Dallas: Haute Speakeasy Style at Scat Jazz Lounge

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Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth is a trip back in history.
Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth is a trip back in history.

Photo Credit: City of Fort Worth

If you have thing for F. Scott Fitzgerald, rouged knees, and soul-soothing jazz then it’s definitely time for evening at Scat Jazz Lounge, conveniently located in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. It’s within easy walking distance of hotels and restaurants — and since they don’t serve food you’ll definitely want to eat before you go.

Walking into the lounge is like stepping back in time to the early part of the 20th century. Getting there is a bit like sneaking into a speakeasy during prohibition. First you’ll slip around the corner and walk down an alleyway. The alleyway is well lit so there isn’t any worry about safety. You head through the the entrance and take an elevator down to the basement of the historic Woolworth Building. It is a little tricky to find but the secretiveness adds to the feeling of adventure. Once in the bar you’ll be pulled farther in to the Prohibition fantasy by the cozy, warm ambiance. You won’t find televisions with the game of the day or anything other than great music, great cocktails, and a great art deco decor.

Let’s talk cocktails a minute. Bartenders pour generously and are surprisingly able to knock out classic cocktails that are absolutely authentic. Sidecars, Manhattans, and Martinis are skillfully done with quality liquors. That’s always refreshing. We heartily recommend the White Russian — out of this world amazing.

The live music starts at 8:30 and it gets loud so it’s a good idea to get there a little earlier so that you can get a feel for the place and maybe have some conversation before things get going. Watch where you are seated as several of the tables have the view of the stage somewhat blocked by large columns.

Be sure to make reservations or it’s likely you won’t get in. Scat Jazz Lounge isn’t the biggest nightclub in North Texas and it can fill up fast. The dress code is pretty simple –no torn jeans, no tank tops, no baseball caps, and please wear shoes. Still, given the atmosphere of the place it’s fun to wear an after-five outfit a la Mad Men. Although DFW venues are generally non-smoking this is not the case at Scat Jazz Lounge. Cigarette smoking is permitted but cigars and pipes are not.

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