Last Call: Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Gizmo’s Disco
7709 Camp Bowie West, FW. 817-560-9191.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Unforgiven?

Doing the right thing always seems to require sacrifice, dudn’t it? Case in point: Gizmo’s Disco, a five-plus-year-old club, on one of Fort Worth’s most desolate, haunting, soul-destroying stretches of terrain, Camp Bowie West. Essentially a 10-lane racetrack buttressed by fast-food joints and car dealerships, Camp Bowie West ain’t no hot destination, but Gizmo’s managed to experience 15 minutes of fame not long ago. The bar’s brief notoriety came not from friendly service or superior ambiance but from its openness to a certain less-than-reputable crowd.
“The management allowed the DJs to get carried away with the wrong kind of music,” said Gizmo’s general manager Tom Simons, adding that there are people out there who still believe in trying to live up to the fictional tales told in gangsta rap songs. “It’s very dangerous for that side of town, because it doesn’t take very long at all for the wrong element to start rolling in.” For a few weeks last summer, after an “incident” (Simons wouldn’t elucidate), Gizmo’s closed its doors “to let everything cool down,” he said. “We then re-opened with an all new dress-code policy, music, and a metal detector.”
Now forced to tuck in shirts, boogie to mainstream R&B and rock, and (sigh!) leave the weaponry at home, Gizmo’s crowds, according to Simons, have been well-behaved — just not as big in number as before. (Gizmo’s has also cut back its hours of operation, down to Friday and Saturday nights.)
Last Call visited recently and was struck by how much the club hasn’t changed since the days when your columnist used to be somewhat of a regular. Same musty bar countertop, same stuffed Mogwai, same poster of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. With its throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks vibe, Gizmo’s has a quaint charm that you could imagine a lot of folks from different walks of life would enjoy, including gang-bangers.
Simons doesn’t plan on going back to the club’s Wild Wild West days — no matter how much money he could be making. What he has working for him is that the part of Camp Bowie West where his club is located appears to be experiencing something of a minor boom. A new place, Lucky Break, opened in January, on the heels of the reopening of the strip club Sinbad’s, and now that the weather’s decent, the Bulldog Saloon’s barbecue cook-outs should be picking up steam.
Is Camp Bowie West the next West Seventh Street? Hardly. But at least you can count on traversing this portion of Fort Worth real estate without taking your life in your hands. Just watch out for the speeding cars.

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