You might not be able to smell it anymore, but when the whiskey barrel staves were installed on the walls of Barrel & Bones Craft Bar and Smokehouse in Fort Worth, the restaurant smelled of bourbon. The wood-slatted walls offer homey, southern character to the restaurant which opens in Fort Worth's Montgomery Plaza on Sept. 12.
As the name lightly suggests, the motif at Barrel & Bones is whiskey and barbecue. The bar will serve hard-to-find spirits like Pappy Van Winkle and his relatives, plus some 200 bourbons and scotches.
The menu will be identical to the first Barrel & Bones, in Austin Ranch in The Colony.
While barbecue is the main focus, it won't be limited to traditional Central Texas styles. Mark Kelcher, who co-owns the restaurant with Kyle Hidell and his brother Dirk Kelcher, says the menu includes barbecue styles from Kansas City, Memphis, the Carolinas, Texas and more. And unlike most of the straight-ahead barbecue shops in the Lone Star State, Barrel & Bones offers other stuff, too, like poblano corn fritters, a house salad, a turkey melt and a cheeseburger, to name a few.
The restaurant in Fort Worth has whiskey barrels that serve as custom-made bar tables. Deer, longhorn and elk heads hang on the wall.
Soon, diners can choose their own Fort Worth adventure: Go into Barrel & Bones on the left, or walk into a coming-soon oyster bar on the right.
The restaurants share a front door, and both are operated by the Kelchers.
Bourbon Street Oyster Bar carries a New Orleans theme, with a purple ceiling and gold columns. Mark Kelcher expects to hang beads and sell hurricanes and hand grenades on the cocktail menu. The food menu is still being finalized, but Cajun influences are likely to include etouffee, po boys, chargrilled oysters and the like, Kelcher says.
"For the last five years, we've been mulling this concept," Kelcher says. They own more than a half-dozen restaurants and bars in D-FW, including The Hub Sports Bar and Grill in Addison, Dough Bro's Italian Kitchen in the Addison/Dallas area and in The Colony, and Big Shots Sports Cafe in Bedford.
Bourbon Street Oyster Bar is expected to open in October 2018.