Dining Out | Openings
Akarii Revolving Sushi
The Left Bank shopping center is slowly filling up, with the arrival of Buffalo Wild Wings in the corner spot (629 Stayton St.) and Akarii Revolving Sushi, which offers $3.95 plates and the chance to pull your dinner from a conveyor belt. In Japan, they are known as kaitenzushi. The affordable dishes, typically priced by color of the plate, are popular with solo diners, young couples on dates and families with young kids. While there’s nothing exotic on the menu, all the basics — salmon, tuna, octopus — are covered. There are also appetizers, rolls, hand rolls and ramen. Find a second location in Mansfield. 628 Harrold St., 817-332-8888, akariirevolvingsushi.com
Little Lilly Sushi back in action
A kitchen grease fire in May caused extensive damage to Little Lilly Sushi and forced the family-run restaurant to close for repairs. The good news is that the popular spot has reopened, welcoming back customers at the end of August with a post on Facebook. The interior update is simple, and service is still smooth. Our Sunday evening once again feels normal thanks to the sashimi and sake dinner. In October, LLS and owner Danny Liu celebrate their 10-year anniversary. 6100 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-989-8886, littlelillysushi.com
JD’s Hamburgers fires up the flat top
The locally owned diner/bar/burger joint in Westland drew big crowds to its soft opening in early September, and the staff was put through their paces, especially the cooks and the young woman making the deviled eggs in the shipping-container kitchen. We got a sampling of the menu: The fried green tomatoes were a hit, with a crispy batter and nice-size slice, as were the salmon patties (kudos to JD’s for putting an old favorite on the menu) and deviled eggs. Our flat-patty burger came with avocado and pico de gallo on a slightly sweet bun, a very nice flavor combination. For dessert, we really liked the cornbread cookie with Henry’s buttermilk ice cream and jalapeno honey. The bar was hopping, too, as was the patio, which gives guests a nice view of the kitchen action. 9901 Camp Bowie West, jdshamburgers.com
Neighbor’s House Grocery pivots to a restaurant hybrid
NHG has transitioned to a casual full-time restaurant with a refresh of the space and what it offers. There’s a selection of pantry items for purchase, but the focus is on breakfast, lunch and dinner. Owner Kyle Cowan is a former chef; his kitchen staff includes former cooks from The Fort Worth Club. Rotating specials are still available at lunch; dinner offers more entrees including bison meatloaf or shrimp and smoked cheddar grits; shareables include elk meatballs and coffee-rubbed house-smoked wings. The cozy bar along with wine and beer specials remains; free covered parking is available across the street (validate at the checkout counter). 500 W. 6th St., 817-334-0526, neighborshousegrocery.com
The Pantry: Part restaurant, part food emporium
Hao Tran, one half of Fort Worth’s noted dumpling duo Hao & Dixya, and culinary partner Natasha Bruton have opened The Pantry on Magnolia Avenue. Located in the former Hot Damn, Tamales!, across the street from Paris Coffee Shop, The Pantry showcases Hao’s Asian cooking, including noodles, banh mi, curries and, of course, dumplings, along with Natasha’s scratch desserts, from mini Bundt cakes to addictive chocolate chip cookies studded with bacon. All the recipes are inspired by family, especially the pair’s own grandmothers. Pantry items include desserts, frozen dumplings and more. 713 W. Magnolia Ave., thepantryfw.com
Paco’s doubles the pleasure of tacos and tequila
Paco’s Mexican Cuisine owner Francisco “Paco” Islas has opened a second location in Sundance Square with family members pitching in at both locations. Expect the same basic menu in both cafes, with more gourmet specials and a Sunday brunch buffet. Existing amenities and patio seating with a view of Sundance Square cinched the deal for the Islas family. Sundance Square, 156 W. 4th St., 682-224-6368, pacoscuisine.net
3rd Street Market: Bread bar, soup, coffee and more
A former sports bar and grill is now home to a market/bakery concept from husband-and-wife team Trent and Dena Shaskan, who also are founders of Icon Bread and Mockingbird Food Company, respectively. Dena also is a former chef at Café Modern and a longtime caterer. The third partner is Dixya Bhattarai, a nutritionist/food blogger/dumpling maker (Hao & Dixya) and 107 resident, who is overseeing the Indulge cooking studio and tea room — indulgefw.com — inside the market. All three also are partners in The Table, a market concept in the Near Southside neighborhood. (These people are busy.) The large new 3rd Street space is filled with the heady aroma of fresh-baked bread and coffee. Trent’s sourdough is sought out by bread fans; he sells regularly at The Table and at The Clearfork Farmers Market most Saturdays.
You can sit at the bar or a table or grab a spot on one of the comfy couches and order a snack of a quarter loaf of warm sourdough — choose from the three daily offerings — with butter or olive oil, a housemade spread and sea salt. Open for breakfast and lunch, 3rd Street also serves a Puerto Rican-style breakfast, pastries, locally made cold-pressed juice, coffee, wine and beer. There’s also a small menu of Dena’s sandwiches, soups and salads. And Dena says there will always be vegetarian/vegan offerings. Look for fresh produce, pantry goods, giftables, cookbooks and more, along with a grab-and-go section including packaged cheese-meat boards. Planned hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; look for a late September or early October opening. Watch the website or social media for updates. Sundance Square, 425 W. 3rd St., 3rdstreet.market
Crockett Row gets a new owner. Can things turn around?
While the nightclub and bar scene around the Crockett Row at West 7th development is busy at night, the mixed-use retail project has seen better days since it opened in 2009. We walked through one early Sunday evening, and while the weather was nice, not many people were out save for a few dog-walking apartment dwellers. Windows of many shops are papered with lively graphics, but that doesn’t hide the fact they’re empty, including spaces that housed Terra Mediterranean, Tillman’s Roadhouse (which became Fort Worth Market + Table, which became El Bolero), the Food Hall, Fireside Pies/Thirteen Pies, Cork & Pig Tavern, West Elm, Dirty Bones (formerly Stirr and Kona Grill), The Blue Fish — and some smaller storefronts. Mash’d, Social House and Concrete Cowboy had patrons, including Dallas Cowboys fans watching the game. Younger Partners, a Dallas boutique commercial real estate firm, hopes to turn the five-block urban village around as its new owner. In its early August announcement, YP said it wants to “freshen the brand” and will work with the city on accessibility. Also on its to-do list: more gathering spaces, parking improvements, better signage and additional elevators. How it reverses the negative image brought about by years of parking woes, tenant roulette and being located next to one of the city’s busiest bar scenes will be interesting to see.
To cultivate interest in activities and events on the fall schedule at Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas — a delightful season for all things al fresco in — we’ve pulled together a few teasers to lure you outside.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., 817-463-4160, brit.org
¡Celebramos! A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage
Performances, exhibitions, dining, shopping and more are promised in the gardenwide event, which features a different focus each weekend, from traditional herbal medicines to folk dancing.
Sept. 24-25 Shop the Mariposa Market, filled with the wares of local Hispanic artisans, and enjoy food trucks and folklórico dance performances, too
Oct. 1 Enjoy Dia de la Familia, a day of educational activities and fun including piñatas and storytelling. The family-friendly events culminate in the evening with a showing of the popular Disney movie Encanto in the Horseshoe Garden. And family fun extends to fur babies (scales, fins and feathers welcome, too).
Oct. 4 FWBG holds its second annual Blessing of the Animals, each critter in attendance is promised its own special moment.
Oct. 15 Frida Kahlo fans can enjoy twinkling lights and reverie among replicated portions of Casa Azul, the artist’s famed home. Find more details on each weekend’s activities on the website calendar.
Día de los Muertos The Rose Garden will be transformed by a carpet of marigolds on the steps. A special altar created by local artisans will be set up at the top of the rose ramp in the shelter house. Oct. 29
Japanese Festival The fall version of the popular event is our favorite with cooler temperatures and the Japanese Garden ablaze with color. Nov. 5-6
Dog Days If summer’s heat didn’t inspire you to leash up the pack for a walk in the garden, take advantage of cooler weather for a warm and fuzzy experience with your well-behaved fur friends and family. Standard admission prices for humans, plus $5 per pup. Nov. 19-20
Texas Botanicals in Warp and Weft Native Texas botanicals are the source of inspiration for the handwoven art in an exhibit featuring the works of fiber artists from across the state. The juried show, organized by the Fort Worth Weavers Guild, is both a visual and textural delight. Displayed in the BRIT gallery, the exhibit uniquely educates viewers on the artistic possibilities of plant materials as well as the difference between warp and weft, the components of weaving that turn thread or yarn into fabric. Through Dec. 27
Christmas in Cowtown Holiday Gift Market | Oct. 13-16
The Junior League of Fort Worth gives shoppers a jump on the holidays, turning the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall at the Will Rogers complex into a market filled with vendors, many of whom have waited years to become part of the popular four-day event. And, yes, you’ll see offerings from many local shops and makers, too. Proceeds benefit multiple nonprofits including The Welman Project (featured in this issue), Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County and Tarrant Area Food Bank. Tickets are available for the Oct. 12 preview party and private shopping opportunity, too. 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., christmasincowtown.com
Art Worth: There’s a new festival in town | Oct. 21-23
We’ve always thought that the tree-shaded lawn at Will Rogers Memorial Center is an underappreciated venue. Kudos to the organizers of Art Worth, a new fine art/craft festival, for choosing the site for their inaugural three-day event. And for picking a time of year when being outdoors should be quite comfortable. Organizers also get a thumbs-up for enlisting Fort Worth artists, including Nancy Lamb, Lauren Saba (Fort Works Art), Peeler Howell (William Campbell Gallery) and ceramicist Pam Summers, to serve as the show’s jurors. Summers also will have a booth with her own collectible work for sale at the free event. Enjoy classical music, wine, food and more. ArtWorks Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit, is the show’s organizer. Check out the website and social media to learn more. artworthfest.org or facebook.com/artworthfest
Station 18 turns 99
The Camp Bowie District firehouse, the oldest active station in Fort Worth, celebrates its birthday in October. It’s also one of the more unusual stationhouses, too, located in a brick bungalow-style building with a distinctive red tile roof. The purposeful design was intended to help it blend into the residential neighborhood it calls home. A mid-1980s renovation helped save the station from demolition, and the interior also has been updated, including a refresh in 2021. One thing hasn’t changed: The building is haunted, a fact verified by firefighters assigned there over the years. The Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association is throwing another birthday party for Station 18, on Oct. 23, with an open house, cake and more. 1908 Carleton Ave., facebook.com/fwfd18
Rooftop Cinema Club lands on The Worthington
An open-air theater is setting up on the rooftop of the downtown hotel, with a scheduled premiere of Oct. 4. With locations in Chicago, Houston, Miami and other major cities (RCC did pop-ups in Dallas last year), Fort Worth is the flagship location for North Texas. The Terrace at The Worthington Renaissance offers the space for individual deck chairs, a large LED screen, food/beverage setup and stellar views of downtown. Individual headphones are provided; films range from cult classics to recent releases. Check the website for film and ticket info. 200 Main St., rooftopcinemaclub.com