Culture / Newsy

Major Changes Shake Up Fort Worth’s Retail and Restaurant Scene — Exciting Moves, Permanent Shutterings and Teasing the Possible Return of an Iconic Spot

It's a New World Post Coronavirus Shutdowns

BY // 05.07.20

As May turns a page in many ways ― a lot has changed in Fort Worth. Some stores and restaurants are slowly resurfacing, while others remain on the sidelines. Some have made big moves in recent weeks, and sadly some are announcing their permanent closure.

Here are a few of the most noteworthy changes to hit Fort Worth’s retail and restaurant world.

WRARE home design is on the move again ― this time to The Shops at Clearfork. The go-to destination for eclectic design inspiration and unique home furnishings, began its life in 2011, when co-owners Doug PlesKovitch and Adrian Wright first introduced their collection in what is now known as Crockett Row.

It has remained a trusted resource for statement pieces and up-tempo gifts, but WRARE has been on a wild ride. It hopped from locations on Camp Bowie and then back to Crockett Row, until it closed that showroom a year ago. WRARE’s most recent showroom opened last July in the University Park Village. Now WRARE has opened up shop in Clearfork instead, hoping to capitalize on the increased foot traffic, while joining other home furnishing and decor brands already planted there.

The new WRAE store initially opened in mid-March — unfortunately that was the very same weekend coronavirus closure edicts started to go into effect. As of this week, fans can once enjoy a leisurely stroll through the store, with adequate elbow room. Their doors are open with 25 percent occupancy restrictions.

Fort Worth Running Company jogged into a new location as well. After being closed to customers for six weeks at its former West Seventh location due to COVID-19,  Fort Worth Running Company’s brought its solid reputation for outfitting the avid runner to a new space in WestBend.

“We’re so excited to announce our store relocation. We are now located between HG SPLY CO. and TYLER’S, right by the Trinity River (prime running spot),” a Fort Worth Running Company Facebook post declared. The new address is appropriately 1621 River Run, Suite 116. The new store is now open customers (with the 25 percent occupancy limits to begin).

A Roy Pope Revival?

The teary-eyed emojis swelled across Fort Worth in late March, with the unexpected word that Roy Pope Grocery was closing for good after 77 years. The decision was reportedly not coronavirus-related. Owners Bob and Renee Larance revealed the impending closure in a note on Roy Pope’s website. A somber liquidation sale soon followed.

But then a glimmer of hope suddenly appeared on April 25 ― a post that simply stated, “Reopening Summer 2020!” No details are forthcoming about who is involved or what shape Roy Pope Grocery’s reemergence would take. No one could be reached for comment, but the grocery’s status has been updated to “Temporarily Closed.” Come back to PaperCity for more details on this developing story.

Roy Pope’s Grocery – Exterior
The entrance to Roy Pope’s Grocery.

Fort Worth Restaurant Shutterings

Cork and Pig Tavern is one of chef and restauranteur Felipe Armenta’s concepts, but one of its locations is not returning post coronavirus. The Crockett Row location is now permanently closed. The casual dining destination that offers everything from mimosa-laden patio brunches, to brick oven pizzas and baby back ribs still has three remaining locations ― its original restaurant in San Angelo, another in Odessa and one that just debuted in 2019 in Las Colinas.

Armenta has three other, popular concepts scattered around Fort Worth ― Press Cafe by the Trinity River in Clearfork, The Tavern on Hulen, and Pacific Table in University Park Village. All of those remaining Fort Worth restaurants have been closed for the past six weeks, and they are all are getting back in the swing, having begun to welcome customers again this week for limited dine-in and curbside pickup takeout orders.

Birdie Bop
Hopes linger that BirdieBop might resurface, but it won’t be returning to The Moon on Berry.

Another unwelcome announcement was made by Adrian Hulet, chef of BirdieBop, who was co-owner of the short-lived concept along with chef Josh Harmon. The kitschy Korean-style chicken joint will not reopen inside The Moon: Bar & Live Music venue on Berry Street.

BirdieBop had barely gotten off the ground, having only opened in December, though it flapped its tiny wings vigorously and made plenty of noise with outlandish creations such as Mac and Kimcheese, doughy Fried Chicken Bao Buns, Korean Sticky Wings, and Gochujang Queso.

“BirdieBop will not be reopening inside the Moon Bar and Live Music,” Hulet wrote in a post. “Whether it will ever reopen at all and if so where, and how. . . these are all conversations that are ongoing and likely will be for some time to come.” Hulet is also founder and owner of the pop-up dinner series known as FrankenKitchen.

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