Popular Dallas Design District coffee and wine bar Ascension Coffee is expanding west, opening a branch in fall 2016 at WestBend, the mixed-use development in Fort Worth's University District.
Ascension will open a 2,420-square-foot store that overlooks the Trinity River and Trinity Trails, says owner Russell Hayward. The trails were a key part of what made the location appealing.
"Our location will fold right out onto that trail, and it's a beautiful setting that's very relaxing," he says. "That's part of what we do. We have the coffee, but I think what makes us special is the way we create conversation areas, where people can come and be there all day long."
The first Ascension opened in Dallas in 2012 and immediately became a neighborhood hot spot. (Still is.) But it's only been recently that Hayward has considered expansion.
"People kept asking us to build one here or build one there," he says. "I try to think of what makes a good fit. In Fort Worth, I'm friends with Garold LaRue, owner of Avoca Coffee, and I like what he was doing, so it was important to me not to compete with where he is."
He just recently opened his second branch of Ascension at the Crescent Court, which has a much different feel than the Design District original.
"It has this European style that fits into the building," he says. "If you look out, you would swear you're in Paris. Each branch is completely different; I think it's important that they fit into their environment."
WestBend is currently undergoing a redevelopment with new retail, restaurants, and office space. Also opening there is Dear Hannah, a women's clothing and accessories boutique. Drybar and Tyler's both opened this spring, joining Zoë’s Kitchen, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Core Power Yoga, Pax & Parker, Woodhouse Day Spa, and Silver Fox.
HG Sply Co. will open this summer, with a 5,000-square-foot patio on the Trinity River and Trinity Trails.
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