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8 things to know about Fort Worth restaurant openings and dining news this month

By Rebecca ChristophersonMarch 7, 2024No Comments

8 things to know about Fort Worth restaurant openings and dining news this month

By Tori Couch and Scott Nishimura
Photo courtesy of The Blue Room at Emilia’s

Downtown Fort Worth’s 61 Osteria Italian fine dining eatery made several changes as it approached its first anniversary in February.

The restaurant added an afternoon “Aperitivo Hour,” opened two private event rooms and dropped lunch service. Aperitivo Hour runs seven days a week, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

“It’s like an Italian happy hour, with your choice of wine — bubbles, white or red — or a cocktail or spritz and a chef-prepared snack for $10,” said Adam Jones, who operates the restaurant with award-winning chef Blaine Staniford.

The new event rooms include the Barcelona room, which can accommodate up to 100, and a private dining room for 20-40. Patio dining facing Burnett Park will also be available starting this spring.

Southlake’s Cambria Hotel rebranding to Marriott Tribute, moving toward premier dining

Coury Hospitality, the hospitality company behind the management of the Hotel Vin in Grapevine and Sinclair Hotel in Fort Worth, plans a rebrand of the Cambria Hotel Southlake to include a high-end lobby restaurant called Sagewind, an unnamed “speakeasy” and a third eatery called Abbey Social.

The hotel’s repositioning from a Choice limited service brand will start this year, and be completed next year, said Tom Santora, chief growth and strategy officer for Coury, which has taken over management of the hotel for the Grapevine group that owns it.

The concept for the Sagewind is still in the works, but it will be chef-driven, Santora said. Sagewind will be required to serve at least two meals per day as part of the Tribute portfolio, he said. 

The speakeasy will be hidden inside the restaurant. The speakeasy does not have a name right now, but the current design has it hidden behind a library of books and a fireplace. For those familiar with Hotel Vin’s speakeasy, Magnum, Sanotra said this one will provide a similar element of mystery and surprise for guests.

“You think you’ve seen it all,” he said. “People might stay here and not even know there’s a speakeasy here.”

Abbey Social, with plans to be open on weekends, will take up the remainder of the big lobby space now devoted to limited-service dining and bar.

While the repositioning is occurring, the hotel is operating as part of the Marriott group and is badged The Southlake Hotel. It will be called The Elmore once the repositioning, which will include improvements to all 177 rooms, is complete.

The Blue Room at Emilia’s: “Meals worth lingering over”

The Blue Room opened in late February. The fine dining experience is located inside Emilia’s, the restaurant helmed by chef Preston Paine at The Crescent Hotel, Fort Worth. Reservations are available at

The Blue Room’s menu includes fresh fish of the day carved tableside, caviar service, shellfish towers and local meats.

Group raising money for chef Keith Button Hicks, who needs a double-lung transplant

Friends and former colleagues are raising money for chef Keith Hicks, to help him pay for costs related to a double-lung transplant he needs in his fight against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

The group has set up the “Keith Button Hicks” gofundme page and held a fundraiser on Jan. 31 in Fort Worth. Hicks, an Army veteran and former executive chef at Buttons, said he does not yet know what his surgery will cost and how much of the expense he’ll have to pick up. He’s in the process of getting on the organ transplant list. “It’s been a crazy journey,” said Hicks, 61, who was diagnosed with COPD in November 2018 while being treated in a hospital for pneumonia.

Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival tickets on sale

Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is gearing up for its annual festival, April 4-7. Fans can buy tickets online at Besides individual entry to the festival’s events, all-inclusive tickets are available: The Weekender, which includes early entry to all five events, $635; and The Kit, general admission to all five events, $390.

Lambert, Reale exit Roy Pope partnership

The partnership that revived the Roy Pope Grocery on Fort Worth’s Westside is getting a facelift. Lou Lambert and Chris Reale told the Fort Worth Report they were leaving the partnership. Mark Harris, the third founder, is bringing in new investors. The three will remain partners in the Paris Coffee Shop.

Younger Partners buys former Fred’s site

Younger Partners has acquired one of the sites of Fred’s Texas Cafe at 615 Currie St. and added it to the company’s Artisan Circle — the former Crockett Row, which Younger purchased in August 2022. Younger said in a release it doesn’t have a plan yet for the Fred’s site. Fred’s has two other locations in Fort Worth on Camp Bowie and Western Center.

Capital Grille continues to move forward in Southlake

Southlake residents have watched with anticipation as The Capital Grille draws closer to its opening at the southeast corner of Texas 114 and Carroll Avenue. The restaurant is expected to open this spring.

Oak & Eden opens in Clearfork

Oak & Eden, the award-winning whiskey maker, opened a store in February at 5285 Marathon Ave. in The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth.