Rangoon Racquet Club to Rise Again (sort of)
Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:55 PM
FORT WORTH, TX (September 4, 2008) – Jeffrey A. Rattikin, Attorney at Law, announced the impending move of his real estate law firm, three exchange companies and the Westside Office of Rattikin Title Company to a recently purchased historic building located at 4936 Collinwood Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas, just off Camp Bowie Boulevard.
Much like the entire Rattikin family, the new Rattikin location on the Westside is deeply rooted in Fort Worth history, initially serving in the early 1900’s as an off-campus officer’s club for military men housed at the Camp Bowie Army Base during World War I. Numerous artifacts from the Army Base days, including old bills detailing the officers’ choice of libations, have been found in the building’s basement over the years.
Subsequent to the closing of the Army base, the building underwent a series of renovations and additions as the Camp Bowie corridor began to take shape. For a few decades, the building served as a boarding house with one notable tenant – Lee Harvey Oswald. As detailed in the Warren Commission Report, Oswald lived in the building during high school, where he first began communicating with various socialist and Marxist organizations.
Most current Fort Worthians, however, fondly remember the building as the site of the much-beloved Rangoon Racquet Club, an infamous watering hole that played host to Fort Worth’s trendy Westside crowd and numerous visiting celebrities during the 1970’s. The bar has been mentioned in books and movies, and was known as the ‘in-spot among in-spots’ during its reign as Fort Worth’s most famous gathering spot.
The renovated building, to be renamed Rattikin Square, has long been on Jeff Rattikin’s mind. “As a life-long Fort Worth resident, I grew up with first-hand knowledge of the immense popularity of ‘The Rangoon,’” said Rattikin. “I also have a great love of Fort Worth history. When the opportunity to own a piece of that history presented itself, I jumped on it. I have maintained an office two buildings away for the last ten years, and appreciate the value of officing close to our families, clients and significant Fort Worth neighborhoods. I look forward to continuing our support of the exciting renovation of the Historic Camp Bowie corridor.”
Rattikin Square is being redeveloped by Rattikin with the assistance of Architect Eric Hahnfeld of Hahnfeld Architects. Once completed, the building will contain approximately 7,000 square feet of office space. In addition to Rattikin’s offices, two first floor spaces are available for lease through Chris Stewart of Coldwell Banker Commercial Searcy Vasseur Group.
The Rattikin Square location of Rattikin Title Westside will operate in conjunction with another area Rattikin Title office opening soon, to be located alongside Williams Trew Real Estate Services, Southwest Bank Mortgage and Plains Capital Bank at 3707 Camp Bowie Boulevard.
Rattikin is constructing a courtyard and fountain on the Rattikin Square property, and plans a unique monument to the building’s history within the courtyard. In addition, Rattikin is seeking artifacts and memorabilia from any former patrons of the Rangoon. “Everyone has asked me to bring back the Rangoon,” said Rattikin. “While I won’t be opening a bar, our friends and clients can look forward to monthly ‘Rangoon at the Rattikin’ happy hours in the courtyard. The Rangoon will rise again.”
Posted 16 October 2008 - 04:47 PM
Remember Pipps on Camp Bowie. You purchased a membership and you could come in and eat snacks, buy drinks and play bacgammon etc.
Stormin Norman who chewed on the Big Cigar was your host.
Posted 19 October 2008 - 07:57 AM
I believe that place was immortalized by the late, local author Tommy Thompson as the "Baboon Rocket Club" in his novel "Celebrity", a tale of high school buds from Arlington Heights with a horrible secret. I haven't read the book in years but I seem to remember there were several other thinly veiled references to Fort Worth locations and institutions tucked away in there, sort of a wink to those familiar with our burg a la the 1970's.
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