People from the 109 spend time at the Oui Lounge because their parents and grandparents did. The Oui Lounge claims better prices and no gimmicks, and their relaxed charm has worked for them since they opened in 1952.
Oui Lounge manager Dana Buntin said the lounge has one of the first and longest running liquor licenses in Fort Worth. Buntin also said the story of the Oui Lounge’s name originated with a French woman who the original owner hired in the ‘50s. The woman named the bar “Oui,” which means, “yes” in French.
After almost 60 years of business, the Oui Lounge is still a prime spot to get to know the locals. In a world of flashy bars and attention-grabbing events, the Oui Lounge is a hometown bar that fits into the local dynamic. The Oui Lounge, located at 3509 Bluebonnet Circle, has an ageless allure that makes it a neighborhood favorite.
Shelly Grassl, an employee at Stella’s, a boutique across the Circle from the lounge, said she has been going to the Oui Lounge for years. Grassl attended college in Fort Worth in 1975 and said the lounge has been around for as long as she can remember.
Grassl recounted her first experience at the Oui Lounge, and said, “We walked in and [said] oh wow, this is out of a ‘60s movie or something, because it’s just such a bar!”
Grassl said the lounge looks exactly as it did when she first visited it. “They had pool tables and I just remember that it smelled like beer, and I think it was $2 beer night and you could drink all the beer you wanted for $2 – can you even imagine?”
Buntin said her favorite part of working at the Oui Lounge is that there is so much diversity in the customers, from the youngest to the oldest. The older people will stay at the front of the bar and the younger kids will play pool, but the newer patrons really enjoy the locals and love to talk to them.
“If the older people would give them a chance, they’d sit and talk to them all the time,” Buntin said.
The Oui Lounge, open seven days a week, is also appreciated for its consistency as one of the last iconic places in the neighborhood.
Grassl said, “I like the fact that there’s this place that you can go to that hasn’t been upgraded like the 7th Street area, it’s all so hip and groovy now— it’s the cool place to go and that’s great, but it’s also kind of neat to have a neighborhood bar that has been there for 60 years.”
Buntin said the nightlife can get busy, but the Lounge keeps things simple with karaoke, pool, and free popcorn with Worcestershire sauce. The wood-paneled bar is a place to unwind, and the neon-lit rooms are filled with small tables for socializing. The simple, around-the-corner pub has the warmth and intimacy of neighborhood tradition, without any of the pretense.
Buntin said the lounge has had regular customers since the ‘70s and that people come back from out of town to visit on a regular basis.
“Everybody always comes back, even when they say [they’re] getting a job somewhere, I’m like, you will always come back. And they will. They will always come back,” Buntin said.
Buntin said the Oui Lounge keeps its great reputation by keeping customers safe and letting them know the staff cares about them. Mike Moore, owner of the Oui Lounge, has kept the bar in the family since the early ‘50s, and having a good reputation has set the lounge up for many years of future success.