Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular restaurant and bar stories of 2017. These are the openings, closings, and newsy bits that Fort Worth readers gobbled up.
1. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 10 hottest new restaurants for April. Things got cooking in Fort Worth in April. So many new restaurants had opened in the past few months, we needed a list to keep track. But which were the hottest? So glad you asked. For our April edition of Where to Eat, we offered our guide to the 10 hottest restaurants to open in and around Fort Worth.
2. New Fort Worth restaurant mercado does four-star spin on Mexican. A Fort Worth chef with a fine-dining background was heading up a new restaurant concept that played to his roots. Called Americado, it would be a unique combination of restaurant and meat market and come from chef Victor Villarreal, whose stellar resume included four-star restaurants such as Grace and the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The unique food hall opened in April, then closed suddenly in early November due to lack of business, then reopened about a week later with new menu items and brunch service.
3. Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 7 best local neighborhood restaurants. Just about every neighborhood in Tarrant County has at least one or two: a restaurant beloved and populated mostly by locals. We're not talking about the restaurants along Magnolia Avenue, or downtown, or in the West 7th area, which are packed with just about every walk of Fort Worth life. We're referring to neighborhood restaurants, those hidden gems that may not be known to outsiders or listed in restaurant guides but are cherished by another certain faction of people: those who live around the corner. June's Where to Eat was devoted to these restaurants, where the locals really eat.
4. A round of applause for the 10 best chefs in Fort Worth. The 2017 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event honoring the best in local food and drink, included awards to top chefs and restaurants and a party in April, emceed by Fort Worth celebrity chef Tim Love. But before we partied, we took a closer look at the nominees for Fort Worth Chef of the Year.
5. Food truck serving Fort Worth's best tacos stolen from gated area. A food truck belonging to Taco Heads, Fort Worth's award-winning taco concept from chef Sarah Castillo, was stolen on Memorial Day from an area protected by a locked gate. The theft was caught on video surveillance, allowing the staff, and Fort Worth police, to see how the crime went down. The truck was then located at a residence in south Fort Worth and was recovered by the police. The inside of the trailer was trashed.
6. New Fort Worth bar pings back vintage pinball with craft cocktails. A fun new pinball arcade bar is opening near Fort Worth's hospital district, and it will combine old-school vintage pinball machines with craft beer and cocktails. Called The Craftcade, it will open at 615 S. Jennings Ave., in the space previously occupied by The Last Word bookstore, which closed in June. Set to open in January 2018, The Craftcade comes from Jenni and Calvin Shelby, whose family has been in the arcade business for many decades.
7. All-day breakfast restaurant Snooze cracks open Fort Worth location. In major news for brunch fans, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, known for its eclectic and innovative breakfast creations and boozy morning cocktails, is opening its first location in Fort Worth. The Denver-based chain will open a branch at the Left Bank development in 2018.
8. Celebrity top chef John Tesar cooks up new burger-bar for Fort Worth. If you follow Dallas' top chef John Tesar on Instagram, you'd probably come to the conclusion that he's always on the road. But despite his globe trotting, Tesar had been making plans for Dallas-Fort Worth, including the launch of a spin-off Knife Burger chain, with three locations already in place — including one in Fort Worth. Knife Burger is set to open in Fort Worth, on what is now being called Crockett Row at West 7th, the rebranded West 7th retail development.
9. Total Wine & More pops open second location for Fort Worth. Times were good for tipplers in far north Fort Worth, who finally got their own branch of Total Wine & More. The liquor retailer opened a location at 3101 Texas Sage Tr. — poetically, in a former Hobby Lobby store, so they are still closed on Sundays. The store opened in mid-November, just in time for the holidays.
10. 2 veteran bars in Fort Worth close their doors for good. Not one but two longtime bars in Fort Worth are down: Baker Street Pub & Grill closed abruptly on December 4, while The Aardvark will close after the new year. News of the Baker Street Pub & Grill closure was relayed via a post on Facebook that laid some of the blame on Hurricane Harvey. The Aardvark on Berry Street is closing February 1, 2018, when owner Danny Weaver will hand over the keys to Christ Chapel, an Arlington Heights church that has been holding services at the Aardvark on Sundays for the past eight years.