Last Call: Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gosh, darn it! Sometimes when your timing’s off, your timing’s off.

I didn’t make Fort Worth Star-Telegram’er Todd Camp’s 13th annual (so originally named) Nightmare Before Christmas bash, a fundraiser for his gay film series, Q Cinema. But I had a good excuse.

As I was about to hit the door last Saturday, the phone rang. My lover (say it with me now, “luv-uhhh”) had committed a party foul across town and needed a ride to Harris Methodist Hospital. Don’t worry: We were a little scared and had to stay there for a lonnng time, but it wasn’t anything that some Vicodin, bandages, and booze couldn’t fix.

At Camp’s soiree at his Southside pad, according to various sources, the self-proclaimed Mayor of Gay Fort Worth had all sorts of goodies on hand — film screenings, munchies, folks in costumes, booze, and a lot of gay community movers and shakers. One of the attendees, I later found out, was Camp comrade (and person I wanted to interview in person for this column), James Allen, owner and proprietor of Stampede.

When I got hold of him days later by phone, I discovered that his new venture, in the space formerly occupied by the Corral Club (621 Hemphill St), is slated to open on Dec. 1. Yeah, yeah, I hear you saying. Another gay bar whose only difference from a hetero hang-out is the preponderance of Donna Summer on the juke. But Stampede stands to be different. The place comes with backyard acreage, which Allen wants to use a performance art venue. He also wants to serve sandwiches until 4am — around the time that my luv-uhhh and I left the ER last week. Gosh, darn it! Why didn’t Allen open his new club last month?

Hooking Up at the Hookah Lounge

Speed dating is about as common in Clubland these days as oxygen bars were here in the late 1990s. A lot of admittedly meat-market-ish hang-outs dedicate at least one night a week to the art of getting people together fast — Manhattan’s in Arlington, City Streets in Sundance Square, the Fox and Hound (various locations). Some of them aren’t even that creepy.

One cool get-together takes place every Thursday at 6pm at Cheddar’s Restaurant (4830 Little Rd, Arlington). These folks definitely ain’t members of the After Midnight Club (a swingers outfit), but the outgoing message on the Cheddar’s group’s voicemail says, “You’re free to be yourself and participate to whatever extent you wish.” Coooool.

Closer to home, one of the more popular speed dating businesses,, is hosting a get-together on Dec. 6 at 7:30pm at Byblos Restaurant & Hookah Lounge (1406 N Main St, FW). Register at the web site. The entry fee is $25-35, and you’ll get $1 well drinks. If you’re smooth enough, you might make your money back.

Lastly, out in Southlake, is having a party at Blue Mesa (1586 E Southlake Blvd, Ste 1709), which includes a free quesadilla bar, $2 domestic beers, and $4.25 margaritas. Check the web site for more information.

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