Restaurants / Closings

Beloved Fort Worth Bakery is Shuttering, Leaving Heartbroken Devotees — McKinley’s Prepares to Say Goodbye

Sweet Shop's Owner Still Hopes to Find a New Forever Home

BY // 08.27.20

A perennial lunch stop and beloved hometown bakery, located in Fort Worth’s University Park Village, is calling it quits. McKinley’s Fine Bakery and Cafe has been a fixture there for nearly 10 years. But owner Stacey Rumfelt confirms that the rumors of McKinley’s impending closure, which began swirling on social media, are in fact true.

“This post is a bittersweet message to write,” Rumfelt writes. “I had hoped to prolong writing this as I continue to process the decision myself, but the cat is out of the bag now.”

She stated there were several reasons that had led to her decision not to renew her lease. “One of those reasons is obvious ― operating a small restaurant with a large dining room in a high rent retail area does not seem to be the best business strategy for us in the current environment.”

McKinley’s hopes to remain open through Labor Day, but plans an early September exit.

McKinley’s lunch plate with a slice of chicken pot pie
McKinley’s lunch plate featuring a slice of chicken pot pie.

With plenty of salads, sandwiches and quiches on the menu, as well as a selection take home meals such as the classic King Ranch Chicken, the bakery was ideally sandwiched between many surrounding neighborhoods. It was also the perfect lunch spot for shoppers at the University Park Village.

The bakery case held many wonders, like McKinley’s staple Strawberry Layer Cake, and its Italian Cream, as well as simply some of the best cookies in town. Those palm-sized cookies are named for Fort Worth neighborhoods like Mistletoe Heights, Berkley, Westover, and even the Horned Frog in honor of Fort Worth’s favorite college mascot.

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But my family will miss the lemon icebox cookies most of all. We’re kind of addicted to them.

Rumfelt and a  former employee.

It does not seem those cookies will be coming back anytime soon, though.

“For years we have dreamed of one day finding a ‘forever home’ for McKinley’s, and we love to imagine the possibilities that our own properly planned space would allow. But for now, we are not in a rush,” Rumfelt writes.

Her immediate plans are to focus on her family and to enjoy an uninterrupted holiday season for the very first time, without the crush of fulfilling endless bakery orders. Many North Texas holiday tables will be at a loss without McKinley’s baked goods.

“So this news is a bit sad because it is hard to close a really good chapter, and I have certainly cried a few tears,” Rumfelt goes on. “But it is also exciting. . . who knows what God will do next? We are now free to find out. And whatever it is, it is going to be awesome. Stay tuned.”

Here’s hoping McKinley’s finds its forever home. Its devoted Fort Worth fans would follow it anywhere.

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