This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth has much good news: ice cream in Southlake, ramen in Keller, salads in Denton, and pizza in the Near Southside.
Sadly, there's a big closure and the clock is ticking.
Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news:
Boozie's Brewery & Gourmet Sandwiches, the full-service brewpub featuring bountiful sandwiches, is closing. The concept — from a team that included Bruce Conti, who is also the landlord, plus chef David Hollister and brewer Bobby Mullins — opened two locations mere months ago: one in Fort Worth in the former Wild Acre brewpub space at 6479 Camp Bowie Blvd. and a second location in Fairview.
Hollister, an acclaimed chef who made the list of Top 10 Chefs in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards, confirms that the restaurants are closing, saying he only just learned of the closures himself.
"It was definitely fast and unexpected, and after only four months," he says, more graciously than surely any person on the planet would be under the circumstances.
Hollister was previously at Wild Acre, but Fort Worth diners remember him best for his Dagwood’s sandwich shops – one on Foch Street and the other by Ridgmar Mall. Wherever he goes, sandwich fans follow for favorites like the Reuben with house-brined Akaushi Wagyu pastrami, and the Cuban Press with braised Duroc pork shoulder.
The Fort Worth Boozie's also earned a spot on CultureMap's monthly Where to Drink column in March, where it was lauded for its craft cocktails and multiple beers on tap.
The restaurants will remain open for the rest of the week with generous discounts, including $7 for all sandwiches and $5 for drinks.
"We’ll be here until Sunday for the staff we do have left to make some money while they're looking for another job," Hollister says. "Some of these guys I was able to place at other restaurants but, if anyone knows of any leads of places looking for help, I’d love to pass the information along."
Boozie's is not the only sudden shutter with which Conti has been involved: 38 & Vine, an innovative wine bar in Fort Worth that notably allowed customers to pour self-serve sips, was forced to close abruptly in April; Conti was a partner in the business.
Handel's Ice Cream, the acclaimed ice cream shop concept from the Northeast, is about to open a location in Southlake at 2645 E. Southlake Blvd.; a spokesperson confirms that they'll be opening "soon." Headquartered in Ohio, Handel's made their debut in Texas in 2019, where they currently have 10 locations either open or about to be, including Flower Mound, Grapevine, Plano, and McKinney, along with locations in the Northeast, Arizona, Alabama, California, Oregon, and Nevada. Founder Alice Handel first began serving ice cream out of her husband's gas station in Youngstown, made with fruit picked from her own backyard. The menu now includes more than 150 flavors of ice cream and yogurt, although shops don't have that many at one time. They're known for good-quality ingredients and for making their ice cream daily, starting with a base made by Handel's corporate that's shipped to the store. They also offer unique Northeast-style flavors such as peppermint stick, black raspberry truffle, and orange pineapple, and eight vanilla options including vanilla, vanilla raspberry chip, and vanilla with lemon Oreos.
Hoshi Ramen has opened in Keller at 1301 Keller Pwky. #200 with ramen, soba and udon noodles, rice bowls, and salads. They have six varieties of ramen including the classic Hoshi ramen, Texas ramen with brisket and chicken karaage, kimchi ramen, veggie ramen, and bulgogi ramen with Korean BBQ beef. Other dishes include korokke (Japanese potato croquettes), steamed BBQ pork buns, bulgogi salad, tonkatsu, and fried shrimp curry rice. Hoshi is from Fort Worth resident Injun Shim, who also owns Taki Ramen Japanese Noodle and Pub in Wichita Falls. They'll serve sake, soju, wine, and beer, once they acquire a liquor license.
Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar, the upscale pizzeria from Rich Hicks (Tin Star Diner, Mooyah, Taco Lingo) has opened its long-awaited location in Fort Worth, at 1301 W. Magnolia St., which they announced on Facebook. The pizza is among the best in Dallas, featuring fermented dough with an emphasis on the thin crust rather than an avalanche of toppings, designed by Giovanni Mauro, a veteran chef and pizzaiolo who has owned restaurants such as Old School Pizzeria and Nora's Wine Bar in Las Vegas; he and Hicks worked together back in the early days of Romano's Macaroni Grill. The first location debuted in mid-2016 in Dallas' Design District, where it pioneered the concept's menu of pizzas, pastas, beer, and wine. Hopefully not too sophisticated for Fort Worth, although one comment posted on the page is not reassuring: "The pizza really needs more cheese," the comment says. "I just tried it and Domino's is better. What's missing is the cheese."
Salata has opened a location in South Denton at 1931 S. Loop 288 with built-to-order salads & wraps, soups, tea, and lemonade. The chain has five salad bases, 50+ toppings, and 11 dressings. This is the 92nd location nationwide, and is from franchisees Todd & Joanna Jones, who plan to open more locations in Denton.
Razzoo's Cajun Cafe has launched a new menu which includes the return of customer favorite Firemouth Wings. Other new items include bacon-wrapped shrimp with jalapeño, crab cakes, peel & eat shrimp, Creole pork chop with jalapeño cheese sauce, mashed potatoes & green beans, blackened redfish over dirty rice, shrimp Carnivale with bell pepper & onions, and chicken stuffed with boudin.
Melting Pot has a new Best Fondue Friends Forever (BFFF) menu, with a 3- or 4-course meal featuring Melting Pot’s enhanced BFFF cheese and chocolate fondue plus new offerings like Bacon Mac & Cheese Fondue topped with crispy bacon, and Lavender & Blueberry Chocolate Fondue, with white chocolate and blueberries topped with decadent blackberry "caviar."
Fuzzy's Taco Shop has three new limited-edition menu items featuring elote: an Elote side, a 6-ounce portion made with corn, queso, jalapenos, feta, and Fuzzy Dust; Chicken Elote Double Stack Taco with elote, fajita chicken, and rice; Chicken Elote Bowl with the same ingredients in a bowl. Available through Sunday June 18.
Tiff's Treats is bringing back their signature Chip's Mix, a special two-dozen package with chocolate, double chocolate, oatmeal, and peanut butter chocolate chip varieties, available through May 21, for $42. Tiff's Treats uses a one-of-a-kind variety of custom-made chocolate chips, a little-known secret that, thanks to CultureMap, is a secret no longer.
Starbucks has introduced its summer 2023 beverages: Chocolate Java Mint Frappuccino features blended Frappuccino roast coffee, chocolate, mint, and Frappuccino chips, finished with a layer of mocha sauce, whipped cream, and a chocolate cookie mint sprinkle topping; and White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew, featuring Starbucks Cold Brew sweetened with macadamia syrup, topped with white chocolate macadamia cream cold foam, and finished with toasted cookie crumbles.