We can keep a secret.

We are less than three weeks away from opening Fort Worth’s first pop-up restaurant. This marks a great milestone for the 2014 Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. During Twenty at the Tower, we will serve as many as 1,000 guests. I hope you’re one of them.

After considering the success of 48 Nights, I wanted badly to bring this concept to Fort Worth. For starters, we needed a space that wouldn’t too time consuming to transform. Our first thought was to find an existing restaurant space that was no longer in operation. I called the real estate agent for the property that once was The Vault, and more recently The Tower Speakeasy and Grill. They were thrilled with the idea of a pop-up restaurant and we put our heads together to work out what I’m sure is an unconventional lease for June and July.

At first, we considered only inviting Fort Worth chefs to participate. That didn’t sit right with me. Wouldn’t it be great to sample cuisine from Matt McCallister or John Tesar without having to drive to Dallas? I spoke with Blaine Staniford, last year’s Fort Worth, Texas magazine Top Chef, and he picked up the phone and started recruiting.

Participating chefs include:

Blaine Staniford (GRACE)
Kevin Martinez (Tokyo Café)
Juan Rodriguez (Reata)
Michael Thomson (Michael’s)
Eric Hunter (Fire Oak Grill)
John Tesar (Spoon)
Jeff Harris (Bolsa)
Andre Natera (Village Marquee)
Scott Gottlich (Bijoux)

Pop-up restaurants started as an underground phenomenon. A secret dinner. Something that was hard to find and only a select few knew about. Since we are trying to raise funds for the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, we need everyone to know about it. In our case, it’s not the place but the people who are being kept secret. No one will know who is preparing dinner until arriving at Twenty at the Tower.

I’ve been asked hundreds of times over the last eight years if I ever worked in the Tower. I guess by the end of the summer, I will be able to say yes.

Twenty at the Tower will be open every Sunday and Monday night starting Sunday, June 2, 2013, until Monday, July 29, 2013. Tickets are $75 and include valet. Guests will be seated at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-dinner reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Dinner will begin promptly at 7 p.m. A different chef will prepare a multicourse menu each night. Drinks are BYOB and seating will be family style.

Proceeds from Twenty at the Tower will benefit the newly formed 501c(3) Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation. The Foundation is the sole benefactor from the upcoming inaugural Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, March 27-30, 2014. It is the mission of the Foundation to support culinary endeavors by creating grants and scholarships for farmers, students, and entrepreneurs.

Russell Kirkpatrick is AGM at Reata Restaurant and Founder of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival