There's a new restaurant blooming at Fort Worth's public flower garden. Called Rock Springs Cafe, it'll open at Fort Worth Botanic Garden, in the space previously home to Gardens Restaurant.
Gardens had been the on-site restaurant for 23 years, but left the space in December 2018 and moved to a country club near Burleson.
Rock Springs comes from Erik Sjolander, a Denton resident who's been in the restaurant business and who already had a thriving business catering events and holding pop-ups.
"This will be our centerpiece," he says. "We'll be doing a café on site and continue with catering as a big part of our operation."
They'll be open for breakfast and lunch, with afternoon hours until the venue closes, probably 8 am to 5 pm. In spring 2020, they'll add Sunday brunch.
"We'll have a lot of soups and salads, that's the demographic there, but we'll have a coffeehouse component with breakfast items and a full coffee setup," he says.
"I think the main business will be during lunch, but we'll be more of a bistro type café, with fresh foods made to order, and some grab and go," he says. "We will also offer daily specials with a homemade, home-style feel."
They're taking the "farm-to-table" concept one step further.
"One of our big goals will be to utilize items from the garden," he says. "There's a backyard garden behind us with spices and vegetables. 'Farm to table' is the buzzword, we'll be 'garden to café.' We're also doing vegan and vegetarian options, which will be a large part of our menu."
They'll have beer and wine, including splits as well as wine by glass and wine by the bottle. "The idea is that you can take a small glass to go and walk through the garden," he says.
Sjolander, who expects to be open sometime in September, says he feels lucky to have landed the location.
"It's such an incomparably beautiful venue, a place where people want to visit and have special occasions like weddings — we feel very fortunate," he says.