Beloved Fort Worth Dive is Closing Its Original Currie Street Location — It’s the End of an Era, But Fred’s Texas Cafe Will Reopen in a New Part of Town
A More Than 40 Year History as a Pioneering Spot That Predates Crocket RowBY Courtney Dabney // 10.22.21
After forty years, Fred's Texas Cafe will close on Currie Street at the end of the year.
Crockett Row grew up around Fred's Texas' original location on Currie Street.
Fred's Texas, co-owner Terry Chandler pulls up a seat at the bar inside.
Long before Fort Worth’s West Seventh corridor was transformed and what is now Crockett Row sprung up around it, Fred’s Texas Cafe stood as a Cowtown fixture. When faced with the new development, it refusing to sell its once hidden location at 915 Currie Street, much to the chagrin of the area’s developers. But now it’s shuttering and bowing out of the area for good after more than 40 years to open anew in a different locale.
The original Fred’s Texas Cafe will close its doors on December 31 and relocate to the new, bigger space come early spring. The new Fred’s Texas Cafe is taking over the space that housed Buffalo West (and before that Steak & Ale) at 7101 Camp Bowie West.
“The decision to move Fred’s is a hard one, but the right one if we want to keep making great food for great people,” Fred’s co-owner and operating partner Quincy Wallace says. “I’m gonna miss going into that building every day like a lot of our loyal regulars.”
You had to be a local to even know it was there when Fred’s Texas Cafe first opened. At that time, aside from the original location of J & J’s Oyster Bar, it was the only restaurant in a mostly office and warehouse district. A lot has changed in Fort Worth since then.
Fred’s Currie Street location has become a time capsule. The kitschy dive and burger joint, with its 1970s style shiny, gold, sparkle vinyl booths and barstools, is an institution. It’s the ultimate melting pot of Fort Worth. You’d regularly find a billionaire seated next to a construction worker, both devouring a burger on their lunch break. The building has been there for nearly 50 years. It was purchased in 1978 by JD and Gari Chandler.
After 40 years at the helm, JD and Gari Chandler have decided to officially retire from the restaurant business, including selling the Currie Street building.
“During the restaurant’s four decades of operation, the business has stayed family owned and local through the partnership of longtime friends and co-owners Terry Chandler (JD and Gari’s Son) and Quincy Wallace. The business partners, chuckwagon cooks and familiar faces to Fred’s regulars are excited for the opportunity to bring Texas’ best burgers and Western cuisine to an area of town that hasn’t had a chance to experience Fred’s signature style of food,” a statement from the owners reads.
The new West Fort Worth Fred’s will open in early Spring of 2022 and will include an extended patio, a bigger indoor dining space, an event stage, and direct lot and street parking access. Some of the actual decor from the Currie Street original will make the move. This includes booths, the rusty truck outside the cafe and a few elements from the grill to ensure the flavor of Fred’s isn’t lost in its new home.
There will be an extended covered outdoor patio equipped with garage doors at the new Fred’s Texas Cafe. And yes there will still be live music on an outdoor stage, and icy schooners of beer on tap. Fred’s Texas Cafe Western Center, an offshoot which opened in 2011, will remain open during the months between closing on Currie and the opening of the new Fred’s on Camp Bowie West. Fred’s other TCU location on Bluebonnet Traffic Circle closed last year during the COVID dining room shutdowns.
“What JD and Gari created is more than a building,” Wallace says. “It is a family of people who come in for a great meal surrounded by their neighbors and community. Fred’s has that foundation as part of its legacy. Terry, myself and the entire Fred’s team want to thank them for their hard work and support throughout these years.
“They are the reason Fred’s is a success and has this great opportunity to expand.”