Coming soon: The Bearded Lady
Jordan Ross & Claire Villa
18 October 2016
The Bearded Lady Profile
Imagine you are driving through Fort Worth, Texas looking for a restaurant that offers you a delicious bite to eat, a cold one, and an artistic atmosphere neighboring you at every corner; The Bearded Lady is the perfect place for you. When I first walked into The Bearded Lady, my eyes were immediately drawn to the array of unique posters and stickers on the walls, while the aroma of their mouthwatering famous “lust burger” filled the entire restaurant, complemented by the sound of cold, local crafted beer being poured to customers. Back at home; if my friends and I wanted to go eat at a place where we received the same artistic atmosphere as Bearded Lady, we would have to go into a dangerous part of town, and probably experience lesser quality and poor service; making us not want to go there. The Bearded Lady has provided this ever growing community with an artistic, and down to earth environment; serving local customers with delicious food and drink, which leads me to believe that they will be expanding from one location very soon.
When we nervously strolled into the restaurant we honestly believed that our uber driver had made a mistake. It was too chill of a place.The décor embodied a quirky personality from just collecting a lot of random stuff from houses. There was also years spent on going to flea markets and antiques stores where they would buy stuff and start hanging it on the walls one by one. As we continued to eye the interior we saw that the decorations mostly consisted of posters and artistic pictures that fit with the personalities of the employees; the most of whom served as body art with tattoos of their own. The house itself is a large part of the decoration, the wood is part of the house and we covered some of the exposed brick. The tiny door in the front way was actually from the people who first owned this house. Before it was “The Bearded Lady” the family that lived here had owned a salon where they ran their business through that tiny door next to newly constructed entrance. The daughter that lived in this house actually, “came on our opening day and she is around 90 years old so, that was a heartwarming sight to see” (Shannon).
During the visit we were determined to get an interview with an employee, but we were bestowed with the opportunity to sit down and talk to the half owner, Shannon Osbakken. We couldn’t help but inquire about the unique name of the bar. It spoken into action one night when Shannon and some her friends were out and after a couple drinks they began throwing some names out there and “The Bearded Lady” just rolled off her partner’s tongue and after that it just stuck. The name was just an idea but, the founders of this establishment happen to really be into circus shows and things of that sort so the more they pondered it the more everything cliqued and came together (Shannon). With 1229 7th Avenue previously serving as a hair salon, the building itself came with such a unique story, that they felt that a quirky name such as The Bearded Lady was needed to fulfill a perfect match.
Fort Worth, Texas, is the 16th biggest city in the United States, and the 5th largest in Texas, so it is safe to say that it has the luxury of growing at all times. With this being a peak time of growth; it is also an ideal time for restaurants to boom as well. It is safe to say that business wouldn’t be anywhere near as profitable as it is now if it was in a different location. With TCU campus being only seven minutes away via automobile; they serve a lot of college students, which isn’t hard to believe considering that the environment of the place seems to cater to young people. The Bearded Lady is even said to serve as an attraction to the area and helped make this area a hot spot for craft beer and the area to go to if you’re into that kind of thing. It gives people in the community or people who are even visiting Fortworth an option for a place to come and eat while relaxing. “We are considered a comfortable and laid back restaurant and not a fine dining restaurant like a lot of other places here. We are well received from the community because of that.” (Shannon).
There are a lot of bars across the nation, and the question that comes up over and over in any field of competition is “What makes you stand out?” or “How are you different from the rest?” Even aside from the tatted waiters and waitresses, the converted household, and the chalk on the walls declaring Karaoke Night; The Bearded Lady prides itself on the use of local ingredients. All of the bread that is used is from the local bakery, along with the cheese from local dairies as well. “Some things we do have to bring in, but one thing we are very passionate and big on is supporting Fort Worth’s local beer market.” (Shannon).
Despite the whale of a story of how they came to be, and the what seem to be undeniable attractions, The Bearded Lady still struggles with attaining a steady crowd of tourists, or people that aren’t local. Everything seems to point to the fact there is only one bar around. They seem to be taking a step in the right direction locals went on a binge over the summer of 2016 for the costumers favorites dish; “The Lust Burger”. The establishment was on the cover of Texas Lovely in August and they reviewed the burger; following the publicity they have been “having trouble keeping up with demand ever since.”(Shannon).
In conclusion, you are essentially surrounded by restaurants in Fort Worth, but The Bearded Lady stands out above all. Whether it’s the casual vibe that is given off by the environment, the artistic culture of the employees, or the aroma of their signature burgers and local crafted beer, this establishment is bound to make a unique impression on you. With the help of exposure and word of mouth, The Bearded Lady can soon become a cornerstone of Fort Worth and maybe even create a chain of restaurants.
Shannon. Interview. 12 October 2016