The World’s Largest Honky Tonk? I’m not sure if I have the right shoes, hat or belt buckle for that. Good thing we went in during the day.
Built as a cattle barn in the early 1900s, the building was enclosed as a City of Fort Worth Centennial project in 1936. With sloped floors for easy cleaning due to the cattle pens, the building also had the perfect setting for a concert venue. That would have to wait nearly 40 years. During that gap, the building was used as an AT-10 airplane manufacturing plant and a department store. Clark’s Department Store was so large that the stock boys had to wear roller skates.
But on April 1, 1981, Billy Bob Barnett opened what is now internationally known as “The World’s Largest Honky Tonk”. With a capacity over 6,000 people, over 20 bar stations, the best in entertainment and live bullriding, it was not long before Billy Bob’s Texas won the first of its five Academy of Country Music’s “Club of the Year” awards. BBT has also been awarded the Country Music Association’s “Club of the Year” twice.
The nightclub quickly entered the public consciousness in the early 1980s with frequent references by the Ewing Clan on the soap opera Dallas. It was also featured prominently during CBS’s New Year’s Eve coverage, “Happy New Year America”, during this period. [SOURCE]
The club was very impressive – from the boot shine to the pool tables, to the artist’s handprints, the music venue, and the bull riding arena. It even had the world’s largest belt buckle and a mirror ball saddle. Definitely worth a visit even though I am not sure I could handle the crowd at night.