Courtesy photo

It's almost time to celebrate the top restaurant and bar talent in Tarrant County at the 2023 Tastemaker Awards, returning to Fort Worth for a second year.

The awards ceremony will take place April 27 at The 4 Eleven at 411 S. Main St. The signature tasting event will feature bites and beverages from the nominees and will be hosted by Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell. Get your tickets here. (Note that early bird ticket sales end April 2.)

While we count down to the big party, we are getting to know the nominees in an editorial series leading up to the event.

Up next, the category of Rising Star Chef of the Year. While most of these talented chefs are not new to the industry, many are newer to the local culinary scene or have new ventures. All are making a name for themselves by showcasing their expertise and influence in their scratch-made dishes that are generating buzz around town. Our panel of judges think these chefs will be leading Fort Worth's culinary scene in the years to come.

Here are the nine nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year, in alphabetical order:

Chad Burnett - Koe Wetzel's Riot Room
Chad Burnett’s lengthy, wide-ranging resume includes stints at Scottsdale’s Biltmore resort, Nana Grill at the Hilton Anatole, and Soho in Addison. He’s spent time as a culinary school instructor at two colleges, and has experience as a pastry chef, making him very well-rounded in the kitchen. Today he oversees the culinary program for Funky Lime Hospitality, the group that owns Whiskey Garden, Your Mom’s House, and Koe Wetzel’s Riot Room, newly opened in the West 7th nightlife district. The bar also operates as a full-service restaurant, and Burnett's Texas-inspired must-haves include beer-can chicken, Texas hot chicken fried steak, and brisket queso.

Austin Carlson - Wicked Butcher
Austin Carlson leads the kitchen alongside chef Richard Triptow at this high-end underground downtown steakhouse, where the hefty butcher cuts are dry-aged in-house. Carlson previously directed the culinary program for other DRG Concepts, including Dallas Chop House, Wild Salsa, and Chop House Burger. He joined DRG after cooking at Nonna Restaurant in Dallas and has cooked in restaurants in Italy and across Europe. His culinary talent is evident not only in his recipe execution, but the artistic and visually appealing presentation found in all Wicked Butcher dishes.

Jonathan Esparza - Toro Toro
Originally from California and raised outside Guadalajara, Mexico, Jonathan Esparza dreamed of becoming a doctor as a child but missed getting into medical school, narrowly failing the entrance exam. He moved to Puerto Vallarta and worked one summer in a Mexican restaurant – it was the gateway to an extensive restaurant and hospitality career. He attended culinary school and worked in several high-end restaurants, in banquet events, and at multiple Four Seasons properties including Santa Fe, Palm Beach, and Los Cabos. He met Toro Toro founding chef Richard Sandoval while in Santa Fe and was hired as Toro Toro’s executive chef last year. He uses his culinary experience and time growing up on a cattle ranch to influence the Latin steakhouse menu.

Angel Fuentes - Guapo Taco
The Monterrey, Mexico native left his computer programming gig at an early age to embark on a restaurant career, eventually partnering to open Mariachi’s Dine-In in a Riverside gas station. Word spread via social media, and the taqueria quickly gained a loyal following for its discreet location and picture-perfect tacos. That was 2018, but by 2021 the restaurant moved to bigger digs on the west side of town. Fuentes stayed put in that space where he opened Guapo Taco, using his creativity to expand on the menu, which features birria tacos, burritos, tortas, beef cheek barbacoa, and the popular chile chicken posole soup that comes in red or green.

Naveesh Laul - Omni Fort Worth
The New Delhi native intended to practice medicine before following his culinary dream and joining the kitchen management training program at The Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. Laul's extensive career led him to serve bureaucrats, diplomats, and Bollywood celebrities for more than a decade, working in multiple Five Diamond fine dining restaurants. He left Taj Hotels in 2016 to take an executive sous chef position at the Omni Fort Wort Hotel, and was promoted executive chef in 2019. Laul also spends time teaching yoga as a Sahaja yoga meditation instructor.

Dustin Lee – The Beast & Co.
A newcomer to the culinary world, Dustin Lee left his corporate engineering sales gig in 2020 to embark on a restaurant career. His previous job exposed him to fine dining around the world, and Lee uses his experiences to influence his menu at The Beast & Co., which he opened on West Magnolia Avenue in 2022. Over the past year, he’s gained a following for an evolving menu of scratch dishes with worldly flair, like soba noodles with coconut curry, burrata with gremolata and grilled bread, and masala spice cake with curry ice cream. Lee also prides himself on The Beast's extensive wine selection.

Greg Pawlowski - il Modo
This native of Michigan took the reins at il Modo last year, bringing with him a love of the culinary arts that began as a child. Pawlowski studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York before working for Wolfgang Puck for eight years, helping to open four concepts. On this ground-floor restaurant at The Kimpton Harper hotel downtown, Pawlowski utilizes the in-house pasta-making room to produce Italian favorites like rigatoni with beef Bolognese and linguini with clams, and has introduced wood-fired pizzas, a braised lamb shank, and a 42-ounce Florentine porterhouse steak served with roasted garlic and bone marrow butter.

Rene Ramirez - 225 BBQ
Native of Pleasant Grove is not a newcomer to the local barbecue scene but is earning attention with his 225 BBQ concept where he's serving barbue with Mexican-American influences inside Maverick's, a longtime Arlington watering hole. He made the move to Maverick's last fall after serving his brisket tacos, brisket ramen, and fan-favorite brisket-stuffed “Cherry Bombs” (bacon-wrapped habanero peppers also filled with cream cheese) from a trailer outside Division Brewing. Customers can now sit down to eat his brisket elote, birria tacos, and honey-glazed pork belly – and even order a cold beer to wash it down if they wish.

Dayne Weaver - Dayne's Craft Barbecue
Local enthusiasts already know Weaver is legendary in the Fort Worth barbecue scene. He’s received a slew of accolades and awards and has been recognized state-wide for his Central Texas-inspired ‘cue. Weaver’s trailer was previously situated outside the former Lola’s Trailer Park location near West 7th Street. When they moved, Weaver was presented the opportunity to open his own permanent home on Camp Bowie West, in the up-and-coming Westland area near J.D.’s Hamburgers. While he waits for the brick-and-mortar, his trailer is parked there now, serving brisket bacon and the fan-favorite smash burger made with ground beef and coarsely chopped brisket.

Photo courtesy of Hibachi on Fire.

Sizzling-hot mobile hibachi company is bringing the heat to Fort Worth parties

Cooking with fire

A Fort Worth-based mobile hibachi business is the newest flaming-hot trend for backyard parties across town: Hibachi on Fire, launched by financial services advisor Mimi Tatami in 2022, has been trending on Instagram for its flame-throwing, sake-shooting, egg-tossing good time.

Hibachi on Fire

Photo courtesy of Hibachi on Fire.

Leave the flames to the professionals.

The company brings the interactive Japanese hibachi experience to its customers, complete with a professional chef, mobile grill, three-course dinner, and lots of flowing sake.

“I think people need more fun entertainment while eating,” says Tatami, a California native who says the mobile hibachi concept is popular in her home state. “People always say it’s such a great idea that we come to your house and do all the food, so they don’t have to go out.”

Diners get to choose from several protein options in advance, including New York strip steak, chicken, scallops, shrimp, or filet mignon and lobster tail for a small upcharge. Guests start with a spring mix salad with ginger dressing, then move to hot fried rice made to order with some egg-throwing assistance from willing participants.

Other entertaining elements from the chef – who serves as a master of ceremonies – include flaming torch juggling, mesmerizing knife skills, and water gun sake shots, if desired.

The dinners start at $60 per person and there’s a $600 minimum (or 10 adults) per party. Children 13 and under can get a kids portion for $30. Parties are booked online.

Tatami says her inspiration to launch the business came during the start of the pandemic in 2020. She had just moved to Fort Worth and wanted to open a restaurant. The COVID-19 shutdown halted her plans. She eventually became a server at a local hibachi restaurant while working to grow her fledging financial advising career.

“That’s when I got the idea,” she says.

She recruited a chef from the restaurant to join her and Hibachi on Fire officially debuted in January 2022.

“But I didn't get my first customer until April 2022,” says Tatami. “I kept waiting and waiting and wondered, ‘Okay, is this going to happen or not?’”

Word – and videos on Instagram – spread like wildfire, she says. Now Tatami has grown her staff to three hibachi chefs who take on private parties in homes from Mansfield to Aledo and everywhere in between. Tatami says her farthest distance traveled was to Waxahachie.

Table seating and dinnerware are provided by the customer, and the parties are required to take place outside due to the propane-powered grill that’s used. Birthday parties are most popular, although Tatami says this past Christmas season saw bookings almost every night for holiday parties. Many folks also book for dinner party gatherings for which they simply don’t wish to cook.

Tatami still wants to open a hibachi restaurant in Fort Worth, she says, although her mobile business keeps her plenty busy as she nails down plans.

“Social media is helping a lot,” she says. “Business is getting better because more people know.”

Customers currently can take advantage of a special 15 percent discount on Hibachi on Fire menu prices through March 31; check for more details at hibachionfire.com.

Photo by Joey Garcia

2 Fort Worth restaurants score coveted James Beard Award nominations

Awards News

The James Beard Foundation has revealed the semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. A dozen Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants have been included in both national and regional categories, including two in Fort Worth.

Considered the Oscars of the food world, the awards recognize outstanding chefs and other culinary professionals in a wide range of categories ranging from Outstanding Chef to Best New Restaurant.

The awards also include media categories that will be announced at a later date.

Fort Worth nominees include:

CultureMap recently included both restaurants in our December Where to Eat column as great places to take out-of-town guests.

Of Don Artemio, writer Malcolm Mayhew said, "This stylish, upscale restaurant in the Museum District is more Mex Mex than Tex Mex; its menu is heavily inspired by food from the northeast Mexico region of Saltillo, where the original location of Don Artemio is located. The must-have appetizer is the build-your-own cactus tacos, served with warm, housemade corn tortillas. Entrees include the excellent chile hojaldrado, a cream cheese and pecan-stuffed poblano chile wrapped in puff pastry and served over tomato sauce; Chilean sea bass in a housemade mole sauce; and cabrito ribs with a cabbage salad and pickled red onions. There’s a large cocktail menu, plus a nice wine list, too."

Of Goldee's, Mayhew wrote, "Goldees BBQ, found down a bumpy country road in southeast Fort Worth, was crowned the No. 1 barbecue spot in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine, and one bite of their rich and tender brisket, you’ll see why. Housemade sausage and meaty pork ribs are also must-gets, along with sides such as jalapeno cheese grits. Grab a couple slices of bread, too; it’s made in-house. Big crowds mean you’ll need to wait at least a couple hours, but it’ll be a fun wait. Those in line often get to know one another and sometimes there’s free beer and food samples."

Dallas nominees include:

  • Outstanding Chef: Junior Borges, Meridian
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Lucia
  • Best New Restaurant: Restaurant Beatrice
  • Best New Restaurant: Tatsu
  • Outstanding Bakery: La Casita Bakeshop
  • Outstanding Bakery: Kuluntu Bakery
Best Chef: Texas nominees include:
  • Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag
  • Olivia López and Jonathan Percival, Molino Olōyō
  • Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, José
  • Regino Rojas, Revolver Taco Lounge

Elsewhere in Texas, Houston boasts 10 nominees, San Antonio has seven, and Austin has six.

Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, March 29. The Foundation will reveal its winners at an awards ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

P.F. Chang's

Popular Asian chain P.F. Chang's debuts new location in north Fort Worth

Opening News

Just in time to for the Lunar New Year, mega Asian restaurant chain P.F. Chang's has opened a new full-service Bistro location in far north Fort Worth, in the Alliance Town Center at 2949 Amador Dr.

This will be the second P.F. Chang's in Fort Worth, with the original in Sundance Square.

The chain was founded in 1993 by Philip Chiang and Paul Fleming to celebrate the 2,000-year-old tradition of wok cooking. Their current menu spans across all of Asia, with recipes from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and beyond.

Favorite staples include Chang’s Spicy Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Chang’s Lettuce Wraps.

But they also rotate in seasonal items such as Chang’s Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup, Wagyu Steak, and Cantonese Style Lobster.

That includes cocktails like their Lunar New Year specialty cocktail, Down the Rabbit Hole, available through April 18. It's served with a special coaster that, if you scan the QR, gives you an augmented reality experience that brings the Year of the Rabbit to life.

Other Year of the Rabbit festivities include seasonal ornaments such as black and gold lanterns. As is evident in a statement from P.F. Chang's senior marketing VP Genaro Perez, they're pretty super-into the Lunar New Year thing.

“P.F. Chang’s provides a premier destination for guests to celebrate with family and friends on any occasion, but we’re especially excited that this opening falls during Lunar New Year, which brings extra festivities,” Perez says. "Fort Worth is an important location in our growth strategy and we look forward to sharing our unique perspective on elevated Asian cuisine at our new P.F. Chang’s Alliance location.”

This makes their eighth Bistro location in Dallas-Fort Worth, plus four P.F. Chang's To Go locations, in Allen, Arlington, Dallas, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Irving, Mansfield, and McKinney, which makes for the most P.F. Chang’s Bistro and To Go locations in any U.S. market. We're No. 1!

P.F. Chang's To Go is their more convenient option, which they're expanding, and is part of the chain's 300-plus restaurants in 22 countries and U.S. airports worldwide.

The Alliance location comprises 6,393 square feet and will be open for dinner service, Sunday-Thursday from 4-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 4-11 pm.

Kathy Tran

Much anticipated Italian restaurant from top Fort Worth team has a date

Chef News

A new restaurant from one of Fort Worth's top food & beverage teams has an opening date: 61 Osteria, the much-anticipated restaurant from restaurateur Adam Jones and acclaimed chef Blaine Staniford, will open in downtown Fort Worth on January 31. Ta-da.

It's opening at 500 W 7th St., on the ground floor of the First on 7th building, originally known as the First National Bank building, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill of New York.

The cuisine will be traditional Italian with a focus on simple, seasonal ingredients from best and local farmers. Staniford is taking a modern approach to Italian ingredients.

The name includes a tribute to the building’s completion date in 1961 and the celebration of its 61st birthday this year. Adam Jones was also born in 1961. Osteria is a place serving wine and simple food.

61 osteriaVegetable bagna cauda with raw veggies and garlic-anchovy aioli.Kathy Tran

"61 Osteria will focus on the traditional foods that come from all 20 regions of Italy, so the variety will be quite interesting for our guests," Staniford says.

Menu highlights include starters such as:

  • Antipasti with citrus marinated olives with parmesan, spiced corn nuts, and pickled vegetables
  • Salumi with house cured calabrian coppa, truffle salami, fennel seed lonza and mortadella
  • Prosciutto di Parma Tasting of 12 & 24 month aged ham with castelvetrano olives and parmesan
  • Prawns with head on blue prawns, salsa verde, and charred meyer lemon
  • Vegetable Bagna Cauda with petite raw vegetables served with roasted garlic and anchovy aioli

61 OsteriaBistecca Florentina with porterhouse steakKathy Tran

Housemade pastas will include

  • Bucatini Cacio e Pepe made from semolina pasta with cracked black pepper and pecorino fulvi
  • Smoked Spaghetti Carbonara with house guanciale, pecorino toscano, and egg yolk
  • Tagliatelle Bolognese with braised brisket, veal and pork based sugo with aged parmesan DOP

Entrees include

  • Swordfish with eggplant puree, castelvetrano olives, and puttanesca sauce
  • Black Sea Bass with spinach gnudi Florentina, broccolini, roasted sunchokes, and pistachio pesto
  • 44 Farms Short Rib with parmesan polenta, white bean ragout, Toscano kale, radicchio, and salsa verde
  • Bistecca Florentina with porcini and fennel pollen crusted 28-oz. prime porterhouse

The beverage program will include New World and Old World sparkling, white, and red wines by the glass and bottle, with an emphasis on Italian producers.

61 OsteriaBar at 61 Osteria has a sunny yellow disposition.Kathy Tran

The wine list will begin with a map of Italy for reference. A map of Italy is always welcome, especially if you like boots, and who does not like boots. Jones says they'll focus on a couple of major areas within Italy including Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany, and Sicily, but also wines from Old World and New World regions.

Cocktails will use fresh-squeezed juices, house-made simple syrup, and give a nod to Italian classics. Bottled and draft beers from local, domestic, and imported Italian producers will also be available.

The space is 7000 square feet with seating for 120 in the main dining room, 50 in the bar, 30 on the patio, and 15 in the lounge.

61 Osteria will be open for dinner only at first with lunch, brunch, and family-style Sunday Suppers added in the coming weeks, maybe months. Qualsiasi!

Courtesy photo

Chef's flirty new restaurant tops this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Favorite Fort Worth chef to open a flirty restaurant peddling paella. A new tapas and wine restaurant from one of Fort Worth's best-known chefs is opening this fall: Called La Coqueta, it'll be the first permanent brick-and-mortar restaurant from Juan Rodriguez and his wife Paige, who together run a popular pop-up dinner club on the city’s north side called Magdalena's.

2. '80s pop star Kenny Loggins calls it quits with final tour coming to Fort Worth. Pop star Kenny Loggins, best known for his run of hit songs in movies in the 1980s, will come to Fort Worth as part of his final concert tour, "This Is It," playing at Dickies Arena on April 28. Tickets are now on sale.

3. Fort Worth hospitality vets partner with musician Koe Wetzel on new country venue. There's a new restaurant and bar coming to Fort Worth with some serious starpower: Called Koe Wetzel's Riot Room, it'll open at 1100 Foch St., in what was previously a bar & restaurant called The Dogwood, sometime in February.

4. Stunning new art exhibition celebrates 100 years of Texas State Parks. Texas State Parks are reaching a major milestone in 2023 and one traveling exhibition is commemorating the event throughout the year. Kicking off at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, "The Art of Texas State Parks" honors the Centennial Celebration of Texas State Parks with a stunning visual survey of more than 30 parks. It features works by some of the state's most celebrated artists.

5. This is how long it takes Fort Worth home buyers to save for a down payment, report says. With home prices rising for most of 2022 in Fort Worth and around the country, thoughts about saving for a down payment have been distressing, to say the least. A new study says Fort Worth buyers will need to work for 3.65 years, saving 20 percent of their income, for a 20 percent down payment.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Country superstar Chris Stapleton adds North Texas stop to his all-American tour this fall

Just a Traveler

Chris Stapleton is bringing his “All-American Road Show" back to North Texas this fall. The eight-time Grammy Award-winning country music superstar (who also has 15 CMA and 10 ACM awards under his belt) will stop at Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on October 27, 2023.

Stapleton will appear with special guests Nikki Lane and CMT-nominated Charley Crockett.

The new date, announced March 23, will come one year after Stapleton's "Roadshow" concert at Globe Life Field. He'll be playing shows in San Antonio and Austin on October 19 and 20, respectively, and his only other Texas stop (so far) is Corpus Christi, on October 12.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 31, at 10 am. Stapleton’s fan club will have early access to tickets and VIP packages with pre-sale starting on Tuesday, March 28, at 10 am through Thursday, March 30, at 10 pm. As the official card of Chris Stapleton’s “All-American Road Show” 2023 tour, Citi cardmembers will have access to pre-sale tickets starting on Tuesday, March 28, at 10 am until Thursday, March 30, at 10 pm. For complete pre-sale, details visit citientertainment.com.

In addition to the new “All-American Road Show” dates, Stapleton will headline Stagecoach Music Festival on April 30 and will join George Strait for a series of stadium shows with special guests Little Big Town.

The Kentucky-born artist is one of the country’s most respected and beloved musicians. He was recently named the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year for the sixth time, setting the record for most wins ever in the category. Additionally, his most recent album, Starting Over, won Best Country Album at the 67th Annual Grammy's, as well as earning Album of the Year honors at both the 54th Annual CMA Awards and 56th ACM Awards. The record follows Stapleton’s pair of Platinum-certified releases from 2017, From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2, as well as his x5 Platinum breakthrough solo debut album, Traveller.

In addition to his work as a musician, Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, are founders of the Outlaw State of Kind charitable fund, which supports a variety of causes that are close to their heart. Most recently, their “Kentucky Rising” concert last fall raised over $2.8 million to support flood relief in Eastern Kentucky.

Confirmed tour dates are listed below, including supporting acts and special guests:

April 26: El Paso, TX—UTEP Don Haskins Center*
April 27: Albuquerque, NM—Isleta Amphitheater*
April 29: Los Angeles, CA—Hollywood Bowl – Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday
April 30: Indio, CA—Stagecoach
May 6: Glendale, AZ—State Farm Stadium†
May 27: Columbus, OH—Buckeye Country Superfest
June 1: Moline, IL—Vibrant Arena at The MARK‡
June 2: Grand Rapids, MI—Van Andel Arena‡
June 3: Milwaukee, WI—American Family Field†
June 8: Syracuse, NY—St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview+
June 9: Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center+
June 10: Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center+
June 15: Spokane, WA—Spokane Arena§
June 16: Bend, OR—Hayden Homes Amphitheater§
June 17: Seattle, WA—Lumen Field†
June 22: Des Moines, IA—Wells Fargo Arena§
June 23: Wichita, KS—INTRUST Bank Arena§
June 24: Denver, CO—Empower Field at Mile High†
July 7: Bangor, ME—Maine Savings Amphitheater§
July 8: Cavendish, PEI—Cavendish Beach Music Festival
July 13: Charleston, SC—Credit One Stadium#
July 14: Virginia Beach, VA—Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater#
July 15: Baltimore, MD—CFG Bank Arena#
July 19: Omaha, NE—CHI Health Center**
July 20: St. Louis, MO—Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre**
July 21-22: Cullman, AL—Rock the South
July 28: Nashville, TN—Nissan Stadium†
July 29: Nashville, TN—Nissan Stadium†
August 5: Tampa, FL—Raymond James Stadium†
August 10: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 11: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 12: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 17: Toronto, ON—Budweiser Stage‡
August 18: Toronto, ON—Budweiser Stage‡
August 19: Montreal, QC—Lasso Festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau
August 24: Memphis, TN—FedExForum††
August 25: Alpharetta, GA—Ameris Bank Amphitheatre††
August 26: Alpharetta, GA—Ameris Bank Amphitheatre††
October 5: Charlottesville, VA—John Paul Jones Arena*
October 6: State College, PA—Bryce Jordan Center*
October 12: Corpus Christi, TX—AmericanBank Center Arena+
October 19: San Antonio, TX—AT&T Center+
October 20: Austin, TX—Moody Center+
October 26: Tulsa, OK—BOK Center+
October 27 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion+

*with special guests Margo Price and Nikki Lane
†with George Strait and special guests Little Big Town
‡with special guests Marcus King and The War and Treaty
+with special guests Charley Crockett and The War and Treaty
§with special guests Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives and Allen Stone
#with special guests Margo Price and Allen Stone
**with special guests Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives and The War and Treaty
††with special guests Marcus King and Allen Stone
+with special guests Charley Crockett and Nikki Lane

These are the 12 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

Music in its many forms is the theme of the weekend in and around Fort Worth. There will be two events featuring classical music, a local production of a famous musical, three country music concerts, and a K-Pop concert. Also on tap will be staged readings of new plays, a visit from a famous comedian, screenings of an Oscar-nominated film, a chance to peruse local art galleries, and a local theater production aimed at kids.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, March 23

The Cliburn presents Benjamin Grosvenor
Benjamin Grosvenor has been heralded as one of the most important pianists to emerge from the United Kingdom in several decades. He’s racked up an impressive display of awards in Europe, from Gramophone, Classic Brit Critics’, UK Critic’s Circle, BBC Young Musician Competition, and Diapason d’Or Jeune. He'll play at Kimbell Art Museum.

Arts Fort Worth presents Original Work Series
As part of their Original Work Series, Arts Fort Worth will present staged readings of two new works. Upright Theatre Company will perform Tennessee Wet Rub by Kim E. Ruyle, about an older couple taking shelter in a storm in 1951 who are suddenly met with a young interracial couple whose presence tests their values and compassion. Proper Hijinx will perform Next of Kin by Gabby Wilson, about a girl named Riley Peters who struggles with relationships with her mother and possible new boyfriend.

Amphibian Stage Productions presents Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson is a multi-talented standup comedian, New York Times best-selling writer, and actress best known as the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast-turned-TV show, 2 Dope Queens. She also has a second podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, in which she interviews today’s biggest stars and groundbreakers. She'll perform three times through Saturday at Amphibian Stage Productions.

Friday, March 24

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents Jake Fridkis in Concert: Schumann, Reinecke, and Liszt
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra principal flute Jake Fridkis steps to the front of the stage to perform Reinecke’s Flute Concerto, a work of nimble grace and charm that showcases the flute’s lyrical and technical capabilities. The evening opens with Schumann’s stately Symphony No. 4 and closes with Liszt’s innovative Les Préludes, the first symphonic poem on record. There will be three performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Magnolia at the Modern: The Quiet Girl
For the second time in three weeks, Magnolia at the Modern will present a film that was nominated for Best International Film at the 2023 Oscars. The Quiet Girl is set in rural Ireland where nine-year-old Cait is sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. Quietly struggling at school and at home, she has learned to hide in plain sight from those around her. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth. There will be seven screenings through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Artisan Center Theater presents West Side Story
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the "American" Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time. The production runs through May 6 at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst.

Triston Marez in concert
A name like Triston Marez conjures up idea of a Latin music superstar, but in reality Marez is an up-and-coming country singer out of Houston who just released his first EP, That Was All Me. In this concert at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall, Marez will show how he was influenced by singers like Chris LeDoux, Aaron Watson, and Cody Johnson through songs like the title track, “Where Rivers Are Red, Cowboys Are Blue,” and “Dizzy.”

Chris Young in concert
True to his name, country singer Chris Young started at a relatively young age, releasing his debut album at the age of 21. He had five straight No. 1 singles from 2009-2011, and his songs have rarely been outside of the top 10 since. He's released eight albums in his career, most recently 2021's Famous Friends, which features collaborations with Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, and Mitchell Tenpenny. He'll play on both Friday and Saturday at Billy Bob's Texas.

Saturday, March 25

Fort Worth Art Dealers Association presents Spring Gallery Night
Twice a year, the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association invites the community to take in the visual arts and the community’s unique cultural richness during Gallery Night. Most participants are open from 12-9 pm. Visitors can take a stroll through participating galleries, museums, retail businesses, and area restaurants, and enjoy the many artists featured during this community event. For a full list of participating venues, click on this link.

Casa Mañana presents Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Something terrible happened to Junie B Jones at school today - someone stole her new furry mittens! When Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she should be allowed to keep it, right? Because finders keepers, losers weepers. And guess what? There’s a new boy in kindergarten and he is the handsomest. The only thing is both Grace and Lucille want him to be their boyfriend. Maybe he will love Junie B. when he sees her wonderful pen. It is okay to keep it, right? Junie B. Jones is not a crook … or is she? The production runs through April 9 at Casa Mañana.

Luke Combs in concert
There was no wait-and-see period with country star Luke Combs; he was big out of the gate, going to No. 1 with his 2017 debut album, This One's for You. He maintained that popularity with his next two albums, so there's no reason to think that his just-released fourth album, Gettin' Old, won't have the same success. He'll be joined at this huge concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington by special guests Riley Green, Lainey Wilson, Flatland Cavalry, and Brent Cobb.

Sunday, March 26

Stray Kids in concert
The success of K-Pop group BTS has seemed to open up the floodgates for other K-Pop groups trying their hand at stardom. The latest group to come to Fort Worth is Stray Kids, an eight-member boy group formed in 2017 when they appeared on the reality show from which they took their name. Their output is prolific, with three EPs released in 2022 and a new album, The Sound, released this past January. They'll perform on both Sunday and Monday at Dickies Arena.

Stray Kids
Photo courtesy of Stray Kids

Stray Kids will perform at Dickies Arena on March 26 and 27.