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 Shoppe Monique 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 Maison Does 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.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

This week is fueled by coffee and wine, as there are special events for both. But beer lovers won’t be left out; a beer pairing dinner is set for Friday night. End the week with a super Sunday Funday brunch that’s just for grown-ups.

Wednesday, July 27

Flight Night at PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans
Visit the Euless location of this Louisiana-based coffee chain for flight night and receive a free order of beignets with each flight purchased. Flights are $14 and come with your choice of four coffees, which can come iced, hot, or frozen. The special goes on only from 5-7 pm.

Thursday, July 28

Italian Wine Dinner at Thirty Eight & Vine
Granbury chef Rose Pebbles of Oz Coffee Bar will visit the Foundry District wine bar to create a six-course Italian dinner paired with Italian wines. Dinner is $265 per person, and the price does include gratuity. Dinner begins at 6:30 pm.

Friday, July 29

Beer Dinner with Smoke & Bone BBQ at Turning Point Beer
This four-course beer pairing dinner will feature fresh tastes for summer. Menu highlights include shrimp and avocado ceviche with pineapple and salmon cakes with orange segments and blood orange IPA gastrique. Each course will be paired a hoppy, citrus-infused Turning Point beer. Dinner is $50 per person and begins at 6 pm. Note that the price includes two additional drink tickets good for full pours at the bar.

Saturday, July 30

Summer Sauvignon Blanc Tasting at El Wine Chateau
Sip summertime’s most crisp and refreshing wine varietal during a tasting at this Old Town Keller wine bar. Featured Sauvignon Blancs will come from New Zealand, Chile, and Napa Valley. The tasting is $25 per person ($20 for wine club members) and will start at 3 pm.

Sunday, July 31

Sunday Service Rooftop Brunch Buffet at Texas Republic Bar & Kitchen
Launched this summer and still going strong, the West 7th district bar hosts a 30-plus item brunch every Sunday that’s a steal of deal — only $20 and it comes with a mimosa. (Or spend $12 more for bottomless mimosas.) There’s also a DJ and open seating, providing for big Sunday Funday vibes, especially since only those 21 and up are allowed. Have a recent birthday or birthday coming up? Get a free brunch if your birthday is within two weeks. Email fw@txrbars.com in advance.

Courtesy of Black Riffle Coffee Company

Veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee percolates plans for nationwide expansion including Dallas-Fort Worth

Brewing up growth

Veteran-founded Black Rifle Coffee Co., which maintains corporate offices in San Antonio and Salt Lake City, plans to caffeinate a national expansion with $225 million that it hopes to raise from transforming into a publicly traded business. Dallas-Fort Worth is one of its target markets.

By the end of 2023, Black Rifle Coffee wants to have 13 stores in DFW, along with seven stores in San Antonio, nine in Houston, and almost 80 company-owned and franchised stores in total, it says. Black Rifle is a purveyor of ground, whole-bean, and ready-to-drink coffee.

One of the company's first eight standalone shops is in North Richland Hills (5121 Rufe Snow Dr.) According to the website, stores are coming soon to Benbrook (9001 U.S. Highway 377 South) and Plano (901 N Central Expy.).

The company also offers coffee online and through retailers such as Sam’s Club, Walmart, H-E-B, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s. They also sell Black Rifle apparel and gear.

Aside from the DFW and San Antonio areas, the company’s existing stores are in Clarksville, Tennessee; Layton, Utah; Moore, Oklahoma; Niceville, Florida; and Savannah, Georgia. With the $225 million to be raised from the proposed merger, Black Rifle would aim to grow its store count to 78 in 2023.

Ultimately, they envision being a chain with more than 1,300 coffee shops across the country, they say.

On November 2, Black Rifle unveiled plans to go public through a merger with a “blank check” company, Austin-based SilverBox Engaged Merger Corp. I. SilverBox Engaged Merger completed a $345 million initial public offering of its stock in March; its stock now trades on the NASDAQ stock market.

The sole purpose of a “blank check” company is to eventually merge with or acquire another business. At the outset, such companies do not engage in full-fledged business operations. If the merger goes through, the stock of the new company, BRC Inc., would trade on the NASDAQ market. The $10-a-share transaction would value Black Rifle at roughly $1.7 billion.

Black Rifle, founded in 2014, expects its 2021 revenue to reach $230 million, up from $164 million in 2020 and $82 million in 2019.

“From the time I was a one-man operation in my garage with nothing more than a one-pound roaster, I wanted to use coffee as a means of bringing people together around the common idea of honoring those who serve this great nation. We founded Black Rifle Coffee to serve the highest-quality coffee while supporting veterans and their families,” Evan Hafer, founder and CEO of Black Rifle, says in a news release.

Hafer, who served as a Green Beret in the Army, splits his time between San Antonio and Salt Lake City.

Company controversy
A portion of every Black Rifle purchase goes to causes supporting military veterans, active-duty military members, first responders, “and the American way of life.”

Given its conservative “American way of life” bent, Black Rifle has attracted both admirers and critics. In July, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile of the company with this headline: “Can the Black Rifle Coffee Company Become the Starbucks of the Right?”

The company gained fans in conservative political circles during the administration of President Donald Trump.

“Before long, Black Rifle became the unofficial coffee of the MAGA universe, winning public endorsements from Sean Hannity and Donald Trump Jr.,” the Times reported.

Along the way, Black Rifle has become entangled in controversies over the Black Lives Matter movement, the January 6 riot at the Capitol, and other hot-button issues. The Times says the company has tried to distance itself from some of its most divisive customers.

“How do you build a cool, kind of irreverent, pro-Second Amendment, pro-America brand in the MAGA era,” the Times quotes Hafer as saying, “without doubling down on the MAGA movement and also not being called a [expletive] RINO by the MAGA guys?”

The San Antonio coffee biz could grow to over 1,300 locations.

Courtesy of Black Riffle Coffee Company
The San Antonio coffee biz could grow to over 1,300 locations.
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Fort Worth's TCU celebrates milestone the best way: with special-edition wine

Vino News

Texas Christian University is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the unprecedented release of two special-edition wines, made by a California winery with a TCU connection.

According to a release, Saarloos + Sons winery in California’s Santa Ynez Valley has created a cabernet sauvignon and a sauvignon blanc to commemorate the university’s sesquicentennial.

The winery is operated by the Saarloos family, a fourth-generation business run by Keith Saarloos — brother of Kirk Saarloos, the head baseball coach at TCU.

"TCU supports my brother, and our family loves this school so much that I immediately said, 'Let's do it,' when we were asked," Keith says.

Keeping with family tradition, Keith's daughter Brielle will attend TCU in the fall.

Normally, Saarloos wine is sold only at the winery, located in Los Olivos, California, or else direct. But they're making an exception for the TCU 150, which will be available in limited quantities at the TCU Campus Store by spring.

“Every one of our wines is an estate wine, which means we grow the grapes, we pick them and we bottle the wine,” Keith says.

Food writer June Naylor Harris, herself a ’79 TCU graduate, provided tasting notes on the two wines, as follows:

Sauvignon blanc: A medium-bodied wine with smooth balance of mineral and acidic tones, softened with notes of stone fruit, honeydew, and fresh herbs. Pair with soft cheese such as goat, feta, and green peppercorn brie, with grapes and granny smith apples, smoked salmon, salty nuts, Thai-spiced shrimp, and herb-grilled chicken.

Cabernet sauvignon: Rich and bold with moderate acidity, dark fruit tones, earthy notes, and a hint of spice and herbs at the finish, with tannins and structure throughout. Pair with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin, lamb skewers with rosemary-blackberry glaze, venison, elk, charcuterie boards with hard cheese, cured meats, & berries, and dark chocolate truffles.

The labels were created by TCU partners using a gold anniversary crest, reserved for limited use. The back of the bottle includes the primary 150th mark in addition to details about the wine.

The sauvignon is $69, and the cabernet is $119. They'll be available at the Campus Store in late February, in limited quantities.

TCU creative director Kris Copeland calls it "a really special year," stating, "not only do we get to create materials that celebrate 150 years of our history, but we're also creating the artifacts that future generations of Horned Frogs will look back on."

New ways to work out — including in a movie theater — abound in Dallas-Fort Worth this February

Fit Feb

Raise your hand if you're still going strong with that resolution to work out more or improve your health. Now raise your hand if you believe every day is a new start, and February is as good a month as any to start a new good-for-you habit.

There are lots of new fitness and wellness studios proving the February theory, with openings galore.

Read on to get caught up on where you should be visiting next, then make note of the fun classes, races, and events happening around Dallas-Fort Worth this month.

EōS Fitness, which recently became headquartered in Dallas, is opening its first Texas location, in Euless at 2401 Rio Grande Blvd.

Memberships start at only $9.99 a month, and include start-of-the-art equipment, group fitness and cycle classes, an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, a Kids Club, and the unique MOVEoS Cinema, where members can work out while watching a big-screen movie in a theater-like setting.

SweatHouz — which already has locations in Plano, West Village, and Watters Creek — has opened another infrared sauna studio in Preston Royal, at 5959 Royal Ln. It boasts eight private sauna suites and offers cold plunge, hydromassage, and Celluma red light therapies.

Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy has opened two new locations, in McKinney (1620 N. Hardin Blvd.) and Richardson (212 Campbell Rd.).

Restore provides whole body and localized cryotherapy, IV drip therapy, stretch therapy, Cryoskin facials, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, infrared sauna, red and near infrared light therapy, compression therapy, and micronutrient testing.

Dallas Yoga Center has a new home above Gloria's Latin Cuisine at 4140 Lemmon Ave. There are more than 40 classes per week in-person and digitally, with private yoga lessons also available. Single classes, 10-class packs, and monthly memberships that include the wellness immersive experience range from $25 a class to $120 a month.

Fashion brand LoveShackFancy has teamed up with wellness brand BelliWelli to launch a probiotic chocolate chip cookie snack that's free with all purchases at LoveShackFancy stores. The snack bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sugar, and were designed to help those with IBS improve their gut health.

And now for classes and events. Mark your calendars for:

Stage West First Tuesday, February 7
Yes, this is put on by a theater company, but who better to help you tap into your emotions and leave feeling great? Tune Your Heart with Sound Healing, lead by Sara Southerland, will start at 6 pm and last approximately 90 minutes (the first 20 minutes include a complimentary drink and snacks from the bar).

Sara will then use her voice, crystal singing bowls, chimes, and drum to recharge and relax participants.Tickets are $20 each, with discounts for the theater's season ticket holders.

Hot Chocolate Run, February 11
A chocolate lover's oasis awaits following this 5K, 10K, and 15K, with fondue, dippables, and hot chocolate. Those 21 and up can add one free shot of RumChata, peanut butter whiskey, or Irish cream, if they so choose (be sure to bring your ID!).

Love on the Run, February 18
Be one of the first 350 participants to complete this inaugural USATF-certified race that includes a 10K, and 5K run/walk. All fitness levels are welcome to this family-friendly event, which begins at Toyota Music Factory and benefits the Irving Schools Foundation.

Black Girl Magic Ride, February 20
Head to Grit Fitness in the Design District for these two 60-minute spin classes (6 pm and 6:45 pm), highlighting the studio's Black spin instructors and celebrating Black musical artists.

And be sure to come back on Saturday, February 25, for the Black Business Girl Boss Pop-Up Shop from 8 am-12 pm.

The Cowtown Marathon, February 24-26
See the sights in Fort Worth, from the Stockyards to the Museum District, TCU to Trinity Park, during this half-marathon, full marathon, ultramarathon, healthy HIG relay, kids 5K, adults 5K, and 10K. With so many choices, you're sure to find a race that's right for you.

'80s heartthrob Bryan Adams brings 2023 tour to Fort Worth with rock 'n' roll-icon guest artist

Summer of '23

Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who's been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for four decades, is coming to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena - and he's bringing along a very special guest. Adams is teaming up with rock 'n' roll icons Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for his "So Happy It Hurts Tour," stopping in Fort Worth on June 29, 2023.

The U.S. tour kicks off on June 6 in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends August 3 with a show in Seattle. He'll visit just two Texas cities - Fort Worth and Sugar Land, outside Houston, for a show at Smart Financial Centre on June 28.

Adams is touring in support of his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, which was released March 11, 2022 via BMG. The album is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the upcoming 2023 Grammy awards, taking place Sunday, February 5.

Adams also is riding the wave as the lyricist for Pretty Woman – The Musical, the Broadway musical based on the famed Julia Roberts-Richard Gere rom-com. The touring musical currently is on stage at Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park (through February 5) and is coming to Fort Worth's Bass Hall, February 7-12.

Barrier-breaking rock 'n' roll badass Joan Jett is known for Top 40 hits such as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Joan Jett and the Blackhearts toured last year with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Poison. Bad Reputation, a 2018 documentary about Jett's life, is now streaming.

Tickets for the "So Happy It Hurts Tour" go on sale at 12 pm Friday, February 3 via ticketmaster.com.