Popular Dallas Design District coffee and wine bar Ascension Coffee is in big expansion mode, opening branches both in downtown Dallas and in a mixed-use development in Fort Worth's University District.
The Dallas store will open in Thanksgiving Tower at 1601 Elm St. in early 2017. This will be the third Ascension Coffee in Dallas; one just opened at Crescent Court.
In Fort Worth, Ascension will open a 2,420-square-foot store in fall 2016 that overlooks the Trinity River and Trinity Trails, says owner Russell Hayward. The trails were a key part of what made the location appealing.
"Our location will fold right out onto that trail, and it's a beautiful setting that's very relaxing," he says. "That's part of what we do. We have the coffee, but I think what makes us special is the way we create conversation areas, where people can come and be there all day long."
The first Ascension opened in Dallas in 2012 and immediately became a neighborhood hot spot. But it's only been recently that Hayward has considered expansion.
"People kept asking us to build one here or build one there," he says. "I try to think of what makes a good fit. In Fort Worth, I'm friends with Garold LaRue, owner of Avoca Coffee, and I like what he was doing, so it was important to me not to compete with where he is."
The Ascension at the Crescent Court has a much different feel than the Design District original.
"It has this European style that fits into the building," he says. "If you look out, you would swear you're in Paris. Each branch is completely different; I think it's important that they fit into their environment."
WestBend is currently undergoing a redevelopment with new retail, restaurants, and office space. Also opening there is Dear Hannah, a women's clothing and accessories boutique, and HG Sply Co. Drybar and Tyler's both opened this spring, joining Zoë’s Kitchen, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Core Power Yoga, Pax & Parker, Woodhouse Day Spa, and Silver Fox.