The building now known as Billy Bob’s Texas was built in 1910 and was once an open-air barn used to house prize cattle for the Fort Worth Stock Show. In 1936, as a Texas Centennial Project, the building was enclosed by the City of Fort Worth at a cost of $183,500 and the tower over the main entrance was added. The “new” structure contained livestock stalls and an auction ring that is now Billy Bob’s Bull Riding arena. Livestock events were held there until the stock show moved to the Will Rogers Memorial Complex in 1943. During World War II, the building was used as an airplane factory, and in the 1950s the building became a department store so large that the stock boys wore roller skates to make their jobs easier.
   On April 1, 1981, Billy Bob Barnett and Spencer Taylor brought their Urban Cowboy themed night club to life when they opened Billy Bob’s Texas.
   At the height of the Urban Cowboy craze, Billy Bob’s enjoyed unrivaled success – sold out shows, A-list celebrity special guests, and a waitlist for VIP access to members-only Texas Club.
   After closing briefly in 1988, the club reopened with a little help from some well-known and respected Fort Worth families. Billy Minick, Holt Hickman, Don Jury and Steve Murrin (pictured) shared a love for the Stockyards and were determined to return Billy Bob’s Texas to its status as a premier destination for fans and artists alike.
   The Class of ’89 - Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Travis Tritt’ kicked off their meteoric rise to stardom on the main stage and the house band stage, cementing Billy Bob’s amongst the ranks of iconic Texas landmarks. And every weekend for almost four decades, the bulls were real, the neons were bright, the music was good and the beer was cold.
   For the last 40 years, Billy Bob’s Texas has hosted the biggest names in live music and entertainment. Legendary performers from all genres saw their rise to stardom begin in the hallowed halls of our beloved honky tonk. The road to Red Dirt country runs right through our building. We’ve been honored as “Club of the Year” over a dozen times by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. Stories from our stage are told and re-told to every new generation of music fans.
   But Billy Bob’s Texas is more than a historic entertainment destination. It is a testament to the sights and sounds of the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards and a nod to the traditions of cowboys, cowgirls, and country music.


 

THE WORLD’S LARGEST HONKY TONK

120,000 Sq. Feet | 6,000 Capacity

30+ Bar Stations & Two Stages
Texas-Sized Dance Floor
Bull-Riding Arena | Restaurant
Private Event Spaces


 

Keith Powell

Owner / Publisher since 1995

 

817-654-9740
keymagfw@aol.com

Copyright © 2021 Fort Worth Key Magazine

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