Grace owner plans new restaurant with focus on Italian cuisine

First on 7th 

A long-time Fort Worth restauranter has plans for a new restaurant with a focus on Italian cuisine.

61 Osteria, on the ground floor of the recently updated 21-story First on 7th complex, will be operated by Adam Jones, a 30-year veteran of the Fort Worth restaurant scene, who since 2008 has owned the acclaimed Grace restaurant on Main Street. He also owns Little Red Wasp, another highly rated downtown bistro, and is the past general manager of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

The new eatery will combine an airy and modernistic ambience with a menu by award-winning chef Blaine Staniford, who has served for 13 years as the executive chef of Grace, as well as eight years at Little Red Wasp, according to a news release.

The new restaurant will be located on the street level of a renowned mid-century modern tower in downtown Fort Worth will turn out Italian fare using locally sourced ingredients, showcase expansive views of nearby Burnett Park and offer open-air seating adjacent to sculptures by a 20th-century master.

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“The location of 61 Osteria is very cosmopolitan – the park, the sculptures, the mid-century look, the huge patio, all the glass,” said Jones, who has been eyeing the space for years, and even bought a home across the street at the Neil P. Condos. 61 Osteria expects to open for business in mid-2022

With floor-to-ceiling windows spanning its western and southern walls and providing unimpeded cityscape views, 61 Osteria will serve as a new culinary destination for the west end of the central business district. Dishes will emphasize fresh, locally sourced grains, flour and produce from Texas farms and mills, in a classic Italian style of three to four ingredients. Among the restaurant’s features are a wood-burning hearth, a rotisserie and a pasta room.

The name 61 Osteria is a nod to 1961, the year in which the First on 7th building (originally First National Bank) was completed. Osteria means tavern in Italian.

The south side of the restaurant fronts onto the vast First on 7th plaza, where diners will have the option of enjoying meals and cocktails in a shaded outdoor space amid a triad of modernist sculptures by famed designer Isamu Noguchi. The works have graced the plaza since the building’s opening 60 years ago.

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As the redevelopment of First on 7th progressed and retail activity blossomed, Jones pursued talks with the Darden family of Fort Worth, whose businesses own and operate the property. After what Jones described as “some very good conversations with Glenn Darden” and concept discussions with chef Blaine Staniford, the path forward came into focus. “Fort Worth is my home, and I look forward to creating a restaurant that Fort Worth guests and others will call home, too,” Jones said.

Valet parking will be available on the restaurant’s west entrance. Guests may also park in the adjacent garage. 61 Osteria expects to open for business in mid-2022.

First on 7th is a 21-story tower at 500 West 7th Street that presents the clean, geometric lines and spare décor emblematic of mid-century modern architecture. The building was designed by New York’s Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and associate architect Preston M. Geren of Fort Worth.

A major update to the complex, led by Red Oak Realty, began in December 2018, with improvements such as new landscaping for the south-side plaza, a remodeling of the glass-lined lobby to remove visual clutter and highlight the works of mid-20th century artists, and the ongoing addition of street-level businesses, including Neighbor’s House Grocery, Buon Giorno Coffeehouse and Guaranty Bank.