive would eventually meet their demise, paving the way for something bigger and out of character with the industrial layout of the entertainment district. News began to leak in late 2021 that notable stalwarts the Landmark Bar, The Yard, and Magnolia Motor Lounge — the only source of live, mostly original music on this side of 7th — would be replaced by a mixed-use development. Groundbreaking on the aptly named Van Zandt is set to begin in March.
With an immediate live-music void — unless you want to cross 7th to Lola’s Trailer Park and Saloon, and why wouldn’t you? — the West 7th area has seen the formation of a more streamlined area along Foch Street, where spots such as Pour Decisions, Junk Punch, and The Backyard have joined the already-existing Lottie’s, Whiskey Garden, and Hooky, with Bottled Blonde’s opening not far behind. The recent addition of Austin-based good time spot The Dogwood has helped cement this densely packed two-block area with plenty of late-night — and even mid-morning — options.
“We’re excited about opening in Fort Worth for multiple reasons,” said Chad Womack, who owns The Dogwood with twin brother Brad Womack, “and not just for the city itself but the West 7th Street district in particular. There is a cool, energetic vibe within the city of Fort Worth, and we strive to earn our place as a part of it all. The Dogwood has always attracted a good, diverse crowd, mixed with young professionals, college students, and tourists, all of which Fort Worth has plenty of.”
The Womacks and operating partner Preston Enders run The Dogwood — with two locations in Austin and one each in Houston and Nashville — and nearly a dozen other concepts. The Fort Worth location achieves a Western tone, complete with a stage, without overdoing it. And yet The Dogwood still incorporates kitschy Instagrammable sights such as a stripper pole near the entrance and a pink neon sign requesting to “send nudes.”
The Womacks are aware that while they can’t really replace MML, they can still offer original musicians a home on the other side of Lola’s.
“Without being a live music-only bar,” Brad said, “there’s a happy medium where a band or artist can play early in the evening, then we transition to having a DJ for the late hours.”
Unlike the well-worn, grungy, intimate feel of the Motor Lounge, the fresh aesthetic worked well during The Dogwood’s grand opening last month, when Texas Music star Roger Creager played a two-hour set before a DJ took over. The bar was packed most of the night.
Plenty of TVs dot the space, with two bars as well as a patio outfitted with seating and more TVs. There are lots of game-watching specials, and the menu is pretty standard bar food with some fun twists (sweet tea-marinated wings, chicken and waffle sliders, jalapeno mac with ground beef or chicken, grilled or fried). During happy hour (4pm-7pm Mon-Fri), a lot of items are only $6, including Cajun chicken fritters and smothered tater tots.
Signature cocktails, topping out at $12, feature spins on classics. The Dogwood Flower is a mix of vodka, St-Germain, and Waterloo grapefruit sparkling water with a fresh squeeze of lemon, and rye, peach vodka, ginger liqueur, and peach bitters go into the Southern Belle Manhattan. If you’re craving a light and fizzy brunch beverage that isn’t a mimosa, the Violet Rose (gin, lychee liqueur, blueberries, sparking rose) will more than satisfy.
And brunch — this place is built for brunch. Basic biscuits come as a pair with house-made gravy for $8, or, for a dollar extra, you can inhale the Chick’n Biscuit with whipped honey butter. When Taco Bell doesn’t do the trick during the wee hours of the morning, the Hair of the Dogwood has you covered with a face-sized burrito loaded with bacon, scrambled eggs, home fries, and cheese, all topped with queso and gravy for $10. That’ll get your digestive system back on track in no time and ready for the evening.
1100 Foch St, FW. 512-573-5510. 11am-2am daily.
All major credit cards accepted.