Barnett’s has long been one of the greats for Waco’s downtown bar scene. The ambiance has always been the perfect balance between electric with energy, and yet, at the same time, somewhat of a chill place to spend time with friends. The bartenders are knowledgeable about their drinks and super friendly, making it a great place to strike up a conversation about their newest liquid additions and cocktails. But as of late, Barnett’s has really been pushing the envelope. In an effort to expand its perception beyond just the place to go on Saint Patty’s day for green beer, Barnett’s has really focused on the expansion of their whiskey selection.

The journey to 501

If you’ve visited in the last year or so, you also may have noticed that the bar has been pretty busy expanding its selection. The back wall behind the bar has slowly been filling up with new additions and the variety has moved beyond what you typically find at a local bar. Well, it turns out, this is by no accident. We recently discovered that Barnett’s Public House has set its eyes on becoming not just “a” whiskey bar, but “the” whiskey bar. And not just “the” whiskey bar, but the biggest whiskey bar in Texas.

At the bar inside Barnett's Pub in downtown Waco

After plenty of research and travel, they figured out that the current largest whiskey bar in Texas is home to 500 whiskeys. And over the last year, Barnett’s has worked to dethrone them. If you follow along on their facebook page, you’ll actually see their posts every so often updating their followers at their current count.

They hit 400 bottles in early November of 2017, just three months ago, and now, they’re on track to pass them in the next couple of weeks. Barnett’s recently announced they’ll be hosting their victory “501” party on Feb 3rd from 10 am to 1 am the next day. Whiskey will be 25% off the entire bar for the celebration as well as they’ll have various specials and rare deals on private bottles.

But Barnett’s isn’t just ramping up their whiskey. Over the last year or so they’ve been beefing up everything.

Have you seen their menu recently?

After their brunch scene blew up a year or so ago, Barnett’s began to really ramp up their food menu.  Now, their menu has expanded far beyond just weekend breakfast treats and has opened up into a full-service kitchen with food available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They additionally have started offering numerous multi-course dinner events open to the public and available through ticket purchasing online.

Pancakes at Brunch at Barnetts Pub in downtown Waco

Events, Events, Events

They’ve also beefed up their events calendar. Beyond the multi-course dinners, they’ve actively worked to become more involved with the community by partnering with local groups like the Girl Scouts to help sell cookies. They even have a “Cookies on Tap” event coming up around the corner where you get a flight of drinks paired with a particular cookie. They’ve done a phenomenal job expanding their events calendar beyond the big stuff and trying to make every weekend seem like something special. That being said, they still know how to make the big stuff great. Here are just a few of the upcoming events around the corner:

Superbowl Watch Party, 2/4 @ 5:30 pm- Cheer on the Patriots (America’s team) while enjoying $8 beer steins, $1 hot dogs, and a big ‘ol cheap plate of nachos.

Olympic Beer Tour Opening Ceremonies, 2/9 @ 11 pm- The Olympics are coming and this year, you can be a part of it. Cheer on the USA while enjoying beers from all across the world.

Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil, 2/10 @ 12 pm- Start the day off right and watch Baylor v. Kansas starting at 12 pm. Keep the night going and enjoy a medley of Bourbon Street-inspired drinks that’ll be sure to be a good time.

They’re now home to the Texas Whiskey Society

Started in August of 2017, Waco is now home to the Texas Whiskey Society. This group meets at Barnett’s on the last Thursday of each month to sample, discuss and learn about the medley of whiskeys available through Barnett’s. By paying a small membership fee, you gain access to a group of individuals passionate about learning more. They bring in speakers, get discounts on drinks, and have special opportunities to access distilleries around Texas. If you’re wanting to get more into the whiskey scene, this is a great way to do so.

And they don’t just have whiskey

Now that they’re at 501 whiskeys and climbing you might be thinking to yourself, man I don’t like whiskey so this isn’t the place for me. Well, that’s not further from the truth. Barnett’s may now be the biggest whiskey bar in Texas now but their selection is much, much grander. Whatever your fancy, Barnett’s carries not only whiskey, but also over 150 types of wine, and more than 75 beers via can or tap.

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The growth in Waco has definitely been exciting to watch and having the largest whiskey bar in the state of Texas is just another reason to fall in love with this place. Some might say this is even reason #63. If you haven’t checked out our other 62 reasons yet, then you’ve got some more reading to do.