Lola’s combined Trailer Park and Saloon that have been West 7th-area staples since 2008 will mosey on into 2000 W. Berry St., the former home of the Berry Street Ice House, The Moon Bar, and Americado. Lola’s owner Brian Forella hopes to be open by June 1.
Lola’s current and future footprints are about the same, he said. Inside 2000 W. Berry is 3,750 square feet, and its backyard is “pretty damn big,” Forella said. Work on an outdoor stage will begin soon.
Forella is still waiting to hear back from the city on what his capacity will be, but he expects it to be comparable to Lola’s combined, which is somewhere in the 750 range.
Twenty-five parking spots are available behind 2000 W. Berry, with 18 spots along the east side of the building. While waiting to see if parking at the landlord’s adjacent buildings will also become available during peak business hours for Lola’s, Forella is discussing valet parking with nearby H.S. Paschal High School, especially for big shows.
Forella will close the Saloon on May 8 with a “blowout” and keep the Trailer Park open “until about a week out” from Day 1 at 2000 W. Berry.
Though he doesn’t expect to add to his staff of 15 “right off the bat,” Forella believes he will be compelled to hire more workers eventually.
There’s no word yet on whether Dayne’s Craft Barbecue will also make the move. The popular food truck has been a fixture at Lola’s for several years now.
Since 2000 W. Berry comes with a full kitchen, the new Lola’s will serve food “after 3” on most days.
“We’re not a restaurant,” Forella said. “I don’t want the tea-drinking lunch crowd. I’m trying to sell booze, not tea.”
Forella expects to also bring in food trucks for particularly busy weekends.
For the veteran club owner, the move is “scary” but necessary.
“We don’t really fit anymore,” he said, mentioning that Lola’s departure from West 7th follows similar trajectories for two other long-time, some would say “hip” or “anti-clubby” West 7th spots, Fred’s Texas Cafe and Magnolia Motor Lounge.
“The parking’s getting worse and worse, and doing 700 people for live music turned into more of a pain in the ass,” Forella said. “Nobody can park, and we just started getting noise complaints where we haven’t gotten them in years.”
There’s a lot of development planned for West 7th, including a high-rise toward which the Trailer Park’s outdoor stage faces.
“All the stuff around us is getting sold,” Forella said. “It’s encroaching on top of us. … There’s pictures of it. There are renderings of [all the new development] somewhere. In the renderings, there’s no Lola’s, so that’s kind of the writing on the wall.”
Forella does not plan on altering music or entertainment programming. The soon-to-be-christened Lola’s Fort Worth will still host progressive, original, frequently local rock/punk, country, and hip-hop and the popular Rock ’n’ Roll Rummage Sale, and the boutique at the Trailer Park, Honeysuckle Rose Vintage, will follow Forella to his new digs. While he feels he may be losing his West 7th regulars, he hopes to create new ones from the nearby Near Southside — many of whom often travel to West 7th for Lola’s shows, Forella said — and, of course, TCU.
“TCU people are more than welcome, though I don’t think it’s going to be a big TCU bar,” Forella said. “It’ll be cool. I’m not coming over here to shoot for the TCU kids, basically, but they’re more than welcome.” — Anthony Mariani
Contact HearSay at Anthony@FWWeekly.com.