This cucumber melon cocktail with a view to the bar at the soon-to-open JD's Hamburgers shows what's coming. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)
JD's Hamburgers serves cocktails from the full bar, along with ice cold beer. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
JD's Hamburgers - Slider sampler for media night served on sweet sourgdough buns. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Gigi Howell with Bourke Harvey inside the fresh new space. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Cornhole on the patio next to the shipping container kitchen. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
For dessert, chocolate sheetcake, banana pudding and cornbread cookies with ice cream. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
A long-forgotten stretch of highway in Fort Worth known as Highway 80 West, or now Camp Bowie West, is making a comeback. Bourke and Stephanie Harvey, along with Joanna and Brendan Bennett and Holman Harvey set their sights on bringing the area back from the brink by forming Westland Texas Investments. Restauranteur Gigi Howell also knew she had to be a part of the renaissance. You see, generations of her family once called Westland home. Now, her new JD’s Hamburgers restaurant does.
While Jennifer Denise Howell goes by Gigi, she could as easily have chosen to go by her own initials JD. But those had already been claimed by her grandfather JD Jimeson, who was a long-haul truck driver. His photo now hangs in a place of prominence inside her new hamburger haven.
When PaperCity Fort Worth first reported on the JD’s Hamburger’s plans in January, the restaurant was scheduled to open at 9901 Camp Bowie West in early spring. Turns out the team vastly underestimated the amount of time the massive overhaul of the longtime dive bars that used to hold court here, notably Last Call, would take. The fun began by removing a resident rattlesnake who called the vacant space home.
Then there were the layers of buildup that had to be painstakingly removed from the building’s vintage tongue and groove woodwork (all now painted crisp white, including the wood ceiling). The list goes on, but the final result is a fresh, homey atmosphere with tables and booths and a cozy full bar. JD Hamburger’s back patio is home to both the kitchen, which is grilling inside a shipping container, and a fenced crushed granite patio space ready for cornhole throwdowns and the like.
Westland Gardens is just around the corner, Margie’s Italian Garden is located next door and Dayne’s Craft Barbecue is taking shape across the road.
What about the food at JD’s Hamburgers? Expect specialty burgers, named after Howell’s family members, wrapped inside some incredible sweet sourdough buns made by Sheila Partin of Houston’s Sweet Mesquite Bakery. Cheddar jalapeno buns are expected to arrive in time for the opening in late September.
Gigi Howell is making other family recipes the star of the show, including tender salmon patties, homemade deviled eggs, banana pudding and crispy fried green tomatoes that are worth the trip all by themselves.
The burgers include the Cheryl and Bo with Hatch chile queso and caramelized onions; the Sherlie Ann and Donnie topped with Parker County peach pico de gallo, bacon and Swiss cheese; and the Jasie and Joe with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. You can wash it down with Martin House Brewing’s Westland Rattler while you’re there.
JD’s Hamburgers is scheduled to open by the end of the month. And this time, it really is that close.