Courtesy photo

Little doughnuts are rolling into south Fort Worth via a new doughnut cafe. Called Batter & Beans, it'll serve doughnuts, coffee, and more, and it's opening at 3548 South Hills Ave., south of TCU in Westcliff Center.

They'll be right around the corner from Cafe Bella [which it should be noted recently won Best Neighborhood Restauant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards].

Batter & Beans will be a family-owned collaboration between Matt Whip, a partner at Ernst & Young, and his brother-in-law Jacob Soltysiak, who worked for a restaurant group in Michigan and brings the food knowhow.

They'll be doing miniature doughnuts, similar to the Pittsburgh-based Peace, Love, and Little Donuts chain (which has one location in Texas, in Southlake).

They're aiming to be open by early fall.

"We'll be doing fresh, made-to-order mini cake doughnuts plus premium coffee we're sourcing out of Chicago, from Metropolis, a small-batch artisan roaster," Whip says. "We're originally from the Chicago area, and that's always been my favorite roaster, and they also roast coffee for Yolk, which has a location in Sundance Square."

The cafe will also offer fresh lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream, for neighbors who want to stop in for a treat at night.

Whip and his family first relocated from the Chicago area to North Texas in 2018, then moved down the street from the shop last year. It's a small storefront, about 920 square feet, and they're currently in the final stages of design and permitting.

"There's lots of kids in this neighborhood, and I think a place with mini doughnuts would do well," Whip says.

It was only after they signed on to do the shop that they learned from a neighbor that the space they're taking had good doughnut karma, with a longtime history as a doughnut shop, most recently a place called Donut Palace. Sadly, it closed during the pandemic. Now the doughnuts will return.


Coffee chain 7 Brew to open new drive-thru in north Fort Worth

Coffee News

A drive-thru coffee chain is opening a shop in Fort Worth: 7 Brew, a chain founded in Arkansas in 2016, is opening its first location in Fort Worth at 5001 N. Tarrant Pkwy., where it will serve coffee and espresso drinks, teas, infused energy drinks, sodas, and smoothies.

This will be the chain’s third location in Dallas-Fort Worth, following their 2022 debut in Grand Prairie and second outlet in Mansfield.

This location is from husband-and-wife Jonathan and Hannah Schalk, who moved from Arkansas in order to expand the brand in Fort Worth.

"Northwest Arkansas is knit together and comprised of very small communities, and the same thing happens in Fort Worth," Jonathan says.

They're targeting early April for their opening date.

7 Brew is one of a host of chains that have sprung up in recent years focused on drive-thru: Scooter's, Bad Ass Coffee, PJ's, Dutch Bros., Black Rock, Black Rifle, not to mention non-coffee beverage chains like Swig. They all share one thing in common: Their business model relies on the use of disposable plastic containers.

7 Brew sets itself apart by emphasizing how friendly it is, thanks to its modular, prefabricated buildings that come with multiple drive-thru lanes protected by canopies. This allows employees to dash out and deliver the orders to customers in their cars.

Most locations have two drive-thru lanes, but this location will have three, plus one walk-up window for the rare customer not inside a vehicle.

They do standard coffee drinks but are better known for ultra-sweet dessert-inspired beverages such as the Blondie with caramel and vanilla, and a drink called the Cinnamon Roll with white chocolate and brown sugar cinnamon.

Outside of coffee, they also do an in-house energy drink in varied flavors and flavored sparkling water.

The company was acquired in 2021 by Drink House Holdings, a company created by Jamie Coulter, founder of Lone Star Steak House and a Pizza Hut franchisee; and sandwich chain founder Jimmy John Liautaud.

Vegan pastry and coffee shop opens in Fort Worth with best inspiration: mom

Coffee News

There's a new place to get vegan food and great coffee in Fort Worth: Called Von's Coffee Shoppe, it's a virtual restaurant operating out of Fort Worth Food Works, the restaurant hub at 3004 Cullen St., where it's serving vegan pastries, omelets, burritos, wraps, and soups.

Von's was founded by Monique Farrell, a food & beverage veteran with more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry who is taking her first step into entrepreneurship.

A New Orleans native, Farrell worked in the hotel industry after college, including the Roosevelt New Orleans as well as a Hilton property in Orlando. She came to Fort Worth because her mother lived here.

They both adopted a vegan diet to combat illness.

"Working in the restaurant industry is not always healthy," Farrell says. "You're always busy and you're often eating food that is not good for you. I developed a lot of illnesses including Crohn's disease and colitis, and choosing vegan food helped counteract that."

They began plotting the idea of using their combined experience to open a place of their own.

"I still wanted to sit down and enjoy a pastry and and a cup of coffee," she says. "So my mother and I said, 'Let's open our own vegan coffee shop.'"

Sadly, Farrell's mother had pancreatic cancer, and passed away a few months ago. But that only motivated Farrell to finally make it happen.

Von's Coffee ShoppeMonique Farrell (right), with her mother and inspiration.Von's Coffee Shoppe

"I decided I was doing it — I said, this is for my mom," she says.

Her menu includes:

  • pastries - bagels, croissants, chocolate chip cookies, bundt cakes, macarons, scones
  • omelets - Just Egg with vegan sausage, or with vegan spicy hot sausage
  • wraps - make-your-own, choosing from ingredients such as spinach, mushrooms, sausage, Just Egg, and dairy-free cheese

"We have so many people who love our omelets," she says.

Bundt cakes are another bestseller, and there's a full espresso bar as well as a large selection of coffees, teas, and specialty drinks such as EggNog Latte, Matcha Latte, and Peppermint Mocha, as well as herbal and chai teas.

She recently introduced a "Big Vegan Brunch," available Fridays-through-Sundays, perfect for holiday spreads, with a bounty of items including choice of omelet or pancakes, with eggs, sausage, two Bundt cakes, and two drinks for $60.

"You can feed the entire family with this feast," Farrell says.

Eventually she hopes to have her own storefront, but this ghost kitchen is her start, and is serving 7 days a week.

"I love it when people say, 'Oooh a white chocolate mocha, can you make it vegan?' — because everything comes vegan," she says.

P'Tit Tea Maison

New boba tea shop in Arlington is a pink palace with trendy treats

Tea News

Arlington has no shortage of boba tea shops, but surely none quite this pink: Called P'tit Tea Maison, it's a tea shop that Tik Tok calls the "cutest all-pink boba tea shop" and it opened the first week of November at 2745 N. Collins St. #113.

Serving tea and Asian-style mochi doughnuts, the shop is in Riverview Village, a typical shopping center just north of I-30, anchored by Tom Thumb. But once you enter, it's an unexpected pink oasis with pale pink walls and a long pink banquette lined with pink pillows. One wall has fake greenery with a pair of neon angel wings, where you can pose or hoist your drink for a photo, right beneath the neon halo.

The menu features teas, smoothies, bingsu (Korean-style shaved ice desserts), and coffee drinks made with Vietnamese coffee. Most go far beyond the realm of beverage, verging more on dessert, with rich, exotic, trendy toppings and additions.

For example, there's a drink called Lychee & Rose, which features oolong tea topped with "cheese cream," a thick foam topping that's like an amped-up version of whipped cream, containing cream cheese, heavy cream, milk, and sugar. The presence of cheese adds a salty flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the tea.

P'Tit Tea MaisonDoes tea taste better when the furniture is pink?P'Tit Tea Maison

There are five coffee drinks: authentic Vietnamese coffee, Vietnamese milk coffee, Vietnamese coconut milk coffee, and two versions of dalgona, the sweet Korean-inspired coffee drink which comes topped with a coffee-and-sugar foam.

Pretty much every cutting-edge Asian-inspired drink is here and then some, including black sugar tiger milk tea (in which ribbons of thick brown sugar syrup are drizzled on the inside of the cup to give it a stripey appearance), plus less-common beverages such as their Blue Pea Flower Series in which butterfly pea flower petals are added to tint the drink blue; and sakura foam, a creamy topper that adds a floral, cherry flavor.

"Want something creamy and pretty?" they ask, and that is pretty much their whole deal.

Other extras include boba pearls, lychee jelly, and chia seeds. They give two unique customization options: how much sugar you want and how much ice, ranging from lots of ice to no ice. This is some macro-level choicing.

They also serve mochi doughnuts, the moist, chewy bumpy-looking doughnut made with rice flour.

P'Tit is no relation to Tea Maison in Las Vegas, another boba tea shop that favors pink, and is owned by Ni-Nhien Nguyen, a Vietnamese native who was previously in marketing for a variety of retail companies. It's open Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, and Sunday 10 am-7 pm.


New Sundance Square market leads 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. 3rd Street Market opens in FW's Sundance Square with all the best eats. A former bar and grill in Fort Worth's Sundance Square has just become a splendid market. Called 3rd St. Market, it opened at 425 W. 3rd St., in what was once Frankie's (and more recently 3rd St Bar & Grill), featuring all the best stuff to eat: sourdough bread, sandwiches, soups, pastries, charcuterie, and wine.

2. Rooftop Cinema Club unveils new opening date and movie lineup for Fort Worth. Rooftop Cinema Club Downtown Fort Worth will start showing movies on top of The Worthington Renaissance Downtown Fort Worth Hotel on Tuesday, November 1. The venue will let guests enjoy 360-degree views of downtown Fort Worth from the rooftop of the hotel while they relax in deckchairs with personal wireless headphones in front of the state-of-the-art LED screen showing iconic movies.

3. New coffee shop in Arlington captures its diverse neighborhood perfectly. A new specialty coffee shop has opened in Arlington with a goal of embracing the city's diverse community and culture. Called Cup O'Vibes, it's located in a heavily residential area at 800 E. Sublett Rd. #170 in South Arlington, in a small shopping center that's also home to Global Food Market.

4. BBQ, toasty subs, and Italian top this Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of Fort Worth dining news has new openings, reopenings, and expansions. There's news about sub sandwiches, BBQ, and cool Halloween desserts, gathered from press releases and other sources across the internet, far and wide. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

5. Fort Worth guests don Western best to give cancer the boot at 2022 Cowtown Ball. On a picture-perfect fall evening, 450 supporters of the American Cancer Society gathered alfresco at the Fort Worth Zoo for the 29th annual Cowtown Ball. Appropriately themed "Spurs on the Savanna," the September 30 gala welcomed guests outfitted in their best Western chic, who raised more than $450,000 for ACS.

Amor Ciego

New coffee shop in Arlington captures its diverse neighborhood perfectly

Coffee News

A new specialty coffee shop has opened in Arlington with a goal of embracing the city's diverse community and culture. Called Cup O'Vibes, it's located in a heavily residential area at 800 E. Sublett Rd. #170 in South Arlington, in a small shopping center that's also home to Global Food Market.

Cup O'Vibes owner Charletra Sharp lives in the neighborhood, which she says is home to the most diverse population in the city of Arlington, and she captures that heterogeneity with a menu that caters to the many different groups within the community.

The menu includes:

  • Spiced Mango Latte, inspired by the Mango Lassi, an Indian drink.
  • Hot tea, to which customers can add different type of milks, just as it is preferred in Africa (what some call “London Fog” here in the U.S.)
  • Odom 97, a tribute to Arlington's first and only Black mayor, Elzie Odom, and the year he was elected. It is a delicious blend of espresso, mocha, Irish cream, and hazelnut.

Their signature drink, called the Aggspresso, is a hat tip to Arlington’s "Aggtown" nickname. It's a bold, sweet, and spiced espresso that allows you to choose your level of sweetness via syrups, and spices such as cinnamon and cardamom.

"It's a reflection of the community and its diversity," Sharp says. "There is no one drink that represents the community, so customers get to choose exactly what they want."

Other drinks include pistachio latte, which has emerged as a favorite during this week’s soft opening, with Turkish coffee and horchata latte to be added to the menu later. Drip coffee starts at $2.75 and the espresso drinks range from $4.50 to $5.50.

In addition to coffee, Cup O'Vibes also serves baked goods including muffins, cupcakes, and cookies from Something Sweet Bake Shoppe, a custom bakery which, like Cup O'Vibes is also Black-owned, and will now have a space inside the coffee shop.

Sharp, who recently made a list of "40 Under 40" leaders from the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, is a social worker and Baylor alum — which might explain the color scheme at her shop. She wanted to provide the neighborhood with a community space. She's created a comfortable place, with a balance between tables, bar stools, and a cozy sofa in the back.

“Our bar is our signature," she says. "We were intentional to have a big bar that is modular and can be used by customers to interact, socialize, as coffee shops are conduits to connecting the community.”

Their hours are listed as Monday-Saturday 7 am-3 pm and closed on Sundays. They'll host a grand opening on October 15 from 7 am-3 pm.

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'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.

Hop on over to this fun new boozy snack bar in Fort Worth's Sundance Square

Sundance Square News

There's a fun new spot to grab a bite and a drink, now open in Fort Worth's Sundance Square: Called Hopscotch, it's a new concept from Mockingbird Food Co., and it opened on June 9 in the former Jamba Juice location at 101 W. 3rd St.

Jamba Juice closed in November 2022 after 20 years in that space, leaving a vacancy in the Jett Building, known for the big mural of the Chisholm Trail.

Mockingbird Food Co. founders Dena and Trent Shaskan are already well versed in the Sundance Square scene, having opened 3rd St. Market, the bright and airy cafe-market-bakery at 425 W. 3rd St. in October.

"We loved the idea of being right in the middle of Sundance Square - the entire plaza is basically our patio," Dena says. "We saw an opportunity to bring something new to the crowds that hang out on the Square. Moms bring their kids to play in fountain and there's live music every week."

She calls Hopscotch a "bar-slash-snack bar."

The menu has hot dogs, popcorn, chili dogs, and Frito pie, with the chili made in-house from a recipe with Shiner Bock. There are sno-cones. There are cakes by the slice from Loft 22. And there are giant cookies - the only crossover item from 3rd Street Market, in varieties such as snickerdoodle and chocolate chip.

A vast selection of beverages includes lemonades in different flavors such as rosewater lemonade, fresh strawberry lemonade, and vanilla bean lemonade.

They also have beer, wine, and cocktails like a margarita and a peach daiquiri, plus four cocktails on tap, including the trendy, popular frosé, as well as AF drinks such as a non-alcoholic yet decadent pina colada.

"But we can make any of them boozy if you want, the lemonades, the frozen drinks, just by adding a shot," she says. "So you can get a regular one for your kid or a boozy version for yourself."

They're still resolving hours but will likely follow the live music: Wednesday-Sunday 12-10 pm.

Dallas-Fort Worth arrives at surprising spot among top summer travel destinations


Dallas-Fort Worth recently racked up more than a dozen accolades at the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. But a new survey reveals it's not necessarily such a hot travel destination this summer.

DFW comes in at a middle-of-the-road No. 45 in WalletHub's recent 2023 Best Summer Travel Destinations report.

The report compared 100 of the largest metro areas in America across 41 metrics, including number of attractions.

DFW scored an overall rating of 52.56 out of 100. Broken down by category, the Metroplex ranked 86th in "Travel Costs & Hassles;" 32nd in "Local Costs;" 20th in "Attractions;" 41st in "Weather;" 27th in "Activities;" and 50th in "Safety."

Taking the top spot in Texas was San Antonio, at No. 11, with Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown at No. 14. Behind Austin and San Antonio in the 2023 rankings is El Paso (No. 18), then Houston (No. 38). After 45th ranked DFW came Corpus Christi (No. 62), and McAllen (No. 86).

Dr. Susan Weidmann, assistant professor in the department of recreational management and physical education at Appalachian State University, said in the report that summer 2023 is going to be a “good season for travel” despite recent economic downturns that have many worried about a recession.

“Coming out of Covid, I think many people have taken these last few years to really evaluate what they want out of life, and for those that love travel, I think they have probably put it at the top of their list of things to do,” she said. “As far as economics are concerned, many may have saved their traveling money from the last multiple years, so will have money to spend. That being said, after the airline chaos of last year, many people may be thinking about domestic travel over the long-haul, just to alleviate many of the concerns that airlines, especially in Europe, are still grappling with, such as reduced staffing leading to flight cancellations.”

Weidmann predicts the time period between July and early August will be the most popular season for National Parks, like Texas’ Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains.

Despite none of them being in Texas, the top 10 destinations in WalletHub’s report are all popular cities worth a glance in sun-friendly states like Hawaii, New York, and Florida.

The top 10 best summer destinations are:

  • No. 1 – Atlanta
  • No. 2 – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • No. 3 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 4 – Wichita, Kansas
  • No. 5 – New York City
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Tampa, Florida
  • No. 8 – Orlando, Florida
  • No. 9 – Richmond, Virginia
  • No. 10 – Springfield, Missouri