Restaurants / Closings

Top Fort Worth Restaurant is Shuttering for Good After Coronavirus Losses — Bird Cafe’s Flying Away

Sundance Square Staple's Closure Leaves a Historic Void

BY // 05.14.20

Fort Worth’s Bird Cafe, located at 155 E. Fourth and Commerce, is about to leave its famous roost. The restaurant will be shuttering for good on Friday, May 22.

“With the influx of Covid 19, we found it impossible to support our staff and have elected to close. We invite all of our loyal patrons to join us on the patio for one last hurrah,” owner Shannon Wynne says in a statement.

Bird Cafe was known as much for its charming space and proximity to Sundance Square Plaza, as for its intriguing menu and stylish bar.

“Seven years ago, we were approached by the Bass family to create a fine dining concept for the historic Land and Title Building, one of the most important and best surviving Victorian commercial buildings in Fort Worth. The space, which formerly housed our Flying Saucer Draught Emporium had become vacant after we moved into the 8-0 space on East Third,” Wynne says.

Brian Olenjack announced his departure from his brief tenure as head chef of Bird Cafe earlier this week. Olenjack will now be culinary director at Love Style Inc., the parent company of his fellow Reata Restaurant alum, Tim Love.

Consider it an early sign of what was coming for Wynne’s showcase Sundance Square spot.

Wynne, president of 8.0 Management, is a serial restauranteur — one of the most prolific and successful in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. His empire includes the Flying Saucer Draught Emporiums which boasts locations from Fort Worth to Raleigh, North Carolina (14 in all); Rodeo Goat which began serving specialty burgers in Fort Worth and now dots the state with six locations; Flying Fish with 12 locations in Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee; and Meddlesome Moth, still on Oak Lawn.

One of Wynne’s newest entries – Miriam Cocina Latina ― opened a year ago. The authentic Mexican restaurant sits across from Klyde Warren Park. Wynne partnered with Miriam Jimenez, from whom the restaurant gets its name. Jimenez’ resume includes the kitchens of both Mesero and Mr. Mesero.

“Miriam Cocina Latina, Meddlesome Moth, Flying Saucers, Flying Fish and Rodeo Goats are all open,” Amity Thomas of Amity Thomas Public Relations, tells PaperCity Fort Worth.

Bird Cafe’s stylish bar opened onto the bustle of Sundance Square.

 

Wynne poured his heart into Bird Cafe as well. He worked closely with the Gentling family to curate a large portfolio of bird paintings by Fort Worth natives and twin brothers, Stuart and Scott Gentling. Some of their most striking works were inspired by famed artist John James Audubon. The stunning artwork donned the walls of the popular eatery.

“The 1889 floor plan was a challenge to design, but is one of my favorites. Representative of the turn of the century, I wanted to merge the histories of the cattle and oil dynasties that would soon burgeon in Fort Worth,” Wynne says.

For a fond farewell, reservations can be made at www.birdinthe.net or call 817-332-2473. Curbside pickup and at home meal preparation kits are also available, through May 22. Current hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 4 pm to 10 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm.

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