Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Venue review: Live Oak Music Hall in Fort Worth exudes uncomplicated cool
Once you make it to the rooftop patio, you won't want to go back downstairs.
FORT WORTH Nestled on a residential Fort Worth street, around the corner from hot spots like The Usual and Yucatan Taco Stands, lies new Cowtown live music venue Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge. Music isn’t the only offering this historic building brings to the table: There’s also a restaurant and rooftop patio to explore. The young venue continues to book some of the best local acts in town, and it has a near-perfect patio for a quiet night out.
From the street, the building looks like another office space. The only giveaway that there's some buzz inside is the electric blue sign blazing the venue’s name. A will call line for the show snaked along the east side of the building, underneath the adjacent stairwell leading up to the rooftop patio. Inside, the dim, theater-style room featured a small bar at the back and a curtain-framed stage -- like an enlarged in-home theater minus the comfy chairs.
For the beer connoisseur, Live Oak’s draft selection will make your head spin. They offer more than 20 beers on tap -- mostly craft and many from local breweries -- and a fair selection of bottles as well. We picked Lakewood’s Hop Trapp IPA as a starter, strong, hoppy ale for the die-hard IPA fan. Beaucoup bars make this place easy to get a drink -- in the theater, restaurant, or on the rooftop. That's a plus for this jovial crowd.
The rooftop patio is the sweet spot. With an adequately sized bar and enough tables to go around, you won’t want to go downstairs again. Warmly lit trees frame the street-side border, adding an inviting, summery mood even in February.
We were there for the drinks and music, but the restaurant was bustling, too. The only downfall for both the restaurant and the theater is the irregular lighting; the dark-to-light patches have no rhyme or reason and make the rooms look like they’re trying too hard to create a mood, when the decor and clientele exude coolness all on their own.
Park yourself on the patio with a great view of the Fort Worth skyline and you'll find little to complain about.
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