Fort Worth Chef Jon Bonnell Gets Honor from the Mayor

May 4,2021

See full Fort Worth Magazine article by Samantha Calimbahin here.

Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell thought he was catering a farewell party for outgoing Mayor Betsy Price.

As it turned out, the party was for him.

On Monday night at downtown seafood restaurant Waters — one of three Fort Worth establishments run by Bonnell (the other two are Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine and Buffalo Bros — Price presented Bonnell with a certificate of recognition, honoring his service to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, when restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms back in March, Bonnell launched $40 meal packs for four that families could take to-go from his namesake restaurant — that's $10 a head for fine dining-quality food. Cars came in droves, with traffic stretching from the Bonnell’s parking lot at Southwest Boulevard and Bryant Irvin Road up the highway frontage to the Chisholm Trail. 

"We decided to abandon full service — there wasn’t a place for that right now — and just get as many people fed as possible for a reasonable price," Bonnell told Fort Worth Magazine last March.

But he did more to support Fort Worthians and the local restaurant community. His certificate from the mayor reads, "Helping Fort Worth restaurants navigate the changing landscape of business during the pandemic, Chef Bonnell has selflessly supported local restaurants in emails, daily social media postings, and face-to-face meetings, without showing favoritism towards any one restaurant. His leadership resulted in many Fort Worth restaurants being able to survive during the COVID-19 disaster."

In a video from Monday's event that was posted to Bonnell's Facebook page, Price told him, "You rallied more people because people loved you, and they trust you, and because you care about this community." 

In another video, Bonnell said the recognition took him by surprise.

"The independents, the mom-and-pops are the lifeblood of our city," he said. "I was proud and honored to try to help steer everybody through." 

Location Mentioned: Waters