The Fort Worth location of Avanti Ristorante, the sibling to the Uptown Dallas restaurant, closed on June 22, after a little more than a year in the One City Place development downtown, on the site of the former Tandy Center.
Owner Amin Malek attributed the closure to a lack of business.
"Avanti was the first casual fine dining restaurant to open its doors in City Place," he says. "After 15 months, we made the decision to close due to lack of traffic. It was purely a business decision."
According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the restaurant posted a sign that on the door stating, "Fort Worth has been our friend and partner and we look forward to exploring new location opportunities in the future."
Malek echoed that sentiment. "I am currently focusing on exciting projects for the Avanti brand," he says. "For us, it is a goodbye and not a farewell."
The restaurant opened in March 2016 as part of a migration of Dallas restaurants headed west, along with concepts such as Wild Salsa and Chop House Burger.
Avanti owner Amin Malek had big ambitions with the Fort Worth branch, including twice the space and an expansion of the menu with flatbreads for the patio and bar diners, and a cheese and charcuterie selection, which he was not able to do in Uptown, due to the lack of kitchen space.
Fort Worth also had a private room that seated more than 60 people, with AV connections for corporate events.
This was not Avanti's first expansion. In 1995, a second Avanti opened at Fountain Place in downtown Dallas, where it became a lunch destination for downtown workers and a popular spot for weddings and other catered events. That branch closed in 2014.
The original Italian-Mediterranean restaurant has been on McKinney Avenue for more than 30 years. It's a cozy rendezvous spot and top go-to for night-owls, thanks to its willingness to stay open late, with its trademark "moonlight breakfast."
Malek expressed gratitude, saying, "I am humbled by the fantastic support Avanti received by the press and the food critics, as well as Fort Worth customers."