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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 listhere. Headed to the State Fair? Find a full list of discounts here.

1. Surprising Fort Worth suburb named No. 5 most family-friendly U.S. city. If Fort Worth-area residents are looking for the perfect new place to buy a home and raise a family, they should steer their interest toward Watauga. The northeast Fort Worth suburb, impressively, has been named the fifth most family-friendly city in the U.S. by real estate marketplace Opendoor.

2. Mr Gatti's Pizza returns to home turf Fort Worth with new location. A Fort Worth-based pizzeria concept has opened a location in Fort Worth: Mr Gatti's Pizza has opened a restaurant off Camp Bowie at 2812 Horne St. #100, a space previously occupied by Helen's Hot Chicken, where they're open with pizza, pizza rolls, and their signature ranch dressing.

3. Texas Christian University ranks as No. 6 school in Texas for 2024 by U.S. News. Texas Christian University has achieved a high ranking for its high-quality educational experiences this year. The home of the Horned Frogs earned a top-10 spot on U.S. News and World Report's just-released list of the Best Colleges in Texas for 2024.

4. Ultra-chic Postino WineCafe brings wine and bruschetta to Southlake. A nationally acclaimed wine bar-restaurant has opened in Southlake: Postino WineCafé, specializing in wine, bites, and a chic atmosphere, opened a location at 1440 Main St., in Southlake Town Square, in the no-brainer slot next to Trader Joe's.

5. Quonset hut in south Fort Worth to be transformed into ballroom. A Quonset hut in south Fort Worth is about to make a Cinderella-like transformation: Called the Quonset Ballroom, it's being developed into an entertainment space which will host live music, food trucks, and events.

Mr. Gatti's

Mr Gatti's Pizza returns to home turf Fort Worth with new location

Pizza News

A Fort Worth-based pizzeria concept has opened a location in Fort Worth: Mr Gatti's Pizza has opened a restaurant off Camp Bowie at 2812 Horne St. #100, a space previously occupied by Helen's Hot Chicken, where they're open with pizza, pizza rolls, and their signature ranch dressing.

The location is a franchise owned by Kirk Jefferies, who also owns and operates franchises of Jason’s Deli and Chicken Express. This is his first Mr Gatti’s, but he has more locations planned.

“When people talk about Mr Gatti's Pizza, you can see a spark in their eyes. We love being able to bring that 'excitement' and combine it with our passion for pizza,” Jefferies says in a release. “Mr Gatti's Pizza has been satisfying cravings for over 50 years. It truly is an honor to be a part of this legacy brand that people cherish."

Menu favorites from about a dozen pizza options include The Sampler, The Deluxe with sausage, pepperoni, & smoked provolone, and BBQ chicken. A basic 12-inch cheese pizza with one topping is $12.

There are lunch specials from 10:30 am-3 pm including pepperoni rolls and salad for $10; 8 wings and salad for $13; and a medium pizza with 2 salads for $15.

The chain was first founded in Stephenville, Texas as The Pizza Place, in September 1964. In 1969, founder James Eure moved to Austin and opened the first Mr Gatti’s Pizza, named for his wife's maiden name.

They have a major presence in South Texas but only two in the DFW area: Plano and Allen.

There was a location that opened in Fort Worth in 2016, at 3280 W. Seventh St. in Museum Place, which at the time, was the first to use the Mr. Gatti’s name; the chain had been going by "Gatti's." So many name changes! It closed in 2018. There was also a location in North Richland Hills which opened in 2016 and closed in early 2019; and a location in Richardson that closed in 2018.

Back in the day they had a big buffet as well as a big game room, two features for which many longtime fans are nostalgic. But this location is just about the pizza.

There are now more than 70 locations in states across the Southeast, including Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Mister 01

Miami-based gourmet pizza chain brings crisp star-shaped pies to Mansfield

Pizza News

An artisanal pizza chain from Miami is expanding its DFW footprint with a new location: Called Mister O1, it'll open at Mansfield, at 1520 E. Debbie Ln. #102. This will be its third location not only in Texas but in the DFW area.

According to a release, it'll open in the fall.

Mister O1 was founded by master pizza chef Renato Viola, who was raised in Southern Italy, and who moved to Miami under the O1 Visa category, for those with "extraordinary artistic ability" of internationally acclaimed fame. He opened the first Mister O1 in 2014 and has since grown to 13 locations.

Bringing Mister O1 to DFW is John LaBarge, a former VP at Corner Bakery Cafe, who opened the first DFW location at Dallas' Turtle Creek Shopping Village in fall 2022. He followed that with a second in Grapevine in spring 2023.

And now, Mansfield.

"Entering the Mansfield market will be a great additional dining destination for those who live and work in the community, and it will also help us introduce the brand to the surrounding drive-market areas in the southern part of the Metroplex," LaBarge says.

He describes Mister O1 as a family-friendly restaurant, convenient for small and large groups, a quick and easy dining experience.

Their pizzas feature a delicate thin crust style with light dough which rests for a minimum of 72 hours before being served. But they're probably best known for their star-shaped pizzas, in which portions of the crust are formed into little pockets containing ricotta cheese, with the result looking like a star.

Menu options include:

  • the Scott - mozzarella, lemon chicken, onions, fresh tomatoes
  • Star Beckham - star shaped pizza filled with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, bacon, onions, fresh tomatoes, ranch dressing, basil
  • Ginger Lilliam - Italian tomato sauce, fresh burrata, Stracciatella cheese, black pepper, organic ginger
  • Coffee Paolo - Italian tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola blue cheese, natural honey, coffee, spicy salami calabrese
  • Star Luca - star shaped pizza filled with ricotta cheese, spicy salami calabrese, mozzarella, Italian tomato sauce, basil

Plus select calzones, salads, antipasti and dessert pizzas.

On the bar side, Mister O1 offers red, white, and sparkling Italian wines by the glass and bottle as well as Peroni Italian beer.

The pizzeria will go into a 2,200-square-foot space that was previously a location of Rusty Taco, next-door to a Smoothie King. It'll have seating for 56 inside and on the patio.

Mister 01

Star-shaped pizzas from Miami hurtle into new restaurant in Grapevine

Pizza News

Star-shaped pizzas are hurtling into Grapevine and now there's a date: Mister O1, the Miami-based pizzeria concept, will open a restaurant in Grapevine at 129 S. Main St. #155.

This is the concept's second location in Texas, and it'll make its debut on Tuesday May 2, in a 4,000-square-foot space that was previously a Cotton Patch Cafe, seating 50 with another eight seats on the patio.

Mister O1, which has a capital "o" and not a zero, was founded by Renato Viola, a native of Italy who moved to Miami under the O1 Visa category, reserved for those with “extraordinary artistic ability” of internationally acclaimed fame. Thus the name.

He opened the first location of Mister O1 in Florida in 2014. It has since grown to 13 locations including the first Texas location in Dallas, which opened in fall 2022 at Turtle Creek Shopping Village off Oak Lawn Avenue. Bringing it to DFW is franchise partner John LaBarge, a former VP at Corner Bakery Cafe.

“We’ve had such a positive response from Dallasites at our Turtle Creek location and we are looking forward to providing a new area in DFW with a taste of our pizzas," LaBarge says in a release.

The menu features 13-inch traditional and specialty pizzas as well as calzones, salads, and an antipasti and burrata bar. Select traditional and specialty pizzas are offered in 8 inches as well. Options include a Margherita, sausage featuring Jimmy’s Italian sausage, the Alessandra Jalapeño with mushrooms, avocado, jalapeño, the il Pescatore with tuna & anchovies, and the Fabio with gorgonzola blue cheese, speck (smoked prosciutto), & white truffle oil.

But the most famous are the star-shaped pizzas which come in 13-inch versions, as follows:

  • Star Carlos - filled with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Spanish sausage chorizo, fresh tomatoes, arugula, avocado, Italian parmesan, jalapeño sauce
  • Star Beckham - star shaped pizza filled with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, bacon, onions, fresh tomatoes, ranch dressing, basil
  • Coffee Paolo - Italian tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola blue cheese, natural honey, coffee, spicy salami calabrese
  • Star Luca - star shaped pizza filled with ricotta cheese, spicy salami calabrese, mozzarella, Italian tomato sauce, basil
  • Claudio - Italian tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh burrata Stracciatella cheese, white truffle oil, basil

They also do calzones filled with Calabrian spicy salami Jimmy’s Italian sausage, and the Calzone Giorgio with roasted peppers, spinach, mushrooms, & basil.

Salads include a Greek-like salad with kalamata olives & feta cheese, a Caesar, and the Laura with Romaine, burrata Stracciatella cheese and tomatoes.

An antipasti and burrata bar is available as well with a Caprese, Burrata with arugula and fresh tomatoes; Burrata e Italian balsamic glaze; Burrata e white truffle oil and Burrata e crudo.

Beverages include red, white, and sparkling Italian wines by the glass and bottle as well as the well-known Italian beer, Peroni.

"To us, Italy is synonymous with quality. At Mister O1 we focus on quality as well as simplicity to create a delicious product and our wine menu reflects this,” Viola says.

Photo courtesy of Fireside Pies

Fireside Pies brings artisanal pizzas back to Fort Worth at new location

Pizza News

An artisanal pizzeria is returning to Fort Worth: Fireside Pies, which previously had a location on Crockett Row for more than a decade, is opening a new location in the Left Bank Shopping Center, at 628 Harrold St.

According to a spokesperson, the restaurant will open on March 24.

Fireside Pies was a catalyst that elevated the pizza scene in Dallas-Fort Worth when it debuted in 2004 in a funky cottage on Dallas' Henderson Avenue with pizzas boasting a puffy crust and artisanal toppings such as chunky slices of fresh tomato.

The concept was originally created by Dallas chef Nick Badovinus and his then-partner Tristan Simon and has been owned by Golden Tree, which also owns the Golden Chick chain, since 2018.

There are two other locations, in Grapevine and Dallas' Lake Highlands. The location on Crockett Row closed in early 2022.

The new Fort Worth location goes into a vibrant area that also includes Snooze an A.M. Eatery and Akarii Revolving Sushi, where it will serve Fireside Pies classics such as spinach-artichoke dip and signature pizzas such as Triple Roni, BBQ chicken, spicy sausage, and prosciutto & parm.

They also have a selection of pastas such as the simple but comforting Butter Noodles tossed in butter, Parmesan, and parsley; and pappardelle with house-made Bolognese. A separate menu for brunch includes chicken & waffles, frittatas with bacon & avocado or Mexican chorizo, and a bacon & egg pizza.

In a statement, Fireside Pies director of operations Joe Bozarth says they've been all hands on deck to get a Fort Worth location.

“We have been anticipating our return to Fort Worth for a while, but wanted to make sure when we did, it was to a spot that would truly support our brand,” Bozarth says. “Our whole team has been hands-on in the process to return to this city, and I can’t thank everyone enough for their diligence while we’ve worked on getting our doors open. We are truly excited to be getting back to serving our loyal Fort Worth customers the delicious, wood-fired pizzas they know and love.”

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

New pizzeria in Arlington lobs Chicago-style pizza and Italian roast beef

Pizza News

A new take-out pizzeria is bringing deep dish pizza to a neighborhood in need: Called Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, it's opening at the Green Oaks Plaza in Arlington, at 4407 Little Rd. #610, where it will serve Chicago's favorite style pie as well as a few other Windy City classics.

Chicago Deep Dish is from Ashraf Ghousheh, a veteran on the Chicago-style pizza front who previously opened Chicago Pizza Las Colinas back in 2009 (which he sold last year).

"I was taking a break from the pizza business, but there's no Chicago-style pizza in this part of Dallas-Fort Worth, and I found this spot in Arlington that's close to where I live," Ghousheh says. "Pizza is what I know."

If all goes well with construction and permitting, he anticipates that this new spot will open in March or April.

His menu includes 15 specialty pies, each named for an element of Chicago culture. There's one called the Chicago Bulls with pepperoni, salami, sausage, and bacon; and another called the Great Chicago Fire with sausage, sport peppers, garlic, cilantro, and mozzarella cheese.

His pizza with Alfredo sauce, fajita chicken, red onion, bacon, and jalapeno is called the White Sox, while the John Dillinger has BBQ chicken, red onion, and smoked Gouda cheese.

He offers five vegetarian options including one with spinach and olives, and the "Sears Tower," with "veggies stacked high as the sky."

While deep dish is the trademark, he'll do a thin-crust option as well. He makes his own tomato sauce using Bonta Brand tomatoes and Grande brand mozzarella. There's also pesto sauce, alfredo, barbecue, and olive oil.

Sizes begin at 6-inch for an individual, starting at $7.99, and top out at 16-inch, with a basic cheese pizza going for $19.99.

Other Chicago specialties include an Original Chicago hot dog topped with pickle, celery salt, red onion, mustard, sport peppers, tomato, and green relish; and an Italian roast beef sandwich, sliced wafer thin.

There's also a meatball sub, Greek salad, antipasto salad, wings, garlic bread, cheese bread, and pesto garlic cheese bread, a sourdough baguette topped with basil pesto and mozzarella, with a side of marinara.

One thing that drew him back into the restaurant world was the post-pandemic trend of being a place that does delivery and takeout only. His location does not have a dining room or dine-in option.

"Staffing is still an issue these days, and this means that I can put my focus on the kitchen," he says.

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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.

Cidercade cider and games venue opens mega-facility in heart of Arlington

Cider News

Cider and games are coming to Arlington with the opening of Cidercade, a new entertainment venue opening at 500 E. Division St. in the heart of Arlington on September 29.

Cidercade has hundreds of arcade games, shuffleboard, pool tables, and more, all available for playing with a single admission fee, as well as dozens of drinks on tap. It's all ages during the day then turns 21+ at 8 pm.

Arlington is the fifth location in Texas, following existing Cidercades in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston, and is the largest yet with a huge space spanning 25,000-plus square feet.

It houses more than 300 retro and modern arcade games, pool tables, ping pong tables, shuffleboard courts (a Cidercade first), party rooms, and event spaces for groups of all sizes.

In a statement, co-founder and CEO Joel Malone says that with Arlington's reputation as an entertainment destination, he knew they had to build "something awesome."

"Cidercade Arlington is not only our largest location yet, but it includes a much larger variety of games and experiences," he says.

Cidercade customers pay an admission fee of $12 and get unlimited play on all the games and activities once inside. Cidercade also offers a $20 monthly membership that includes unlimited admissions as well as discounts on drinks and merch.

Beyond the games, multiple bars serve a big lineup of adult beverages on tap, all made by Bishop Cider, and soft drinks from soda machines with unlimited refills.

Customers are allowed to bring their own food or have it delivered from nearby restaurants.

In addition to the Arlington expansion, Bishop is also relocating the Dallas Cidercade to a new site near Love Field Airport, where it will be expanded dramatically to 79,000 square feet, nearly 10 times larger. It will feature concepts, games, and activities that aren’t offered anywhere else in Texas, and will open in 2024. The current location will remain open until then.

Malone and and his wife and partner Laura Malone initially founded Bishop Cider as a quaint 704-square-foot cider bar a decade ago. The company has since grown into a leader in beverage manufacturing and beverage experiences comprising four brands:

  • TexBev, a co-packer for carbonated soft drinks, juice, energy drinks, wine, beer, and RTDs.
  • Cidercade, the cider and game venue
  • Bishop Cider, the hard cider company
  • Wild Acre Brewing, a brewery and beer garden venue in Fort Worth that produces seasonal brews and year-round core beers like Texas Blonde, Juice Slinger IPA, and Sundance Wheat.

Famed Seattle piroshky bakery makes stop in Fort Worth on Texas-wide tour

Meat Pie News

A Seattle bakery is coming to Fort Worth for a special pop-up: Piroshky Piroshky Bakery, which specializes in handmade piroshki, AKA Russian hand pies, will stop in Fort Worth on a national tour.

The bakery will pop up at Martin House Brewing, 220 S Sylvania Ave., on October 4 from 5-7 pm, with luscious offerings, both savory and sweet.

Piroshkis are small pies of Russian origin, made from an enriched yeast dough, with savory fillings like meat, vegetables, or cheese, the most traditional being meat and rice or potato and onion.

Piroshky Piroshky Bakery was founded in Seattle in 1992, and offer their pastries in all sorts of delectable fillings: from beef & cheese to cabbage & onion to vegan-friendly mushroom & potato.

Their piroshky are individually made from scratch and hand-formed into unique shapes that help differentiate the flavors and fillings inside.

They make sweet pastries, as well.

The company has five locations across Seattle, and also sells their products online. Their original location at Seattle's Pike Place Market serves more than 20 varieties.

But they also make annual tours, just like a rock band, to bring their goods to towns across the U.S. They previously came through Fort Worth in February 2022.

The tour features options such as:

  • Smoked salmon pate piroshky
  • Beef & onion piroshy
  • Impossible beef & onion piroshky
  • Ham, spinach, & cheese piroshky
  • Potato & cheese piroshky
  • Veggie chipotle piroshky
  • Chocolate cream hazelnut roll
  • Cinnamon cardamom braid
  • Pumpkin toffee braid
  • Caraway cheddar cheese stick
  • Poppyseed cinnamon roll

The full menu is online, and pre-ordering is required. The cutoff order date for Fort Worth is October 2 at 4 pm. There's a minimum of $50; individual items run between $5.25 to $7.25.

In addition to Fort Worth, they're also making three other stops in Texas:

  • Dallas at Outfit Brewing, 135 John W. Carpenter Fwy, on October 5, from 5-7 pm. You must order by October 3; pre-order here.
  • Austin at Twin Creeks Park, 2303 Dervingham Drive, Cedar Park, on October 6, from 5-7 pm; pre-order here.
  • Houston at Elks Lodge, 10150 W Airport Blvd, Stafford, on October 7, from 5-7 pm; pre-order here.