9/11-themed bar in Texas baffles internet, but owners says: ‘I don’t want to forget that day’

9/11-themed bar in Texas baffles internet, but owners says: ‘I don’t want to forget that day’
Jesse Tyler

A bar in Texas that’s styled around the theme of America’s most significant terror attack has gained a predictable response this week, after a local man tweeted out photos of the interior and signage.

bar9eleven has been open in Fort Worth, Texas since at least 2014, but only discovered by the wider world on May 17, when Jesse Tyler tweeted about the eatery decorated with the memory of the 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers, which killed almost 3,000 people.

Owner Brent Johnson’s plaques, which are featured in the viral photo, depict the terrorist attacks through the eyes of a man who, at the same time of the attack, is trying to open a Tex Mex restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas. Yes, the retelling of the infamous day centers around him.

“The phone at Rio Mambo Tex Mex y Mas rings for the first day of operations,” a sign in Johnson’s restaurant reads under the headline “8:49,” the time notoriously remembered by most Americans at the moment the first plane hit the first tower.

But down in Texas, that hour was the beginning of something else entirely.

“Honey, our restaurant will open in less than two and a half hours,” Johnson recalls telling his wife Roseanne when he answered a call from her that morning. “I cannot talk on the phone.”

But talk on the phone he did - only to find out that 9/11 had happened.

However, he was unfazed, and went back to prepping for the opening, citing the “71 straight days of physical labor” leading up to this moment. The restaurant was later re-named in recognition of the terror attack itself.

The rest of the plaques mark the attacks unfolding, followed by the aftermath.

“I don’t want anyone who comes into my restaurant to forget that day,” he said of the bar, according to Texas Monthly, which points out that Texas is actually pretty fully of 9/11-themed things, including a cheerleading routine that went viral a few years ago, triggering similar national bewilderment.

The bar’s website also shares the desire to keep the memory of the attacks, which are already solemnly commemorated every single year, alive.

“After it's 3rd expansion since 2001, bar9eleven now features TWO FULL BARS, 26 tables, 11 televisions and it's own bar patio!” the bar’s virtual description reads. “Forever in memory of that tragic day, the day we opened this restaurant, this location and it's growth is the result of the resolve and spirit of many hard working employees and a community that would not allow it to fail!”

One TripAdvisor reviewer, perhaps overwhelmed by the emotion behind the eatery, which offers dollar nachos at happy hour, wrote simply: “Never Again.”

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