Award-winning Fort Worth restaurant-bar spins off tropical sibling
A chill new restaurant and bar is coming to Fort Worth's River East district from a veteran team. Called Tropic Lady, it'll open in the former Fuzzy's Taco space at 2719 Race St., and is a sibling to Bearded Lady, the popular bar-restaurant in Near Southside.
Bearded Lady owner Shannon Osbakken, her business partner Sarah Allen, and their GM Amanda Yunger are banding together to open what they call "Fort Worth's newest eatery for a staycation," with a lazing ambience and "vacation vibes."
"Take a sabbatical from your 9-5, sip on a hand-squeezed coconut margarita, and enjoy life in our little oasis in the city," they say.
At Tropic Lady, they'll serve craft cocktails and mocktails, craft beer, bowls, wraps, and sandwiches with a tropical twist. They promise also to have tons of vegan and vegetarian items.
"We are excited to bring a new spot to relax at and show off the creative and fun ideas we have been dreaming of for so long," Osbakken says.
The fact that they're offering alcohol-free "mocktails" has been well received, and people are also enthusiastic that something is finally making use of the old Fuzzy's space.
Osbakken says they've been working on the location for about a year.
"I love the area," she says. "It reminds me of Magnolia when were first were on it 10 years ago in our old location. It's a great community and the neighbors have been friendly and reaching out."
"And something about the space felt right," she says. "It helped inspire the vision of a very relaxing vacation-vibe place."
They plan on beautiful decor with wallpaper and thematic light fixtures. It currently has a medium-sized patio on the side of the building, but they'll extend it to the front.
"I think it'll be great to have a front-facing patio on Race Street to make a connection with the neighborhood," she says.
At 3700 square feet, it's similar to Bearded Lady, but with a larger kitchen. Food and drink will take its cues from some of the recent experimentation they've been doing at Bearded Lady.
"We've been experimenting more with cocktails and we'll delve into that aspect with this restaurant," she says. "We're also wanting to create a healthier menu, with food that's lighter, approachable, and good to have a few cocktails with."
They're in the fun phase of menu-testing ideas such as plantain nachos made with fried plantain chips topped with different types of proteins and queso.
"Last night we debuted a burger we want to serve, topped with bacon, blue cheese, caramelized pineapple and honey habanero — it was really good," she says.
The Bearded Lady team have earned many nods, including a game-changing ranking in 2016 as one of the Top 5 Burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine; Bearded Lady's "L.U.S.T." burger came in at No. 3 and also made the magazine's cover. They've been nominated this year in the 2023 Tastemaker Awards for Best Burger.
Tropic Lady is penciled in for an opening by late summer — hopefully in time to catch those vacation vibes.