Friday, September 16, 2016
From The Ashes
Six years ago, in March 2010, the Phoenix rose out of the ashes and became a bar again.
Originally built in 1871 the building housed several bars and saloons as well as several department stores, especially after prohibition put a temporary end to the bar business in 1918.
According to their own history chapter on their Phoenix Saloon website, one of the owners, William Gebhardt invented chili powder on these premises. Supposedly it was also the first saloon in Texas that offered service to women. At that time a revolutionary thing as most women weren't allowed to attend bars, saloons and honky tonks for their own pleasure and could only meet men in dancehalls. "Hell's Half Acre" in Fort Worth with its establishments and bordellos only catered to men, who came through the area on their cattle drives on the Chisholm Trail. Originally a war term, where the most bloodied and dismembered bodies were, it became an expression for the devil's sins and temptations.
Beautifully restored, an old original brick wall was exposed, the venue now offers libations and serves Chili, which was featured in one of the cooking shows on TV. Besides offering a lively nightlife as a bar with music during the week and on weekends, you may also encounter some haunted spirits that are alleged to be meandering in the 145 year old building.
This shot and others are available for publication at Dispatch Press Images.