Fort Worth restaurant legends collaborate for new laid-back bar
Two major titans of the Fort Worth food and beverage scene are partnering to open a new bar-restaurant on Magnolia Avenue. Called Lazy Moose, it's a collaboration between Vance Martin, owner of Lili's Bistro, and David Shaw, longtime restaurant veteran and current co-owner of Shaw's Patio Bar & Grill.
Lazy Moose will take over Lilipad, Martin's catering space, and will sport a rustic lodge theme, says Shaw, who is targeting an opening in fall 2016.
"We're still in the early stages of doing this, but it'll basically be a lodge look-alike, with couches, a fireplace, [animal] heads on the wall," he says. "That's what we're trying to create."
It'll be a bar first, but it will also serve food. The menu is still in progress, but it'll definitely go beyond wings. "The food is going to be small plates and appetizers, but they'll be a little different — not just fried pickles and potato skins," he says.
Shaw has been a player in Fort Worth's dining scene since the '70s, with a long list of restaurants and bars under his belt, including Abernathy's and BlueBonnets Grill. He and his wife, Ann, opened Shaw's Patio Bar on the site of the former Scampi's Mediterranean Cafe in 2011.
Martin opened Lilipad in 2013 as a catering offshoot of Lili's Bistro. He and Shaw were early pioneers on Magnolia Avenue, opening places there long before the street became the hottest strip in Fort Worth.
"We both love Magnolia," Shaw says. The two are old friends; at one point, Martin even worked for Shaw.
"I'd heard Vance was closing the Lilipad space," Shaw says. "He had people interested in it, but I went to him with a proposition that we do something together. He liked what I was saying.
"I want to call it a high-end bar, but I don't want it to come across as snooty," he says. "It's just going to be a very nice bar, with some acoustic music, a piano, maybe. We'll serve food late, too. It'll be real laid-back."
Shaw will take a more active role in the day-to-day, which he anticipates will be manageable, given its convenient location just a few blocks from Shaw's and one block from Lili's Bistro.
"With Vance and me both involved, it makes it that much more of a big thing," he says.