Restaurants / Openings

Fort Worth’s Favorite Celebrity Chef Rolls Out a Special Holiday Tea, Opening Hidden Private Club to the Public For First Time — Inside La Loteria

Plus a Full Cup of North Texas Tea News

BY // 12.03.23

Fort Worth’s buzziest food news is a cup of tea. No gossip here. Just the hot facts. Celebrity chef and local favorite Tim Love has rolled out a formal tea service just in time for the holidays. Love’s tea service will last through Christmas Eve. Reservations are open for this European-style tea that Love will be serving weekly on Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 2:30 pm to 5 pm. But it’s the “hidden” location of this tea that has Fort Worth really buzzing. It’s in the previously largely unknown La Loteria.

Love quietly opened a members-only private club called La Loteria in the space above his Tex-Mex restaurant Paloma Suerte in December of 2021. Membership expanded through word of mouth alone, as Love never made any formal announcement about the club and many did not know it even existed. Love’s club is so exclusive that members gain access through a fingerprint reader. There’s even a reciprocal club called The Pershing that members can utilize when they are in Austin.

La Loteria provides perks such as special access to shows at Tannahill’s Music Hall, concierge service, plus catering from and priority seating at any of Love’s North Texas restaurants. A few of La Loteria’s members-only events have recently included oysters and chambongs, tequila and tapas and a special Friendsgiving.

Tea – La Loteria’s holiday tea service affords non-members a sneak peek inside the space. (Photo Courtesy of Love Management)
La Loteria’s holiday tea service affords non-members a sneak peek inside the members-only space. (Photo Courtesy of Love Management)

Membership also includes access to La Loteria’s own multi-use and event space located within the same venue, which Love has dubbed The Backstage Club.

Many Fort Worth natives will automatically associate The Backstage Club with the historic venue at the Will Roger’s Coliseum and the annual pop-up dining experience provided by Reata Restaurant during rodeo season (now called Reata at the Backstage Club, which PaperCity has confirmed it will be back again this rodeo season). But Love’s own Backstage Club is something completely different.

Love’s Fort Worth Stockyards-based Backstage Club is associated with his Tannahill’s Music Hall and is located inside the private club dubbed La Loteria. This makes Love’s new afternoon tea service extra special as it allows non-members to enter the club for the first time ― a sneak peek all its own.

You can expect a proper pour of tea and a lavish spread of savory and sweet bites, from cucumber and herbed Boursin cheese-filled finger sandwiches to delicate French choux pastry balls (called profiterole) dipped in Godiva chocolate.

“Tea time isn’t just an old tradition,” Love says in a statement. “It’s a special moment to sit and unwind with delicious food and drink. It feels like an old story told through time.

“With La Lotería, I want to bring something fresh and new to the Stockyards, mixing old traditions with what people want today. I’ve really enjoyed taking my girls to tea across the country and overseas. I know other families and friends will get something special out of this experience.”

This high tea experience is open to people of all ages, with prices ranging from $70 to $100 per diner, including a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne. You can make reservations for this tea by calling (817) 682-5224.

This new tea at La Loteria is not the only Fort Worth tea news to know though.

A Bookstore Tea

The newly renovated Thompson’s Bookstore (with its own speakeasy and cigar lounge) located in downtown Fort Worth is now serving up its own festive tea called “You, Me, and A Cup Of Tea,” costing $85 per person.

The luxe lounge often hosts mixology classes and the like in its beautiful new event space. But this new tea time is an experience that is open to all ages in a festive atmosphere. No speakeasy password is required, only a reservation.

Tea lovers will enjoy an assortment of savory indulgences, scones, fruit, pastries, macarons and artisan tea pairings, along with a complimentary glass of champagne or a non-alcoholic offering.

Tea – Thompson’s Bookstore hosts a dream high tea – You, Me, And A Cup Of Tea.
Thompson’s Bookstore hosts a dream high tea – You, Me, And A Cup Of Tea.

A Tea Closing

Sadly, one of Fort Worth’s only true tea shops Leaves Book & Tea Shop is closing its only location and consolidating at owner Tina Howard’s other business Stir Crazy Baked Goods, located at 1251 West Magnolia Avenue. Howard purchased the bakery from the original owners in the spring of 2022. Now Leaves on St. Louis Avenue is closing up its storefront with everything moving into the Stir Crazy space.

“Over five years ago, we moved into our space on St. Louis Ave (after waiting almost two years for it to be developed),” Howard recalls in a social media post. “We have loved our location, with the courtyard and amazing neighbors, uniquely positioned near South Main and downtown. It is such a special place to us, and we hope it has been a special place for you.”

Leaves name carries a double meaning. Not only for the tea leaves it sold and brewed, but also for leaves ― as in the pages of books. Leaves held book clubs and hosted story times, with an eclectic and curated selection of books for sale. Now, fans of Howard’s tea specialties can get their fix at Stir Crazy with Leaves scheduled to reopen inside the bakery after the first of the year.

“Our last day open to the public on St Louis will be Dec 16,” Howard notes.

How’s that for a good cup of tea news? Good to the last drop, and looking forward to the new and exciting Fort Worth cups yet to be brewed.

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