Foodie Events / Restaurants

3 Fort Worth Food Favorites Celebrate Big Milestones This Year

From Ice Cream and Lunchtime Staples to One of the City’s Oldest Manufacturers, These Local Spots Have Staying Power

BY // 04.05.24

Some local food and beverage companies have become part of the fabric of Fort Worth. Each of these businesses started out by seeing a need and meeting it head-on ― turning their entrepreneurial dreams into realities, and their brands into local legends.

From ice cream and lunchtime staples to one of the city’s oldest manufacturers, these are three Fort Worth food favorites celebrating big anniversaries this year.

2024 Anniversaries – MELT Ice Creams has been churning out specialty ice creams for a decade now.
MELT Ice Creams has been churning out specialty ice creams for a decade now.

Sweet Success Story

It’s hard to believe that MELT Ice Creams (circa 2014) has been churning out delicious ice cream creations for a decade now. Founder Kari Crowe Seher left her photography career for something sweeter and her husband Mark soon followed, leaving his career in corporate finance to go full-time at the upstart creamery. It all began with a stroll around their Southside neighborhood a decade ago, in search of a sweet treat. Finding that lacking, Kari decided to fix the problem herself, and MELT Ice Creams was born.

After its successful launch along Rosedale, MELT moved to Magnolia Avenue in 2016, where its flagship remains. Now there are four locations (Magnolia Ave., Sundance Square, Mule Alley, and one in Dallas’ Bishop Arts neighborhood). And, No. 5 is on the way soon. MELT is heading to The District at Willow Park next. The creamery collaborates with many other local businesses as well, or you can just grab a pint at Whole Foods.

MELT opened its central kitchen in 2017 inside the O.B. Macaroni building ― to meet growing demand. They call it the JOY Factory. It’s where the magic happens and the taste testing of new recipes is part of the job description. Now, Kari Crowe Seher tells us that they’ve outgrown that location as well and the JOY Factory is on the move.

“We are moving this summer into a new 10,000 square foot facility in Edge Cliff,” she says. “It will be much more efficient, and have way more freezer space.”

Introducing Pêche

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To celebrate the first decade, MELT is scooping up a new flavor. What else? Birthday Cake is a batter ice cream loaded with fluffy yellow housemade vanilla cake pieces and rainbow-colored cake batter crumbles. You can join the anniversary celebration on Friday, April 19 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm at their original, Magnolia shop.

The Lunch Box has changed ownership but stays true to its mission after 50 years.

Lunchtime Legend Leans On The Classics

The Lunch Box (circa 1974) turns 50 this year, and the Ridglea Hills lunchtime staple proves not only its bright green and yellow color scheme has staying power.

The snug eatery still proudly sports its retro color scheme ― with green lattice, table tops, and banquettes mixed with yellow bistro chairs and those requisite scallop-edged paper placemats. There’s even a wall decorated with vintage lunch boxes ― the ones children of another era would fight over ― they were the ultimate first-day-of-school statement piece.

It first opened as Paula’s Tea Room in 1974 by owners Paula and Al Kilgore. Paula’s original pimento cheese, fab chicken salad, and poppyseed dressing recipes have been retained by subsequent owners. It was renamed The Lunch Box by owner Marless Deminico in 1978 and was run by Chris and Vicki Stellar over the next thirty years ― adding catering and delivery of those now famous boxed lunches.

Immy and Lauren Khan purchased The Lunch Box in 2012 and have changed little other than a minor refresh, and the addition of baked goods from his other business located next door ― Black Rooster Bakery.

“There are no plans for change, only adding to our catering business, and looking forward to the next 50 years,” Immy Khan tells PaperCity Fort Worth.

You can still get pimento cheese, tuna, chicken, or egg salad by the scoop, filled into an avocado half, or spread on a sandwich. The Lunch Box is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm ― banker’s hours that make the Khan’s the envy of other local restaurateurs.

2024 Anniversaries – O.B. Macaroni still makes many types of pasta, in Fort Worth. (Photo by M2G Ventures)
O.B. Macaroni still makes many types of pasta, in Fort Worth. This was the building it called home for 115 years. (Photo by M2G Ventures)

Pasta Producer With The Winning Recipe

As far as Fort Worth food anniversaries go, this is a big one.

To bring things full circle, we began with Melt Ice Creams setting up shop in a historic warehouse known as the O.B. Macaroni building. This year is worthy of celebration on that front as well. O.B. Macaroni (circa 1899) has been manufacturing its authentic Italian dry pasta (available in many traditional shapes) in Fort Worth for 125 years now ― producing millions of pounds of dry pasta each year.

When two successful grocery store owners joined forces, they proved unstoppable. Italian immigrants Giovanni Laneri, and Louis Bicocchi founded Fort Worth Macaroni Company together in 1899. The brand moved into, what was then, a converted carriage house (from 1860) in 1905 which became their factory. The company’s name was changed to O.B. “Our Best” Macaroni in 1959.

After 115 years, O.B. Macaroni vacated the building that still retains its name, and has become a famous Fort Worth landmark, opting for a new production facility along the South Freeway.

Cheers to the milestones of these Fort Worth-founded success stories.

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