S'mores No More

Tillman's Roadhouse Fort Worth closes to prep for radical reboot

Tillman's Roadhouse Fort Worth closes to prep for radical reboot

Kalen Morgenstern, Hell's Kitchen
Chef Kalen Jane Morgenstern will oversee the culinary journey at the new Fort Worth Market & Table. Photo courtesy of Fox
S'mores at Tillman's Roadhouse in Dallas
Days are numbered for s'mores in Fort Worth. Tillman's Roadhouse/Facebook
Kalen Morgenstern, Hell's Kitchen
S'mores at Tillman's Roadhouse in Dallas

Say see-ya to the s'mores: The Fort Worth branch of Tillman's Roadhouse will close, to be replaced by something new, something different: a hybrid concept called Fort Worth Market & Table.

According to owners Sara Tillman and Todd Fiscus, the last supper for Tillman's will be August 22. "We want to use these last two weeks to celebrate the last five-and-a-half years here," Fiscus says.

Fort Worth Market & Table, their new concept, will debut in October with celebrity chef "Kalen Jane" Morgenstern, who was a contestant on the 13th season of Hell's Kitchen, and who was Fort Worth Tillman's chef de cuisine.

"FW Market + Table will be an entirely new concept and remodeled space, but remain under the same ownership," Fiscus says. "We are excited for the new concept and think it will fit nicely in the West 7th area."

Market + Table will bring together three dining/food concepts: Market, The Living Room @ Market, and Table.

Morgenstern will serve as executive chef and general manager. "It’ll be updated, very modern, chic, completely different from what Tillman's was," she says. "No wooden deer heads or giant chandeliers. Those were beautiful, but this will be a different space."

They're not only reconfiguring the space; they're refashioning the entire model and menu into a combination restaurant and market, with a grab-and-go deli case in front and a more formal restaurant in the back.

Opening at 7 am every day and operating all day, Market will serve grab-and-go, or stay-and-enjoy foods, while also offering an edited grocery assortment including coffees, juices, prepared salads, entrees, sandwiches, cheeses, and pantry provisions such as sugar and olive oil.

The Living Room @ Market will serve craft cocktails, 16 local brews on tap, house-made juices, and barista-style coffees, while also featuring a menu for lunch or dinner. It will be ideal for a light meal, glass of wine, or cheese board in a comfortable, relaxing space.

The third concept, Table, will feature a 44-seat restaurant, with a separate entry from the street. Chef Morgenstern will try new and unique options, based on seasonality and creative preference. Diners can expect a regularly changing menu and market-fresh ingredients, with a dash of whimsy and imagination. Refined service in a casually elegant setting will be a hallmark. Table will be open Wednesday-Saturday for dinner only.

"Nothing of Tillman's will remain," Morgenstern says. "The front half, where the bar is, will be the 'market' side where you can come in and have a coffee or fresh-squeezed juice. There'll be cases with grab-and-go items, as well as a small menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"But we'll also have some grocery basics like eggs, milk, and produce, for the people who live in the area. I think of it as a Central Market, but on a way smaller scale."

She'll be keeping the menu as Texas, local, and seasonally driven as possible.

Sara and Ricky Tillman were trailblazers when they opened Tillman's Corner in Bishop Arts in 1992, when it was still an area that made some visitors nervous. After Ricky died, Sara partnered with Fiscus and gave the restaurant a massive update: changing its name to Tillman's Roadhouse and executing a major redesign. It has prevailed in Bishop Arts as the neighborhood has mushroomed around it.

It was one of a number of Dallas restaurants that expanded to Fort Worth with the development of the West 7th complex, such as Fireside Pies, which is now Thirteen Pies.

S'mores fans can get their fill at Fort Worth for the next couple weeks, or at the Dallas original, which will continue as Tillman's Roadhouse.

Fiscus shares, "Tillman's has been a journey of sorts of top restaurants, appearances on The Chew, and continued 'best of items' in Fort Worth. All the while, the dining arena has changed around us. So, it's time for us to change.

"We need some fresh and clean eating around us, and offering a fine grocer element for the residences around us. This is what I want in my neighborhood."