Restaurants / Openings

Fort Worth’s Most Ambitious New Hotel Adds a New Chef and Food & Beverage Resort Wiz — Hotel Drover Makes Moves

Get Ready for 97 West Kitchen & Bar

BY // 11.09.20

The 200-room Hotel Drover, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel and resort, is coming along nicely ― flanking the bustling Mule Alley redevelopment in the Fort Worth Stockyards. It is currently scheduled to open in early 2021.

Local chef Jenna Kinard was attached to the Hotel Drover’s signature restaurant 97 West Kitchen & Bar from the beginning, but exited the project earlier this year.

Now, Stockyards Heritage Development Co. and Hotel Drover are adding Grant Morgan as executive chef, and Brian Richards as executive director of food and beverage going forward. 97 West will feature classic Texas-style cuisine, elevated ranch classics and reimagined Southern comfort foods.

Hotel Drover will bring 200 rustic-luxe rooms and suites in addition to two stores and 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

“We are so excited to have both Brian and Grant on our opening team and knew from the moment we met them that they would fit in seamlessly with our brand and vision at Hotel Drover,” says Hotel Drover general manager Kristin Assad. “We are focused on creating legendary experiences that cannot be found anywhere else, and I know that this team is going to be incredibly successful.

“We look forward to sharing 97 West with the city of Fort Worth and all of our guests.”

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Morgan brings more than 25 years of restaurant experience to his role. He will overseeing the day-to-day operations of the culinary team, creating the menus for 97 West, banquets, the lobby bar, and The Backyard at 97 West. Prior to moving to Texas in 2007, Morgan worked in kitchens from Arizona to Colorado and Nevada. After relocating to Dallas, he worked as the executive chef of Dragonfly and Hotel Zaza. Most recently, Morgan was part of the Front Burner Restaurants’ team as the chef at the Ranch at Las Colinas and corporate chef for Velvet Taco.

Brian Richards will be responsible for handling operations for Hotel Drover’s entire food and beverage department. Richards held his first job at The Broadmoor, the longest-running five-star, Five Diamond resort in the country, where he worked on the opening team for The Summit restaurant. His tenure in boutique and luxury hotels includes locations from Arizona to the coast of California, working with hotel groups Kimpton, Morgans Hotel Group, IHG and PHG.

97 West will feature custom hand-crafted furniture, as well as authentic repurposed wood throughout the restaurant. It will have more than 200 seats with options including secluded semi-private tables, three private dining rooms and an outdoor chef table with the open show kitchen

The back porch of 97 West overlooks The Backyard’s pool and fire pits, and will feature yard games like washers and cornhole, a live entertainment stage, large oak trees and casual seating for small bites and cocktails. And the Hotel Drover is steps away from all the new shopping, dining and sightseeing that Mule Alley now has to offer.

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