By: Malcolm Mayhew
Plans are taking shape for the highly-anticipated (and hotly debated) $175 million renovation of the Fort Worth Stockyards — plans that include a boutique hotel, a brewpub and a Shake Shack.
The developers behind the project — Stockyards Heritage Development Company (a partnership between Majestic Realty Co. and The Hickman Companies) — announced details Wednesday that outline just a few of the tenants that have signed on to occupy the Horse and Mule Barns on East Exchange Avenue and Mule Alley, which are currently undergoing renovation. The group also announced a boutique hotel and resort called Hotel Drover, which will reside at the end of Mule Alley's street of shops, restaurants and offices.
“We are taking our time, making sure new residents of Mule Alley fit the character of the Stockyards, and we’re encouraging our leasing team to think creatively about the mix," Craig Cavileer, executive vice president of Majestic Realty Co./Stockyards Heritage Development Company, said in a statement. “We would rather take a risk with an inventive tenant than play it safe with a chain that brings little to the table. We’re not looking to overly commercialize the Stockyards; we’re looking to make it even more exciting and broaden its appeal for locals, as well as guests from Texas, the U.S., and around the world.”
Here's a quick look at what's to come:
Hotel Drover, named after the Drover family that herded cattle along the Chisholm Trail to market in Fort Worth, will anchor the project, which includes a 200-room, four-star hotel — part of the Marriott Autograph Collection — that will feature 15,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will also include the 97 West Kitchen and Bar, which will serve regional cuisine and feature a backyard with fire pits, a pool area and walking paths to Marine Creek. The backyard will also host live music. Developers plan to open Hotel Drover in spring 2020.
A 12,000-square-foot “brewpub meets live music hall” is also part of the project. Second Rodeo Brewing Co., the brainchild of Truck Yard and Twisted Root Burger Co. chef Jason Boso, will brew signature beer on-site, serve street tacos and host live music. The space includes a patio that overlooks Marine Creek and indoor/outdoor seating under a retractable roof.
It doesn't have a name yet, but a new restaurant by chef Marcus Paslay (of Clay Pigeon and Piattello Italian Kitchen fame) is also coming to the Stockyards. The restaurant will serve an American menu that focuses on grilled and smoked meats — think barbecue cooked in an open kitchen with wood-burning grills and rotisserie smokers.
The Stockyards will also become home to Shake Shack's first Fort Worth location. The popular, New York-based fast casual chain is known for burgers and shakes, along with hotdogs and frozen custard. According to a news release, Stockyards Heritage is "encouraging Shake Shack to channel their inner cowboy when designing their new Stockyards store."
A retail shop is also joining the mix — MB Mercantile & Supply will carry vintage and western-themed souvenirs like home décor, stationery and artisan goods. The shop will also have "a surprise tasty food concept," according to the release.
Rural Media Group — the company behind RFD-TV, The Cowboy Channel, and Rural Radio — plans to open a broadcast studio in the historic Auction Barn adjacent to the Livestock Exchange Building. The company already offices in a free-standing building on Exchange Avenue. The studio will be open to the public.
Other businesses have also signed on to locate their offices at the Horse and Mule Barns. Among them, the American Paint Horse Association's headquarters, whose space will mimic a museum and feature offices, a theater and retail gallery. The Fort Worth-based equine breed association is the second-largest in the world, registering more than 1 million horses in 59 nations since it was founded.
Fort Worth-based digital advertising and analytics firm Simpli.fi will also open an office in the Horse and Mule Barns.
By: Malcolm Mayhew