Residents form a line that stretches to the corner of Berry and Greene by 10:30 p.m. to get into Cellar’s last karaoke Thursday. The food truck line and Cellar line begin to intertwine as restless people try to move up in line. Students strategically plan out what song will be the last song they or their friend should sing. As the crowd slowly quiets for a second, someone loudly asks why Cellar is closing.
Residents will no longer be able to enjoy the cheap drinks and late nights at Cellar after TCU purchased the property.
“The university is making plans to expand surface parking on the existing lot,” Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Brian Gutierrez said.
TCU student Patrick Smedley said he never missed a Thursday at Cellar.
“Cellar has a special place in TCU history and Thursdays won’t be the same without it,” Smedley said. “It sucks to see a place that so many students loved get closed down in the name of a parking lot.”
The bar opened in 1995. One of its bartenders, Chris Harris, said after working there for eight years, the basement bar felt like a home away from home.
“I started going there when I was 21 and I’m 33 now,” Harris said. “As soon as I stepped in there, I knew it was going to be my bar.”
Harris said the last karaoke night he worked was one of the busiest nights he had seen there.
“The last Thursday karaoke night was record breaking,” Harris said. “We ran out of booze, but ran out of all vodka by midnight.”
Students had mixed emotions toward Cellar closing and TCU expanding the parking lot.
At the semi-annual town hall meeting Chancellor Victor Boschini addressed TCU’s new purchase.
“The biggest complaint I get from students is parking and that’s going to be a ton of parking space right there,” Boschini said. “I’m not trying to buy the Cellar, I’m trying to buy anything close to campus so it just happened to be where we were trying to buy.”
Fort Worth resident Patrick Holden said it’s sad to see Cellar closing because he went there as a student and still hangs around the local bars.
The last three days Cellar was open, markers were left out for the community to write their goodbyes.
Harris said he came up with the idea.
“I mean they write on the bathroom walls, so why not on the outside?” Harris said.
Harris said they have to have everything moved out by Nov. 14.