A new craft cocktail bar and gourmet pizza concept will soon open in an up-and-coming area on the city’s south side, not far from TCU. Called Smokestack 1948, it’s an all-in-one bar/food trailer/live music venue that takes its inspiration from the convivial outdoor food truck parks you might find in Austin.
It'll open in December at 2836 Stanley Ave., in a once industrial area now ripe with development.
Smokestack comes from Fort Worth native Carter Froman, a longtime chef and entrepreneur who recently opened a drive-thru coffeeshop called Carter's Coffee, located in the same area.
"I've spent the last several years working in Austin and Denver, in some really cool restaurants and food trucks," Froman says. "I wanted to bring some of those experiences to Fort Worth."
Smokestack 1948 will be comprised of two repurposed buildings, an outdoor courtyard area, and a food trailer serving gourmet pizza and sandwiches.
The main building will be a sports bar, with big-screen TVs, canned and tap beers, wine, and cocktails. Its exterior walls are adorned with a mural painted by Fort Worth artist Kristen Soble.
The smaller building will serve as a lounge with a cozy, laid-back atmosphere and craft cocktails.
"We'll use all fresh ingredients for the drinks, down to squeezing our own citrus," Froman says.
Between the two buildings will be an outdoor courtyard outfitted with patio furniture, yard games, a children's area, and a stage for live music.
"Because of what’s happening with COVID, we’re putting a lot of emphasis on the outdoor area," Froman says. "There's going to be plenty of elbow room to socially distance. We want to be smart about this and offer a place where people feel comfortable, a space that has a ton of fresh air."
Froman has assembled an A-list culinary and drinks team. Overseeing bar operations will be Sur Easley, former beverage director and assistant manager at Branch & Bird. Bird Café alum Amber Davidson will be head bartender.
Executive chef will be Edward Gutierrez, a Fort Worth native who trained in Paris under master pastry chef Laurent Duchêne. Gutierrez was executive chef at The Bearded Lady and Wild Mushroom and is a former instructor at the Culinary School of Fort Worth.
Gutierrez will also oversee the Smokestack's on-site food trailer, 817 Pizza, which will serve sandwiches and pan pizzas with a Texas twist. Pizzas will include
- barbecue pie with barbecue sauce and smoked brisket
- Frito pie pizza with Frito corn chips, chili seasoning, sour cream, and barbecue sausage
- veggie pie with mushrooms and scallions
Gutierrez says the pizza dough will be made in-house, and they'll also make their own bread and brioche buns for sandwiches.
The concept's name includes a reference to the year the smaller building, once used as an office and as a warehouse, was erected.
"The building we're using as our cocktail lounge was built in 1948 with bricks reclaimed from a factory smokestack that burned down," Froman says.
The larger building was once an ice house. "You can still see the sliding metal rails on the gables," Froman says. "We wanted to keep as much character and history intact as possible."
Smokestack 1948 is located in the Frisco Heights Addition, where major redevelopment has been taking place over the past year. Across the street are new apartments and townhomes; less than a block away is District 90, a burgeoning retail and restaurant development comprised of four repurposed industrial buildings.
Splinter's Axes & Ales, an axe-throwing venue that serves craft beer and wine, was opened by Fort Worth couple Brian and Jonette Phegley in the development in October, and more restaurants and retailers are expected in 2021.