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Here’s where Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth will move. Hint: It’s not going far

October 19,2023

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

Reata Restaurant will move back to its original home next year, taking over a vacant street-side restaurant space in the Tower for now until a potential future hotel location takes shape.

The 27-year home of Texas “cowboy cuisine” will move two blocks into a ground-floor corner of the Tower, 530 Throckmorton St.

That’s the same building where Reata opened on the top floor in 1996. That restaurant was destroyed by the tornado that struck downtown March 28, 2000.

Reata, currently at 310 Houston St. in Sundance Square, will replace a Cantina Laredo location that closed in 2020 when downtown business slowed early in the COVID pandemic.

The restaurant’s announcement described the move as a “stepping stone before a more permanent flagship home is constructed.”

Reata and president Mike Micallef had hinted in an April newsletter that the restaurant was looking at “some great locations in and around downtown.”

Reata Restaurant Reata’s announcement said nearby office towers, the Fort Worth Convention Center, the Bass Performance Hall and new hotels have made downtown a “thriving environment.”

“Our history with The Tower is both storied and strong,” Micallef was quoted in the statement.

Referring to the restaurant’s mobility, Micallef said: “Like Fort Worth, Reata is a testament to resilience and rebirth. Together, we will continue to create unforgettable experiences, regardless of geography.”

A citywide search and widely promoted customer poll seeking advice on a new location with 12,000-20,000 square feet and “up to 200 parking spaces” instead led Reata back where it started.

Omni Hotels executive Bob Rowling had said last spring that the hotel is talking to downtown restaurants about moving into the new second Omni tower, now under construction at 1500 Houston St.

He said landing the downtown restaurant he talked with “would be really exciting.”

The original Omni tower, 1300 Houston St., is closer to the Fort Worth Convention Center and an even more attractive location. That currently hosts the hotel’s all-day restaurant, Cast Iron, and a Bob’s Steak and Chop House.

Neither the hotel nor the restaurant has announced any agreement or deal.

Micallef had already said the increased convention and tourist business downtown make the city center attractive to Reata, the restaurant that launched “cowboy cuisine” and produced a generation of chefs known for contemporary Western cooking.

Micallef had announced in March that the restaurant would leave its current home, the former Caravan of Dreams nightclub and rooftop patio, in June 2024. The restaurant was unable to work out a new lease, he said, and had concerns about a price hike for valet parking.

The new location will offer valet parking along with free parking in the Tower garage for up to three hours with validation, Micallef said Wednesday.

The Tower is also home to the Mercury Chophouse prime steakhouse and the Salsa Limon taqueria.

Mercury Chophouse offers $10 valet parking at the Studio Eighty nightclub, 500 Taylor St.

Reata’s announcement mentioned that the Dickies workwear company has moved its local headquarters into the Tower, owned by Illinois-based SADA Tower LLC partners.

Reata also operates a Reata at the Rodeo location for four weeks every year in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall during the Stock Show rodeo.

Locations Mentioned: Bass Performance Hall, Bob's Steak & Chop House, Cast Iron Restaurant at the Omni Hotel, Fort Worth Convention Center, Mercury Chop House, Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Reata Restaurant, Salsa Limon- Centro, The Tower