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61 or 15? For new springtime restaurant patio dining in Fort Worth, pick a number

March 9,2023

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Bud Kennedy here.

Fort Worth’s number is up.

Two spectacular new Fort Worth restaurants — one named “61,” another Quince (“15”) — also offer new patios perfect for springtime and sunshine.

But the city’s most interesting new patio restaurant has a much higher number. And it didn’t start as a patio.

JD’s Hamburgers, 9901 Camp Bowie Blvd. West is a burger grill-and-bar in a 60-year-old roadhouse tavern.

But starting sometime in the next few weeks, it’s a patio-only restaurant while the roof is replaced after it blew off in last week’s storm.

Owner Gigi Howell has posted a series of funny videos. In one, staffers joke that the restaurant should be renamed “Rainforest Cafe.” Another idea: “Waterburger.”

“All of our dining will be outside right now,” Howell said in a video posted on Facebook, “as we do not have an ‘inside.’”

So enjoy JD’s patio. (Just think of it as a fancier version of an old drive-in like the Malt Shop in Weatherford.)

It’s in far west Fort Worth, with hours and menu coming next week; check their Facebook page or their website for details.

Now, about those numbers:


The new Italian restaurant downtown, 61 Osteria, has built a fast following for its sleek metropolitan styling and also for its Burnett Park setting.

The patio outside the First on 7th tower, 500 W. Seventh St., faces the park and Maine sculptor Jonathan Borofsky’s 50-foot “Man With Briefcase” sculpture, a tribute to office workers adjacent to the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Before Sundance Square opened 40 years ago, Burnett Park was the center of downtown activity.

The 61 Osteria name honors its home in a 1961 bank tower. Chef Blaine Staniford’s modern Italian menu features highlights such as arancini, white bean-sausage soup and serpente stuffed pasta, and brunch items like a “Dutch baby” pancake with Maraschino cherries.

It’s open nights and also Saturdays for a sunny, uncrowded downtown brunch. Watch for the launch of Sunday brunch.

Parking is free in the garage next door; 817-953-3271. (Say it uh-STEER-ee-uh. Or just call it “61.”)


  • Reata Restaurant, 310 Houston St., is in its next-to-last year in Sundance Square. Dine on the rooftop before Reata moves in June 2024; 817-336-1009.
  • Branch & Bird, 640 Taylor St. in the Frost tower, reopens this week with a nicer dining room and the same 12th-floor patio and balcony view of downtown.
    Branch & Bird now has a full cocktail lounge and bar; 682-785-8888.
  • Press Cafe, 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, has a large patio along the Clear Fork and Trinity Trail. It serves breakfast, sandwiches, salads and a few larger entrees such as a rib-eye Florentina. It has both inside and outside dining, and a second balcony patio overlooking the Clear Fork; 817-570-6002.
  • Nearby in Clearfork, the busiest patios seem to be at Mesero, 4955 Gage Ave., and Doc B’s Restaurant, 5253 Marathon Ave.
  • Joe T. García’s, 2201 N. Commerce St., is one of the nation’s largest restaurants, serving up to 2,000 people on seven patio or garden areas. The regular advice for Joe T.”s still applies here: Go before 2:30 p.m. when there’s a full lunch or brunch menu, including chiles rellenos. If you go later, try asking for chiles rellenos, although they may be out.

Also, there are separate entrances for outdoor and indoor dining. (The patio entrance usually has the longer line.) It’s cash-only; 817-626-4356.

  • Heim Barbecue on the River, 5333 White Settlement Road, has a sprawling lawn with picnic tables perfect for barbecue and brews. It’s now open daily; 682-707-5772.
  • Woodshed Smokehouse, 3201 Riverfront Drive, is another of Fort Worth’s old reliable patios, serving chef Tim Love’s eclectic barbecue menu along the Trinity Trail. It’s open daily; 817-877-4545.

▪ Café Modern. 3200 Darnell St., has added more outdoor tables in alcoves and facing the reflecting pool, both quieter than the busy dining room. It’s open daily except Mondays for lunch, weekends for brunch and Friday nights for dinner; 817-840-2157.

▪ Ascension, 1751 River Run near Quince and HG Sply, is a coffee cafe open until 6 p.m. daily along a quiet stretch of the Trinity Trail alongside HG Sply Co. Ascension is known for morning breakfast and weekend brunch, but also serves sandwiches, salads and half-price wines in late afternoon Sundays through Thursdays; 817-865-3829.

  • The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 111 E. Third St., has an overachieving menu of daily specials, pizzas and burgers. It’s a good place to people-watch; 817-336-7470.

Locations Mentioned: 61 Osteria, Branch & Bird, Burnett Park, Reata Restaurant