Restaurants / Openings

Fort Worth Coffee Favorite Grows and a Legendary Italian Restaurant Changes Hands — Cherry Coffee and Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen Are Making Moves

Cowtown Restaurant Happenings You Need to Know

BY // 03.22.23

Some Fort Worth coffee house and restaurant veterans are making big moves with new acquisitions. Cherry Coffee Shop owner Katherine Morris has bought Dallas’ Novel Coffee Roasters, which will allow her coffee dreams to expand. While Fort Worth restaurant institution Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen is getting new owners and some decor and menu tweaks.

First up, we’ll get to the freshly roasted and piping hot story sure to shake up the North Texas coffee world.

When Craftwork Coffee Company decided to shift gears and focus on shops inside hotel and residential developments, it left the shell of a sweet coffee shop at 1121 West Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth. The spot quickly became home to Morris’ Cherry Coffee Shop in 2021. Morris is the wife of television personality Jonathan Morris who is a serial entrepreneur and now a boutique hotel owner with his Hotel Dryce. So this coffee entrepreneur is no stranger to seeing big dreams become realities.

Novel Coffee Roasters has just been acquired by Katherine Morris and will soon move its roastery to Fort Worth's Panther City District.
Novel Coffee Roasters has just been acquired by Katherine Morris and will soon move its roastery to Fort Worth’s Panther City District.

Former Novel owners and founders Kevin Betts and Ryan Smith called it quits after an amazing decade of seeing Novel embraced to the point where it has become the house roast for so many local coffee shops. Betts and Smith say that it was important to find someone who would “ensure the integrity of the product would live on” in a release.

“Kevin and Ryan didn’t just choose me,” Morris says. “I chose them, too. They’ve built a wonderful business that I look forward to taking to the next level. I am excited about what the future holds for Cherry and Novel Coffee Roasters.”

Going from running one coffee shop to taking on a full-fledged coffee roasting business and taking over servicing the vast clientele of Novel sounds like a zero to 60 proposition. But Morris is up to the challenge. She is in the process of moving Novel’s base from Dallas to Fort Worth.

PaperCity Fort Worth has learned that Novel Coffee Roasters’ new home will be located in Fort Worth’s Panther City District.

Margie’s Original Italian Undergoes Changes

One of Fort Worth’s oldest and most beloved Italian restaurants Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen is passing the torch to new owners after 70 years. The throwback restaurant’s exterior still touts the modern conveniences of “indoor plumbing and air conditioning.”

This Fort Worth institution is still located at 9805 Camp Bowie West, in the area known as Westland, which has seen a renaissance as of late. Margie’s was first founded by Italian immigrants Tina Lozzi and her daughter Margie, from which it got its name.

The new owners are also involved with the still new JD’s Hamburgers, which opened in September and is the next-door neighbor of Margie’s. Gigi Howell and Bourke Harvey of the Westland Restaurant Group are taking over the reins of Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen from its prior owner Keith Kidwell.

Along with her business partner Bourke Harvey, Gigi Howell is the proud new owner of Margie's Original Italian Garden.
Along with her business partner Bourke Harvey, Gigi Howell is the proud new owner of Margie’s Original Italian Garden.

Although the wind storm that blew through Westland a couple of weeks ago temporarily closed JD’s Hamburgers doors, the local community has embraced the restaurant by pitching in and purchasing gift cards in advance of its repairs.

Now, the JD’s team is taking on a Fort Worth Italian restaurant mainstay.

“We feel incredibly grateful and humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of carrying on the tradition of Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen,” Howell says. “We are excited to bring some new energy to Margie’s while remaining true to the restaurant’s rich history and tradition.

“We are committed to creating a welcoming atmosphere where everyone in the community feels at home. Just like they always have at Margie’s.”

Margie’s Original Italian Kitchen will be closed for about two months while it undergoes a refresh and gets a few upgrades. There will be a freshening up of the decor and menu tweaks, with new items being added to the classics that have kept folks coming back for seven decades and counting now.

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