Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and that means everyone is feeling Irish, as evidenced by the onslaught of St. Patrick’s Day-themed festivities happening this weekend. Don’t forget to wear green, or prepare to be pinched. Save room for lots of mac and cheese by week’s end. By the way, we're just a few weeks away from this year's Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, and tickets are going fast; find out more here.

Friday, March 17

44th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party at J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill
It’s the biggest tradition in downtown Arlington. Visit all day starting at 11 am for lunch and 4 pm for the outdoor party. A half dozen bands, green beer, and Irish nachos – natural cut cottage fries with melted cheddar, bacon, chives, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos – will combine for a good time.

St. Patrick’s Day at Angelo’s Bar-B-Que
While Texas barbecue is not exactly Irish, there’s a St. Patrick’s Day tie to this Fort Worth barbecue institution. Angelo’s opened on March 17, 1958, and every year on its anniversary, the beloved barbecue joint hosts Irish bagpipers to play for guests while they dine. Visit during dinner and enjoy the music along with a green beer paired with brisket or ribs.

St. Pawtrick’s Day Party Mutt’s Canine Cantina
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns will leave a trail of golden stickers on the bottom of select Barkaritas at this dog park and bar. Find one and pick from the pot of gold to win prizes like food, drinks, merchandise, and more. The agave tequila-based Barkaritas, made with fresh lemon and lime juice, will be made green for the occasion. The giveaways will take place all weekend long, Friday through Sunday.

Greek Wine Tasting at Wine Thief
The intimate wine bar inside the Omni Fort Worth Hotel will host a Greek wine tasting with small bites to match. A guest speaker will guide participants through each varietal. The tasting is $45, plus tax and gratuity, and will run from 5-7 pm.

After Hours in the Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Enjoy the beauty of the Botanic Garden after dark. There’ll be live music by singer and songwriter Joseph Neville, light bites, wine, and beer. Tickets are $18 for members or $25 for non-members. Bringing a blanket for sitting is encouraged. The event will run from 6:30 – -8:30 pm.

EIEIO Wine Dinner at Waters
The downtown high-end seafood destination will welcome winemaker and owner of EIEO & Company, Jay McDonald, for a five-course wine pairing dinner. Menu highlights include roasted Texas quail, cherrywood coal salmon, and coffee-ancho chile rubbed beef tenderloin. There’ll also be pinot noirs a ‘plenty. Dinner is $190 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and will begin at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, March 18

Spirits & Coffee Tastings at John Wayne: An American Experience
Coinciding the Fort Worth Stockyards Cowtown Goes Green Parade, the John Wayne museum will host a complimentary tasting. Stop by the John Wayne Stock & Supply store from 2-4 pm to sample the lineup of Duke Spirits, including bourbon, rye, and tequila, as well as The Quiet Man Irish Coffee made with John Wayne Gold Handle Coffee. Playing in the background will be Wayne’s movie The Quiet Man, which filmed in Ireland. John Wayne’s youngest daughter, Marisa Wayne, and eldest grandchild, Anita LaCava Swift, will also be on-site for a book signing of John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book and DUKE: The Official John Wayne Movie Book.

St. Paddy’s Irish Whiskey Tasting at Hooligan’s Pub
After the mayhem of St. Patrick’s Day settles down, partake in a traditional Irish meal paired with Irish whiskeys at Hooligan’s Pub in Arlington. The tasting will include pours of Tullamore Dew, Busker, Proper Twelve, and Teeling whiskeys paired with a corned beef sandwich, sauerkraut, and pickles. Then wash it all down with a pour of Guinness at the end. The tasting is $49 and will be available from 5-8 pm.

Sunday, March 19

Mac Attack
It’s the only macaroni and cheese competition in Fort Worth, and it’s happening this Sunday at Tokyo Café. Founded by Tokyo Café chef Kevin Martinez, the culinary competition features 17 chefs and restaurants who’ll vie for making the best mac. Competitors include Fred’s Texas Café, Luckybee Kitchen, Mariachi’s Dine-In, Dayne’s Craft Barbecue, The Bearded Lady, Funky Picnic Brewery & Café, and more. Guests will do the voting, and the top three winners get a homemade trophy and ticket proceeds toward their charity of choice. Tickets are $35 and include two beers. Or pay $25 for no beer. Kids can get in for $10. The competition will run from 1-3 pm. A VIP ticket of $45 grants early entry at 12 noon.

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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.

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.

Surprising Fort Worth suburb named No. 5 most family-friendly U.S. city

a great place to live

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.

Opendoor's second annual "Family-Friendly Cities" list focuses on local communities that offer plenty of recreational outdoor activities that are suitable for families of any age. Watauga was the only city in Dallas-Fort Worth to make the new list and the only Texas city to make the top 10. (Bellaire, near Houston, ranks No. 12.)

Cities were identified using the average number of family-friendly activity tags found on OpenStreetMap that are used for addresses in a city where the marketplace operates. Factors that were considered include cities with community centers, gardens, museums, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, and more.

Watauga - which is bordered by Fort Worth to the west, Keller to the north, Haltom City to the southwest, and North Richland Hills to the south and east - has plenty of family-friendly attractions. Yet it often gets overshadowed by bigger, busier, more affluent Northeast Tarrant cities like Grapevine and Southlake.

There are seven different parks around Watauga, including the popular 37-acre Capp Smith Park, with its four pavilions, two playgrounds, amphitheater, and several acres dedicated to open space and stunning views.

The City of Watauga calls the park the heart of the city's recreational activities.

"[Capp Smith Park] features a lighted one mile walking trail that surrounds a spring fed one acre pond fully stocked with several species of aquatic wildlife," the city's website says. "In addition, the park is home to several other forms of wildlife which have also taken up residence in the park."

The park is also the host of Watauga Fest, an annual family-friendly festival that brings in carnival rides, food trucks, vendors, and much more for all residents to enjoy.

In addition, Watauga residents can make use of a thriving public library, visit the city's 9/11 Memorial and Veterans Memorial, Foster Village Park, a splash pad, and more. The city is also adjacent to the expansive Arcadia Park, with its many trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, and disc golf course.

According to recent reports, the average home price in Watauga is $283,845 - significantly less than the average home value in Fort Worth proper, $307,939. It's become an attractive place for new restaurants and retailers in recent years.

Opendoor's 15 best family friendly cities in 2023 are:

  • No. 1 – Somerville, Massachusetts
  • No. 2 – Berkeley, California
  • No. 3 – Cliffside Park, New Jersey
  • No. 4 – Arlington, Virginia
  • No. 5 – Watauga, Texas
  • No. 6 – Chandler, Arizona
  • No. 7 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 8 – Portland, Oregon
  • No. 9 – Valley Stream, New York
  • No. 10 – Garden Grove, California
  • No. 11 – Coral Gables, Florida
  • No. 12 – Bellaire, Texas
  • No. 13 – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • No. 14 – Mission, Kansas
  • No. 15 – Avondale Estates, Georgia
The full report can be found on opendoor.com.