Worldly restaurant in Fort Worth's Near Southside closes after one year
An acclaimed restaurant in Fort Worth has closed: Beast and Company, a chef-driven spot with a worldly/global menu located at 1010 W. Magnolia Ave. in the Near Southside, has closed.
Chef and founder Dustin Lee shared the news on Facebook, blaming the closure on a decline in business the restaurant had endured in recent weeks.
"I would rather fight until every last dime is gone, but after consulting my lawyer and accountant, we must act in the best interest of our employees and also ensure taxes are paid. I hate to say this, but the Beast and Co is closing its doors, effective immediately," he said.
Lee left the corporate world in 2020 and opened The Beast & Co. on West Magnolia Avenue in 2022. He gained a following for an evolving menu of scratch dishes with worldly flair, like soba noodles with coconut curry, burrata with gremolata & grilled bread, and masala spice cake with curry ice cream.
The restaurant did not lack for acclaim, including making the December 2022 edition of CultureMap's monthly Where to Eat column, for "Where to take the hardcore foodie and prove FW has a foodie scene." Author Malcolm Mayhew called it "one of Fort Worth’s best new restaurants," serving dishes that went beyond the city’s norm.
Lee also earned a nomination for Rising Star Chef in Fort Worth's 2023 CultureMap Awards.
In February, Lee stirred up some controversy in a post where he speculated that the city of Fort Worth was not receptive to outsiders. Some commenters said it was more a case of inadequate marketing, while others found it too expensive for anything beyond a special occasion. But nearly everyone said it was a great place with great food, rooted in Southern traditions, but incorporating other cuisines including Western African, Northern African, Vietnamese, French, and Spanish.
Dishes included Italian pasta with goat Bolognese, Thai lobster bisque with a Thai lobster dumpling, and a spicy version of bouillabaisse made with skate wing. The bar featured cocktails with a global focus such as a saffron-tinted Bees Knees.
In his closure post, Lee praised his staff, calling them "the best team in DFW," stating that the failure was his fault, but that he was going to persevere.
"I’m going to keep cooking and putting together bad ass wine lists, wherever that may take me. Be well Fort Worth. Sorry for the missed connection," he said.