Hotel Drover is an Autograph Collection® resort that delivers true Texas hospitality in the heart of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and Mule Alley.
Stockyards Heritage Development Co. and Hotel Drover have hired Grant Morgan as executive chef and Brian Richards as executive director of food and beverage for the upcoming Marriott Autograph Collection hotel.
Set to open in early 2021 in the award-winning Mule Alley district, Hotel Drover will offer 200 rustic-luxe rooms and suites in addition to two one-of-a-kind retail stores, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, and signature restaurant 97 West Kitchen & Bar.
“We are so excited to have both Brian and Grant on our opening team and knew from the moment we met them that they would fit in seamlessly with our brand and vision at Hotel Drover. The amount of experience, creativity, and talent they bring is undeniable, and they are going to bring a unique and elevated culinary landscape to the Stockyards and Fort Worth,” says Hotel Drover General Manager Kristin Assad.
“We are focused on creating legendary experiences that cannot be found anywhere else, and I know that this team is going to be incredibly successful. We look forward to sharing 97 West with the city of Fort Worth and all of our guests,” Assad said in the announcement.
Morgan brings more than years of culinary experience to his role of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the culinary team and creating the menus for 97 West, banquets, lobby bar, and The Backyard at 97 West.
He moved to Texas in 2007 after working in kitchens at Heartline Cafe in Sedona, Arizona; Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado; Bivans at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek, Colorado; and The Bellagio’s Le Cirque in Las Vegas.
After relocating to Dallas, Morgan served as the executive chef of Dragonfly and Hotel Zaza. Most recently, Morgan was part of the Front Burner Restaurants’ culinary team as chef at the Ranch at Las Colinas and corporate chef for Velvet Taco.
“I am proud to be part of such an amazing team and project,” says Morgan. “We look forward to bringing elevated Texas cuisine and true Texas hospitality to 97 West, Hotel Drover, and the Stockyards.”
Richards will be responsible for handling operations for the entire food & beverage department, including 97 West, banquets & catering, and room service.
Richards first job was at The Broadmoor, the longest-running five-star, Five Diamond resort in the country, where he worked on the opening team for The Summit restaurant. His tenure in boutique and luxury properties includes locations from Arizona to the coast of California, working with hotel groups Kimpton, Morgans Hotel Group, IHG, and PHG.
Richards recently relocated from Napa, where he oversaw the food and beverage operations for Meritage and Vista Collina Resort.
“Texas feels like home already, and the people and community in Fort Worth are so welcoming,” says Richards. “I am excited to be part of Hotel Drover, and I’m looking forward to building a strong and successful food & beverage team that continues to grow.”
Both Morgan and Richards will oversee Hotel Drover’s signature restaurant, 97 West Kitchen & Bar. As Fort Worth evolved from a frontier outpost to a livestock industry hub, its position on the 97º meridian west became a beacon for adventurous souls seeking freedom and opportunity in the Wild West. 97 West evokes that same spirit of adventure with its culinary practice, adding a sense of play, innovation, and experimentation to the classic dishes of Texas heritage.
Mule Alley, anchored by Hotel Drover, is home to Provender Hall, Shake Shack, Lucchese, MB Mercantile & Supply, American Paint Horse Association’s flagship experience, Biscuit Bar, Cowtown Winery, Wrangler, King Ranch Saddle Shop, and Simpli.fi national headquarters. Mule Alley will soon welcome additional retail and restaurants, including Proper Supply Co., Second Rodeo Brewing Co., and Sidesaddle Saloon.
Hotel Drover is located at 200 Mule Alley Drive.