By Celestina Blok
Special to the Fort Worth Business Press
The event isn’t until March 2014, but festivities begin next month for the inaugural Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. Participating chefs will host “pop-up” restaurant events Sunday and Monday nights June 2 through July 29 inside the location of the short-lived Tower Restaurant and Speakeasy, located at the bottom of The Tower building in downtown Fort Worth. The exciting part – diners won’t know who the chef is until they arrive. Menus will be promoted via social media on the Friday before each dinner, which may lead folks into a guessing game as to who the host chef will be for the week. Even more, seating will be family style and the dinners are BYOB, so diners can break out their cellar best. Chefs participating in the dinner event series, named Twenty at the Tower for the 20 nights of dining, so far include Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s and Waters, Blaine Staniford of Grace, Eric Hunter of Fire Oak Grill in Weatherford, Kevin Martinez of Tokyo Cafe, Juan Rodriguez of Reata, Michael Thomson of Michael’s and John Tesar of Spoon and Scott Gottlich of Bijoux, both in Dallas. Twenty at the Tower tickets are expected to go on sale May 20 via the festival website, www.fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com, for $75, including tax and valet parking but not gratuity. Proceeds will benefit the festival, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Patrizio closes, then reopens Patrons found the doors locked to West 7th’s Patrizio Pizza, Pasta & Vino, one of the development’s most popular dining spots, on April 19. West 7th management confirmed that the location had closed and there was “strong interest” in the Patrizio space. One week later, on April 26, the Dallas-based Italian eatery reopened and is now back to normal business hours. “It was a corporate decision, obviously temporary,” said Jon Omealey, general manager for the Fort Worth Patrizio location. “There was a negotiation between the landlord and Edward C. Bailey Enterprises that owns us and luckily for the store, that negotiation was decided in a positive manner.” There are five other Patrizio locations in the Metroplex, including the two-story, multimillion dollar Southlake location that opened last summer. Edward C. Bailey Enterprises Inc. also owned Bailey’s Prime Plus, the high-end steakhouse that was located where Jon Bonnell’s Waters now sits. The Fort Worth Bailey’s closed last year and the restaurant’s Dallas location closed in January.
WineStyles closes in Montgomery Plaza WineStyles, one of Montgomery Plaza’s first retail tenants, shuttered its doors on May 3. There are now only two Dallas-Fort Worth area locations of the wine bar and boutique franchise, in Flower Mound and Mansfield. WineStyles was established in 2002 and was ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as a top 500 franchise in 2006 and 2007.
The Tavern chef to open seafood-focused Pacific Table The Tavern chef Felipe Armenta expects an early June opening for his second venture – a seafood restaurant called Pacific Table, to be located in the vacant corner space in University Park Village. Armenta, who’s cooked from California to New York City, is building an outdoor patio and wood-burning rotisserie and promises crab cakes and ahi tuna burgers, which can be found on The Tavern menu now, as well as sushi. Pacific Table will be casual, unlike the space’s predecessor, La Piazza, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant was initially to be called Union Pacific Cafe, but Union Pacific railroad had Armenta change the name.
Martin House Brewing now open for weekly tours and tastings Fort Worth’s new Trinity riverfront brewery, Martin House Brewing Co., is now open for weekly tours on Saturdays from 2-5 p.m. For $10 guests get a commemorative pint glass, craft beer and a guided tour. Food will be available for purchase from area caterers and food trucks, which will rotate week to week. Martin House is owned by brewmaster and founder Cody Martin and his college buddies David Wedemeier and Adam Myers. The trio launched their beers commercially this spring to area restaurants and brewpubs including The Flying Saucer, Rodeo Goat, Brownstone and Brewed. Three beers are offered, including Day Break “breakfast” beer, a four-grain blend brewed with honey and milk. A pretzel-based stout is on its way. Martin House is just east of downtown at 220 S. Sylvania Ave.