What was once the Southside Lions Club, built in 1952, is now the Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge. It is located at 1311 Lipscomb St. in the Near Southside neighborhood in Fort Worth.
We met up with Bill Smith, who is the developer and visionary behind this restoration project, for a tour.
Bill shares with us that he has had 37 years in the construction business and decided to take on this project as a labor of love.
When he acquired the property it was a pier and beam construction that had warped floors, so much so that you had to literally climb uphill when you entered.
He and his son put in their own sweat equity by restoring the property.
From leveling and re pouring the concrete floors to importing and hand carving the gorgeous wood mahogany used through out the facility to putting in an ingenious beer pump that allows for beer on the beautiful roof bar, to the live music stage inside the building, the Live Oak is a study in innovative renovation.
Bill also explained his ingenious financing of the project by selling share to anyone in the community interested in seeing this venue prosper.
Through fundraising nights and volunteer based music mentoring sessions such as local musicians working with youth to give free music lessons the Live Oak intends to become part of the fabric of the community.
When Bill explains to us that he did not go to college and that he realizes that it’s not for everyone he is proud to help others like him achieve their dreams and provide this venture as an example of what is possible.
This visit was truly inspirational and I hope the Live Oak and it’s community prosper.