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Her wines, her way: Women winemakers star at a new Sundance Square shop in Fort Worth

January 31,2023

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

A shop featuring wines by women winemakers and a walk-up plaza bar and snack stand will be the next two businesses to open in the revamped Sundance Square development, according to co-owner Dena Peterson Shaskan of 3rd Street Market.

Houston Street Wine & Cheese, 317 Houston St., will feature women-owned wineries and the work of female vintners, Shaskan said.

“I was joking when I said, ‘Let’s call it Wines from A Broad’ — but that may wind up as the name,” she said.

Shaskan and her husband, Trent, operate the 3rd Street Market wine and coffee shop, sourdough bakery and gift shop at 325 W. Third St.

The space across Houston Street from Reata restaurant is part of the original Sundance Square blocks that opened July 14, 1981.

It was formerly home to a series of retail shops including Coyote and Willow House.

Also opening is Hopscotch, 400 Main St., replacing a former Jamba Juice in the Sundance Square Plaza anchor Jett Building, built in 1902 and known for artist Richard Haas’ huge 1985 mural, “Chisholm Trail,” and also for generations of ghost stories.

Hopscotch will offer walk-up drinks and snacks for plaza visitors and families, Shaskan said.

The offerings will range from frozen TX Whiskey-and-Coke drinks to hot chocolate or snow cones, depending on the season, she said.

Hopscotch will open during plaza events, primarily Thursday through Saturday nights, she said.

Hopscotch also will serve pastries including signature cakes from leading local pastry chef Tareka Lofton’s Loft 22 bakery, 106 E. Daggett Ave., Shaskan said.

Since at least the 1990s, the building has been the subject of “haunted” tours and stories after employees of neighboring Razzoo’s and Mi Cocina told of seeing shadowy figures in a mirror and wine glasses falling. Some also said they heard balls rolling across wooden floors as music played.

Before then, a bookstore owner was mystified at books falling off shelves or turning up shredded. At least six building tenants have reported ghostly encounters.

With the openings, Dena and Trent Shaskan become major tenants in Sundance Square, a 41-year-old retail development undergoing a makeover to emphasize unique and local restaurants and shops.

Their 3rd Street Market replaced a tired sports bar and grill with a wine and gift shop and cooking school featuring Trent Shaskan’s fresh-baked sourdough.

The market sells out of sourdough and sandwiches daily, Dena Peterson Shaskan said.

“We are doing great — all we need is more help,” she said.

Dena Peterson Shaskan, a former chef at Cafe Modern, said her market has done well because “people were ready for something new downtown. Everybody is ready to get out and enjoy what downtown has to offer.”

The openings revive two Sundance spaces nearly a year after Reata co-owner Mike Micallef said the restaurant would seek a new location and had been unable to work out a new lease to continue after June 30, 2024.

At the time, Micallef said the restaurant had suffered from the changing downtown work patterns and higher prices for valet and surface parking.

The development offers free garage parking with validation weekdays in two garages. On nights and weekends, street parking is free and downtown businesses offer free parking in four garages.

Locations Mentioned: 3rd Street Market, Mi Cocina, Razzoo's Cajun Café, Reata Restaurant