Fall is always a busy time for restaurant openings. People want their eateries to be off the ground and in the groove in time for the holiday rush.
This fall is no exception, especially in Fort Worth, where at least half a dozen new restaurants are opening in the next few weeks. These are the hottest, coming soon:
FW Market + Table
After five-plus years, the Fort Worth offshoot of Dallas' Tillman's Roadhouse closed in August, to be replaced by a more modern concept called FW Market + Table. This ambitious venture is headed by ex-Tillman's chef and Hell's Kitchen participant Kalen Morgenstern. It opens October 19.
FW Market + Table is a dual concept. The "Market" side is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a juice bar; coffee bar (serving Fort Worth's Avoca coffee); bar-bar; market with grab-and-go items; and casual sit-down cafe with burgers, flatbreads, and sandwiches.
Coming later this year will be "Table," a formal dining room where Morgenstern will serve upscale, Americana dishes.
The first Fort Worth Snappy Salads opens at 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., in the former Which Wich space, joining the other eight branches of this upscale Dallas-based salad chain. The menu will be the same, including the popular grilled avocado salad, yellowfin tuna salad, and Texas Taco salad topped with ground meat and tortilla strips, as well as a daily, rotating special. Wraps and soups are also on the menu, as is Snappy's trademark eco-friendly stance.
The Dive Oyster Bar
Eagerly anticipated, The Dive is a chef-driven oyster bar taking over the west side space at 3520 Alta Mere Dr. that was best known as the original home to Salsa Fuego. It's the third venture from Robbie and Yvonne Turman, owners of nearby Oscar's Pub and The Mule. To lead their kitchen, they scored quite a coup: Josh Rangel, a former sous chef at Waters, Jon Bonnell's seafood restaurant.
"The guy knows oysters, that's for sure," says Robbie Turman of Rangel. "He's going to do all these different, cool toppings for the oysters, like we'll have Bloody Mary oysters." The restaurant will also serve gumbo, clam chowder, and other seafood-y staples. Everything will be made from scratch — even the ketchup. It opens in late fall.
Dagwoods Fire Grill Tap
Fort Worth chef David Hollister and partner Chris Hutchinson are going big, opening three restaurants in Fort Worth nearly back to back. Dagwoods Grinders & Growlers, a sandwich and beer stop, is already open in west Fort Worth, near Ridgmar Mall.
Dagwoods Fire Grill Tap is their full-service restaurant opening in the West Seventh District area, in the short-lived Bottlecap Alley space at 843 Foch St., in early November. The menu, described as "Texas street food," will include chicken-fried Akaushi steak and chile-dusted chicharrones, with dozens of craft beers on tap.
Common Ground will be a full-service, sit-down restaurant across from TCU, in the new University House residential building. Hollister describes the menu as his "twist on Americana staples," such as buttermilk-battered quail legs and Coke-bourbon meatballs. The space will be decked out with an outdoor patio and fireplace; opening is in November.
Boiling King Crab Tap House
With 50+ beers on tap and 30 TVs, this hybrid combines Cajun food, sports bar, and tap room — an interesting concept, to say the least. Boiling King will open in Fort Worth's Montgomery Plaza at 2600 W. Seventh St., an ill-fated space where three other restaurants have gone down, including Mac's Steak and Seafood, Monty's Corner, and, most recently, Bite City Grill. The latter closed in June.
The first brick-and-mortar location for Sarah Castillo's monstrously popular taco truck will open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the snug Montgomery Street spot recently occupied by Trevino's Comida Mexicana. To her menu of street-style tacos she'll add several appetizers, such as elotes, queso, and guacamole, along with a few desserts.
Castillo is also taking over the empty retail shop next door, which she'll convert into a cantina serving wine, beer, and craft cocktails. She's shooting for a late-November/early December opening.
A second Tacoheads location will open next year in the up-and-coming South Main Village development.