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Fort Worth's popular 8.0 closing

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After 8.0 closes, which bar/restaurant will be the go-to spot downtown?
Posted 4:56pm on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012

The 8.0 Restaurant & Bar, a Sundance Square centerpiece for 18 years, will close Feb. 24 and make way for a new, larger Flying Saucer Beer Emporium, owner Shannon Wynne said Monday.

The Flying Saucer will move to the former 8.0 location after the Main Street Arts Festival in April, emptying the historic Land Title Block building, which is due to be restored as part of the development of a Sundance central plaza.

A new bar and restaurant will open later in the Land Title Block location, Wynne said.

The 8.0 will close with both a public farewell party and also a charity benefit in which the bar’s original murals will be auctioned either whole or by the piece, Wynne said. He said the artists have agreed to donate the proceeds to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

The restoration of the 1889-vintage Land Title Block spurred the move, Wynne said. A newer back annex of The Flying Saucer will be removed, he said, eliminating the current kitchen and bathrooms. “We confronted the fact that the Saucer would be without a home and decided to make the 8.0 a gigantic beer hall,” Wynne said.

The Saucer will remain open in its current location through April 22, Wynne said. All the collectible plates on the walls will move. "I'll be taking them all down and washing them," he said.

The original 8.0 Restaurant & Bar opened in 1980 in Dallas, replacing the brass-and-paneling 1970s “fern bars” with a sleek, contemporary design and artwork. After a total of 30 years in several cities, the 8.0 concept is ready for retirement, Wynne said.

“We’re puttin’ the old mare down,” he said. “When I did my first 8.0, I had never run a restaurant. I wanted to do something unique.”

The name 8.0, now often mistaken as a software version, was his mother’s idea, Wynne said. He was going to to name it “The 80s.” She suggested “8-0”: “She wanted people to say, ‘I done ate there, and oh, it was good.’ ”

The newer Flying Saucer concept has expanded to 16 locations. The Sundance location will include a larger beer garden with shrubbery in place of the current 8.0 patio, continuing the tradition of concerts under the all-weather awning.

The 8.0 closing will be marked with a public party Feb. 24 and a private Modern benefit Feb. 25, he said.

“We’re going to have a party,” he said. “If people want to buy a piece of a mural, they can. If we can take down the whole mural, we’ll sell it. Anything to raise money for the museum.”

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