Fort Worth gets a sweet taste of New Orleans with the debut of Tulane's, a NOLA-inspired cocktail lounge that opened at The Foundry District on February 25.
Located at 2708 Weisenberger St., the lounge is a fond homage (but no relation) to New Orleans' premier university, from two Fort Worth food & beverage veterans.
Partners Daniel Zapata and Amanda Jones have both been slinging cocktails around Fort Worth for a number of years. Jones' family owns Houston Street Bar and Patio, the downtown Fort Worth sports bar; Zapata worked there, and has also worked at acclaimed bars such as Thompson's and Poag mahone's.
Tulane's is the first bar they've owned, and they put all of their heart and soul into it, practically building the place from ground up. "It's a labor of love," they say.
Jones lived for many years in California, while Zapata has lived in Fort Worth his whole life. But they're big fans of the Big Easy.
"I fell in love with New Orleans, and just tried to figure out a way to bring a slice of that back to Fort Worth," Zapata says.
They've drawn their inspiration from New Orleans landmarks such as Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, injecting Tulane's with a New Orleans spirit that includes elegant chandeliers and jewel-tone lighting behind the bar in hues of purple, emerald, and magenta.
Having an outdoor space was key, one that would channel the garden space of Audubon Cottages on Dauphine St. in New Orleans' French Quarter.
Their beverage program includes techniques such as infusions and on-premise barrel-aging, but they also do good old-fashioned NOLA classics, everything from Sazerac and Vieux Carre to hurricanes and rum punch.
There are basic eats, just enough if someone needs to nosh. That includes pizza by the slice, plus seasonal New Orleans-style specials such as crawfish boils. They're making their own pizza, using a high-tech TurboChef oven.
The bar opens at 3 pm, and the pizza starts up at 6 pm and runs 'til they close at 2 am, daily.
Tulane's fits in into the Foundry program, says Jenny Sanders, marketing director for M2G Ventures, which has been the force behind developing this revitalized warehouse district.
"They have a wealth of knowledge," Sanders says. "And whether it's Blackland or 38th & Vine or Tulane's, what ties it together is that it's a homegrown brand. We love having people who are from Fort Worth, who see an opportunity and decide to go for it - who care about the city and want to make a contribution."