The latest addition to the Fort Worth nightlife scene is the long-awaited Twilite Lounge.
Twilite, south of downtown in what previously housed the offices of the Morrison Supply Company, has a welcoming atmosphere that is not often available in the trendier bars/clubs over in the West 7th corridor.
“We knew we wanted to stay south of [Interstate] 30 and not get into the West 7th mix, because that area seems pretty maxed out,” said co-owner Danny Balis, who is known to many DFW sports fans as the producer of “The Hardline” on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket. “We wanted to be closer to Magnolia and in the process, we discovered the vibe in the Near Southside neighborhood. We toured about a dozen spots and when we walked into this one, we fell in love with the building and knew that was the place for our vision.”
Balis’ business partners in this venture are Jess Barr and managing partner Jimmy Morton.
For those who are fans of the Deep Ellum location, the new spot’s décor is very similar with its antique chandeliers, old furniture, leather booths and paint scheme.
“We didn’t want to rack our brains coming up with a brand new décor when we already like what we have,” Balis said. “After almost five years over there, I still walk into the Dallas spot and think ‘this works, this makes sense’ and that’s what we want to bring to Fort Worth.”
Fort Worth’s location is bigger than the Dallas one. While Dallas’ is a shotgun bar, this one is more spread out and the patio area is roughly twice the size of its 214 counterpart. The inside area is also essentially double the space and the stage has more room for the performers.
There is also an annexed room/lounge in the back corner that has the ambiance of an upscale private room complete with a library and its own flat-screen TV.
Twilite is not strictly a live music venue, but it does have the PA system and stage set-up to accommodate musicians as well as other types of entertainment.
“We are going to tread it and see how people react to live music here and how much sense it makes to book live music” Balis said. “For now, it will be on a week-to-week and even month-to-month basis for what we put in there, but I am not opposed to anything from local bands to jazz to country to R&B to comedy shows.
“In the Deep Ellum area, it is kind of expected to have some type of activity on stage as people are walking from place to place wanting to be entertained,” he continued. “In Fort Worth, we are the only thing in a three- or four-block radius, so the need to attract people walking by isn’t necessarily the same.”
There are several flat screens, Twilite is not going to be mistaken for a sports bar or a pseudo-Buffalo Wild Wings establishment. If there is a big game, it will be on, but tthe barhas the feel as more of a place to socialize and hang out than to be glued to the instant replay on a Thursday-night NFL game.
Twilite offers a po-boy menu including roast beef, shrimp, catfish, sliced turkey, sliced ham and grilled or blackened chicken breast. Sides include fries, fried green tomatoes and Zapp’s chips.
Twilite also features weekend brunch, opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sundays.
Another huge aspect for Twilite is that it features its own huge parking lot just behind the venue, in addition to the street side parking.
Twilite’s Dec. 1 grand opening was at capacity for music acts Calhoun and Jake Paleschic, and judging from those on hand, this is not only a welcome addition to the Near Southside, but for all those who enjoy the DFW nightlife scene.
Follow Jay Betsill on Twitter at Twitter.com/thefamousjay