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Bird-themed restaurant in Fort Worth's Sundance Square flies away

Bird-themed restaurant in Fort Worth's Sundance Square flies away

Buttermilk fried chicken with pepperjack grits, jalapeno gravy and poached eggs at Bird Cafe
Bird Cafe's menu included fried chicken with grits and poached eggs. Bird Cafe/Facebook

After seven years, a restaurant in downtown Fort Worth is calling it quits: Bird Café, located on the edge of Sundance Square Plaza, will close on May 22.

In a release, owner Shannon Wynne blames the coronavirus for the closure.

"With the shutdown caused by Covid-19, we found it impossible to operate economically and have elected to close permanently," he says.

They're inviting patrons to dine in at 25 percent capacity or on the patio for one last hurrah before then, "while our inventory lasts," he says.

Wynne recalls the founding of the restaurant when he was approached by Johnny Campbell on behalf of the Bass family to create a fine dining concept for the historic Land and Title Building, which he calls "one of the most important and best surviving Victorian commercial buildings in Fort Worth."

"Formerly housing our Flying Saucer Draught Emporium concept, the space would be available as The Saucer moved to the old 8.0 Bar space on East Third," Wynne says. "Sundance was about to build the Plaza on the Square and the Land Title Building would be preserved to house a new exciting project."

He says that the 1889 floor plan was a challenge to design. "Representative of the turn of the century, I wanted to merge the histories of the cattle and oil dynasties that would soon burgeon in Fort Worth. I would design it to be representative of a place people might have gone to get a good meal back then, heavily male, but with female refinement."

"Female refinement" — one can only wonder what that might be.

The restaurant had a wealth of bird-themed art, including an installation of the Birds of Texas portfolio by twins Stuart and Scott Gentling, who were inspired by famed artist John James Audubon.

All for naught.

"We have worked hard to keep the Bird evolving this past seven years, but this pandemic is more than a chef driven concept like ours could handle," Wynne says. "We will miss the building a lot and thank Johnny Campbell, Bill Boecker and Ed Bass for giving us a shot."