Froggy’s and Horny Toads?
4400 White Settlement Rd, FW. 817-737-8550.
Hot Rods N Hoggs
706 N Watson Rd, Arlington. 817-649-5220.
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
A couple of weeks ago, one local club owner changed the name of his establishment — for the fourth time in two years.
The huge resort-ish bar formerly known as Froggy’s Beach Club, formerly known as Big Dawg’s, and formerly known as Rock Bottoms is now Froggy Bottoms. We don’t know why owner Mark Walden hasn’t been able to do as all our mamas said and make a decision and stick with it — he hasn’t returned any of my calls. But as an expert in human nature and bottoms-upping, I bet I know why.
See, in Clubland, there are certain types of stock crowds. There are the socialites, who aren’t interested in boozing or even having fun as much as simply being seen and showing off their new designer clothing. There are also: the functioning alcoholics, who can’t seem to spend a day away from their favorite haunts; the dancers, who sadly mistake a night out on the town for a night of physical exercise; and the college kids, who are just about every nightclub owner’s favorite crowd and every bartender’s and every normal customer’s nightmare. (College kids, by and large, don’t tip for shit, and they act like every beer or shot is their first ever.)
Everyone knows that massive clubs like Walden’s need a lot of paying customers to defray overhead costs. As a trip to The Library, The Red Goose, or any other giant nightclub on weekends will tell you, the local college kids show up in force. No wonder Walden is now courting them instead of any other demographic. Froggy Bottom’s has a sand volleyball court out back, an expansive deck, and a decent-size bar area — the place is so spacious that 75 customers can look like no more than a couple of stragglers. Changing names is also an easy, inexpensive way for a club owner to create the appearance of newness, because if there’s one thing that college kids like as much as stiffing bartenders and starting fights it’s breaking in a new club.
Walden’s ostensible goal is to get partiers to his joint and keep ’em there. Last weekend, Froggy Bottoms’ Spring Fling Party — an all-day extravaganza of volleyball tournaments, drink specials, and live music — was an unqualified success.
Maybe the fourth time is a charm for Walden.
You may think of the Arlington biker bar Hot Rods N Hoggs as just a place for beefy white guys in tattoos and chaps to create havoc while listening to Skynyrd and watching monster truck rallies on tv.
Well, you wouldn’t be completely off the mark. The club, after all, is where Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul and some cohorts have played unannounced gigs under the name Gasoline and where local metal-head comic Chinaman has turned up and done some of his self-deprecating, motor-mouthed stand-up.
But there’s more going on at the joint than you may suspect, including ... hip-hop?
In January, local promotion company Texas Explosion Entertainment took over Thursday nights and began introducing the roadhouse to the concept of Soul Train-inspired dance-offs, among other things.
“We hand out cash prizes for some dancing on stage — no bikinis, though,” said Texas Explosion staffer Lily Alifin, who helps coordinate the Thursday night events.
The brain behind Texas Explosion is veteran hip-hopper DJ Money, who said the Soul Train fun at Rods/Hoggs is just the beginning for his company. “It’s not just a club thing,” said the 45-year-old Money. “We have a lot of activity planned, like hip-hop ‘shootouts,’ car shows, boat shows, and other stuff,” he said. “I have ideas for other clubs that want us to do things. We got people calling us saying, ‘We got this building, but how do we bring people in there?’ ”
“At first it was weird,” said Alifin, of Thursday nights at Rods/Hoggs. “But I think the regulars have adjusted.”
Based on a couple of visits, I can say that at least they haven’t headed out to the highway. Visit MySpace.com/TexasExplosion.
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