The company working to redevelop the Fort Worth Stockyards, Stockyards Heritage Development Co. has started to fill out retails and brands coming to the area.
Among the companies signing on to the development is Lucchese Bootmaker a legacy western maker and retailer who has signed on for two destination stores – a retail showcase on Exchange Avenue offering 2,000 square feet of the iconic Western fashion and footwear that has made them a legend, and a first-ever custom boot shop in the lobby of the Hotel Drover.
The Mule Alley store will be one of only seven existing locations for the Western icon, a company that is extremely careful about choosing appropriate locations to showcase their wares. When the Hotel Drover opens in the fall of 2020, it will house the country’s first Lucchese Collection store, an 800-square foot luxury flagship dedicated to custom-fit apparel and made-to-order boots with no pre-stocked inventory on hand. Guests will experience bespoke fashion and boot making uniquely crafted just for them and be able to purchase accessories that can only be found in this store.
“At Lucchese, we understand the importance of preserving history and progressing into the future,” says Lucchese President Doug Kindy. “Becoming a part of Mule Alley and the legendary Fort Worth Stockyards was a natural fit, and quite simply an opportunity that Lucchese couldn’t resist. Lucchese Bootmaker is a born and bred Texas company. Since 1883, we have called the Lone Star State our home. We are delighted to be joining the Stockyards Heritage family in elevating the western experience for locals and visitors of the already incredible Ft. Worth, Texas.”
Stockyards Heritage enlisted Fort Worth’s M2G Ventures to help bring their retail and entertainment district to life.
“This is certainly not your typical leasing assignment”, said Jessica Miller, principal of M2G. “It is a rare opportunity to take our relationships with established western brands, tastemakers, progressive merchants and savvy local entrepreneurs in the culinary, entertainment, and creative fields and challenge them to embrace the re-imagined Stockyards. Stockyards Heritage seeks tenant partners who will create offerings that are new, fresh and in keeping with the inspiring district they will eventually call home.”
“Not everyone gets it,” said Susan Gruppi, M2G principal, “but when you marry the authenticity of this place with an established or emerging brand who does understand what this place is truly about, magic can happen.”
Also found at the Hotel Drover will be Little White Lies, a hand-curated artisan shop with a feminine yet rustic flare. The boutique will feature a special collection of edited apparel, jewelry, bags, travel accessories, and gifts in pale shades and beautiful hues that reflect its intriguing name and ethereal, interior ambience.
Mule Alley will also house an original retail concept from Stockyards Heritage, MB Mercantile & Supply. Inspired by the earliest general stores, MB Mercantile will offer a carefully selected mix of goods catering to both Stockyards’ visitors and Fort Worth locals. Mule Alley will continue its earlier announcements to create a unique food, beverage and entertainment destination. One of Fort Worth’s favorites, Chef Marcus Paslay, is under construction with his modern take on an experiential American smokehouse. Restaurant industry phenom Shake Shack has plans to open later this year. Second Rodeo Brewing Co. by Jason Boso is joining the lineup to expand his previously planned location to 14,000 square feet, offering on-site brewing along with casual dining and live music in an innovative setting on Mule Alley and the Creek.
Two notable culinary trailblazers are also coming to Mule Alley. A shotgun style, craft cocktail bar from Neon Light District Hospitality Group, the creative minds behind Taco Heads and Tinie’s Mexican Rotisserie, is the new Sidesaddle Saloon, an original concept from partners Sarah Castillo, Christian Lehrmann and Glen Keely.
Also joining Mule Alley is The Biscuit Bar, a unique concept serving up Southern charm on a biscuit courtesy of husband and wife duo Janie and Jake Burkett. With a personal story based in tragedy and eventual healing, the Burketts lost one of their newborn twins in 2016. Family and friends offered help by providing meals, and the couple noticed that each meal had one recurring, comfort-food staple – biscuits. They were inspired to serve their own guests a do-it-yourself biscuit bar, and from that a restaurant concept was born.
A tricked-out horse trailer will house Buckaroo Banana, an original concept serving up frozen banana treats on a stick dipped in warm chocolate with an ample choice of tasty toppings. Your little buckaroos and cutie cowgirls are sure to love this one! And wait ‘till they see another horse trailer concept, Deputy Doggie, offering the most innovative Texas style hot dogs you’ll taste anywhere around, created by Hotel Drover’s Executive Chef, Jenna Kinard.
Previously announced Simpli.fi, a digital advertising company who will occupy 77,000 square feet and bring 450 employees to the district, and the American Paint Horse Association, with offices, a theater, retail store and meeting space, will both open their international headquarters later this year in Mule Alley.
RFDTV, Rural Radio and the Cowboy Channel also recently opened the relocation of their corporate headquarters from Omaha and Nashville to the Stockyards. They will soon premiere their live studio tour and television broadcasting facility in the historic Auction Arena on Exchange Avenue, where live broadcasting of Cowboy Channel will be open to Stockyards’ visitors for a behind-the-scenes look at how shows are put together and sent over the airwaves. Special programming from the Stockyards will give visitors an inside look at some of the programming that makes its way into over 40 million households daily on RFDTV.
“I am very proud to have our company Rural Media Group, Inc., along with our flagship stations, RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel, located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards,” says Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of Rural Media Group. “With our strong partnership with the City of Fort Worth and the state of Texas, we believe we are well positioned to not only make Fort Worth proud, but also millions of viewers from across the country and around the globe.”
Stockyards Heritage believes it has found something special for the Stockyards.
“Each brand we have selected for Mule Alley has been chosen for their obvious pedigree, or for their unique vision of how to interpret the Western lifestyle and all it represents to locals and visitors from around the world”, said Craig Cavileer, Managing Partner of Stockyards Heritage. “The Stockyards has a sacred history we want to preserve, but we also want to bring a relevance that will ensure the continued longevity of this historic place. That’s a tall order”.