Low Doubt Bar, 112 St. Louis Av, Ste 108, FW. 817-367-9798. 4:20pm-2am daily.
As I walked briskly inside from the cold, a tatted fellow in a slouchy beanie asked me, “Have you seen the dog?” Assuming it was lost, I darted my eyes around the place. The guy disappeared momentarily and returned with a snoozing puppy that couldn’t have been more than 2 months old wearing a dinosaur jacket and hoodie. While I melted, the man gingerly placed the itty-bitty dino doggo in my arms.
To say my visit to newly opened Low Doubt Bar in South Main Village started off on the right paw would be an understatement.
Moments earlier, a fairly plain sandwich board acted as a compass (“FEELIN’ THIRSTY / BAR THIS WAY!!!”) to the sister establishment to the venue Tulips FTW just next door. Perhaps I lack a sense of self-preservation because that sign and the implied promise of spirits were all it took to beckon me down the adjacent alleyway — thankfully well-lit by a zigzag pattern of outdoor lighting above. The end of the makeshift boardwalk with a concerning amount of give beneath each step brought me to a back patio and bouncer, who carded me. The flattery was too much, honestly.
Though I had missed the grand opening the previous evening, I found the place fairly packed. A large group crowded around the red felt billiards table, and several more folks lounged around the bar and at a long oval booth. Some even braved the cold to mill about on the back patio.
Low Doubt’s interior was bathed in an orange-crimson glow, giving a sort of warm edginess to all the retro furnishings and patterned wallpaper. It was as if my mates and I were drinking in a photo darkroom.
That ambiance permeates throughout. The wall behind the bartop is covered in simple crate-style shelving filled with records, bottles of booze, and the Texas flag at the center, with two TVs flanking it. On one, a sweaty Bruce Willis bit down on a gag, while, on the other, Noah Cappe bit into various fare on Carnival Eats. By the pool table, another screen showed episode after perplexing episode of the absolutely unhinged cartoon Popeye.
In one of the more inventive displays I’ve seen, two vintage refrigerator doors filled with letter magnets spell out all of the menu offerings. Later, I discovered the fridge bodies are utilized in the bathrooms to store necessities.
The drinkery’s name is a play on the term “load out,” when bands take down and pack up their equipment after a show. Since it’s situated at the back of Tulips, “Low Doubt” is certainly apt.
My curiosity of the menu was piqued by the drink All God Does Is Watch Us and Kill Us When We Get Boring. That seemed like a quote — and, in fact, it is. It was written by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) in Invisible Monsters. “We must never, ever be boring,” the author concludes. Ominous or a good motto to live by? You decide.
The beverage itself, a tequila cherry limeade served in a shiny, lidless container — like your soda or beer can before it’s labeled and topped — was refreshing, if not cold to the touch. As I slurped up the last bit, I was pleasantly surprised to find not a Maraschino but a Luxardo cherry at the bottom. That little luxurious touch made all the difference.
The owners must be literary and pop-culture fans because a lot of the cocktail names refer to quotes from books or titles of songs and plays. Every one we tried was scrumptious in its own right. No Sympathy for the Devil turned out to be a tasty Arnold Palmer but with the added flair of super-sugary Chicken Express sweet tea, and, by the time I got to The Mad Ones — containing apple cider shrub, Jamaican rum, cognac, pineapple, tiki bitters, and soda — I was too tipsy to trust any of my scribbly notes. I remember it being strong and quite delicious, though.
To be honest, I was thoroughly distracted by Panther Lily, the furball and personal furnace on temporary loan to me. Throughout the night, my friend and I were approached by strangers both fawning over the pup’s little body draped over my chest and unintentionally (or intentionally?) petting me instead.
Let’s just say we made a lot of friends that night — and there’s Low Doubt in my mind that I’ll be back again. Something tells me the experience will never, ever be boring.