Birdie’s Social Club, 2736 W 6th St, FW. 817-888-8914. 11am-4pm Sun, 4pm-midnight Wed-Thu, 11am-midnight Fri, 11am-10pm Sat-Sun.
Lola’s recent closing was mourned as if one last soldier –– a stalwart against the general douchebaggery of the handful of racist, sexist cookie-cutter meat markets across West 7th –– finally shrugged, packed up his stuff, and left. But with indoor and outside spaces –– covered, uncovered, heated, paved, and plain old picnic tables on dirt — along with multiple bar counters, all originating with Lola’s, there’s a little space and place for everyone’s taste, interest, and comfort level at Lola’s replacement. At one point when Birdie’s Social Club opened in October, the menu offered a respectable amount of bar food. When my family arrived on the dreary, dripping evening before Thanksgiving, we were a little disappointed to find the menu pared down to a couple of burgers, chicken wings cooked two different ways, queso, and fries.
But the cocktail menu is killer and was plainly developed by someone with a good sense of humor. The Last Greyhound to Amarillo was a citrusy pop of tart, woodsy, gin-soaked goodness, courtesy of a grapefruit beverage added to the herby juniper flavor. The menu pitches the Backyard Mule as a “sweet, jammy Southern American blackberry twist” on the classic Moscow Mule served in the traditional copper cup, but there was more spicy ginger tang than sweet blackberry. If you like a ginger punch with a touch of berry sweetness, this is a great drink.
Other cocktail options that may be more appropriate to the season include the Baptized in Your Name (an Old Fashioned with a description so delightful we considered it even though none of us likes whiskey) and It’s a Dry Heat (a pineapple-spiked mule made with tequila).
The mistake we made while visiting during happy hour was forgetting to ask what was on special. The fancy drinks menu is not discounted — just beer and well drinks. Fair enough. Tequila-from-the-well toasts (OK, “shots”) to a minimally disruptive holiday family event marked a new tradition with our adult child and cost only $3 apiece.
There was a little delay in getting the fryers started after the restaurant was open about an hour, and we were well into the first round of cocktails before the Birdie’s burger and parmesan fries arrived. Whether due to the holiday eve or the small crowd, we were the only customers who wanted food. Nobody’s going to ask you how you want your burger cooked here — you’re gonna eat what the cook feels like serving you. It’s a testament to the quality of the beef here that our well-done patty came out tasting fine, and, frankly, a little cheese and a little grease help absorb the alcohol.
The parmesan garlic fries were mostly crinkle cut with a healthy dose of salty, Kraft-style parm product and little discernible garlic.
Even though Thanksgiving loomed, we opted for a round of wings: boneless for my offspring, traditional for me. The boneless white meat variety were essentially chicken nuggets, which should keep any child of any age happy. The traditional bone-in wings had a breaded crust that soaked up whichever sauce you chose. The classic buffalo sauce was the perfect collision of vinegary-tart and spicy without overwhelming anyone’s taste buds. It’s a good thing, because the blue cheese dressing was Ken’s brand in a little pull-top plastic tub.
Birdie’s is family-friendly until 10 p.m., when admission changes to age 21 and up. The spruced-up combo of indoor and outdoor space is going to be awesome in the spring or perhaps even later this week when the weather’s supposed to be nice. While the food menu doesn’t have the depth of other bar/patios, including Lola’s, which is doing just fine, thank you very much, off Berry Street near TCU, the beer menu is fairly broad. The place is freshly painted and therefore clean, with a floor that’s refreshingly unsticky. Weekend events have included college football-watching parties, and upcoming events include performances by local singer-songwriters Abraham Alexander, Summer Dean, and Jacob Furr. Alexander’s show is Friday (tickets at BirdiesSocialClub.com), while Dean’s and Furr’s shows are free with RSVP Saturday and next Friday, respectively.
Birdie’s Social Club
Backyard Mule $11
Last Greyhound to Amarillo $11
Birdie’s burger $10
Garlic parmesan fries $5
Boneless wings (5) $7
Bone-in wings (5) $10