Culture / Travel

Hotel Drover Will Bring Hacienda Style, Lush Landscaping, and Custom Lucchese to Fort Worth

A Four-Star Resort and More to Look Forward to in Revitalized Mule Alley

BY // 08.27.20

It’s no small task to take on one of Texas’ most popular tourist destinations, particularly one as historic as the Fort Worth Stockyards.  “Our goal was to preserve the past, but elevate the experience. How do we enhance the Stockyards without taking away its spirit?” says Craig Cavileer, executive vice president of Majestic Realty Co. who has been leading the team redeveloping the Stockyards since 2014, a project that includes the renovation of century-old mule barns dubbed Mule Alley.

And though tourists are important to the historic district, Stockyards Heritage Development Co. — a partnership between Majestic and The Hickman Companies —set out to create a more stylish destination specifically for the visitors who call Fort Worth home.

“From day one, we said, ‘Let’s build this place for locals,’” says Majestic’s chief creative officer Linda Berman. “If we get it right for locals, then tourists will come.”

And when those locals or tourists do wish to stay the night, they’ll soon have a four-star destination to do so in the heart of the Stockyards. Scheduled to open in early 2021, Hotel Drover (part of Marriott Hotels’ Autograph Collection; named as a nod to the area’s rich cattle drives history) will feature 200 charmingly appointed rooms and suites with a modern, hacienda-style aesthetic; lushly landscaped walking paths with fire pits and a glistening pool, along with a lavish event barn and an upcoming restaurant, 97 West Kitchen & Bar. Two unique retail concepts will be housed within the rustic resort: The Lucchese Custom Collection and Little White Lies, a feminine boutique stocked with limited-edition and artisanal collections curated by Berman, who also helped execute another new store in Mule Alley: MB Mercantile.

Amid iconic brands like Wrangler, King Ranch, and Stetson lining the revitalized alley, MB Mercantile represents the historic district’s careful collaboration between old and new. The vast, 3,000-square-foot general store is beautifully layered to feel homey and nostalgic. A mix of vintage and artisan-made lifestyle products lines the wall, along with hundreds of items created exclusively for the shop.

MB Mercantile, a new general store concept in Fort Worth’s Mule Alley

Each distinctive space can be viewed from the center of the store: a Western-meets-French confectionary housed within a salvaged metal conservatory.

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“Most of the candy has been packaged by us with our own graphics and labels, so everything feels very special,” says Berman. After searching across the country for a general store that would fit Mule Alley, Berman proposed taking on the challenge herself.

“We couldn’t just say we were going to do it right — we had to prove it,” Berman says of getting Fort Worth to trust the team. “The only way to do that was to create so many of these quality things ourselves.”

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