A new coffee and wine bar has opened in The Stockyards which honors both the history of its neighborhood and the Western way of life.
Called The Railcar Coffee & Spirits, it's located at 112 W. Exchange Ave., in the former Cowtown Winery spot (which has relocated to Mule Alley), where it aims to be a congenial destination for coffee, beer, and wine.
Founder Kristin Brown is a native of Houston with a background that seems tailor-made for doing a cool coffee shop with a Western theme.
"My father is a rancher and my mom is an interior designer, and I feel like this brings together and honors those two cultures," she says. "My parents have been big supporters, I couldn't have done this without them."
Brown studied telecommunications and film in college, and worked at Cowboys & Indians magazine before opening The Railcar in March.
"I wanted to have really good coffee and bring something new to the Stockyards that wasn't here before," she says.
In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, she's offering bites from Fort Worth purveyors such as bagels from Boopa's Bagel Deli. "I want to spotlight local bakers," she says.
Her coffee menu includes drip, pour-over, cold brew, and espresso; also, unique drinks with fun Western names such as The Doc Holliday, with espresso and Dr Pepper; and the signature Railcar, a hickory-smoked latte.
Drinks can be doctored with a shot of vanilla, caramel, or lavender syrup, and your pick of alternative milks from oat or almond.
Brown is an animal lover who is donating a portion of her revenue to local animal shelters. She was originally going to name her shop for her beloved cattledog, until learning someone else in Florida had the idea first. Railcar, one word, ended up feeling right.
For now, The Railcar is open 8 am to 5 pm. Once she finds her routine, she anticipates staying open later on weekend nights, providing a place to get a beer or a glass of wine.
The shop is artfully decorated, sporting a modern-yet-vintage flair with original brick walls, white oak floors, and Western themes, including a sweeping mural of a traincar painted by Fort Worth artist Stylle Read.
The "passengers" inside the train are iconic figures such as Annie Oakley, cowboy Bill Pickett, poet Red Steagall, and Western actor John Wayne.
"I loved the idea of customers coming in and seeing the mural and learning the history," Brown says. (One recent visitor was none other than Reba McEntire; mural honoree Red Steagall also dropped in.)
"I feel lucky to be part of The Stockyards with such a unique and rich connection to the West, which I share," she says.