Fine Be That Way

Fort Worth takes a pass on 2 hip Dallas restaurant concepts

Fort Worth takes a pass on 2 hip Dallas restaurant concepts

TorTaco brunch
If this brunch sparks your appetite, you'll need to drive to Dallas to get it. So sorry. TorTaco/Facebook

Two Dallas restaurant concepts that were spun off with branches in Fort Worth — one serving Mexican food and the other, coffee — have closed.

TorTaco, the Mexican restaurant focused on tortas, tacos, bowls, and mezcal, opened a location in Fort Worth's West Seventh District in October 2016, and closed on January 22. TorTaco was a member of the Firebird Restaurant Group, which also owns El Fenix and Meso Maya.

A representative for the company released a statement saying that the business at that location just wasn't good enough.

"After nearly 17 months serving the Fort Worth community, we have made the difficult decision to close our TorTaco restaurant at 910 Currie St. effective January 22, 2018," the statement said. "Despite being voted the 'Best New Restaurant in Fort Worth' in 2017, among other accolades, the location has not met our expectations."

Judging by comments online, one of the restaurant's biggest problems was parking. West 7th recently clamped down on parking in the area and is proactively towing those who don't go to a designated business.

TorTaco was the 2017 winner in CultureMap's Tastemaker awards, in the "best new restaurant" category. You'd think that would be enough to keep any restaurant a-flourishing, so that parking situation must really be bad.

The original TorTaco in downtown Dallas remains open, where it will continue to serve its distinctive array of tortas, tacos, and mezcal. Meanwhile, they're seeking other sites around DFW for future TorTaco locations.

Further east, Mudsmith, located at 817 Matisse Dr. in the So7 development, closed on January 15. This was the second location of the original Mudsmith on Greenville Avenue, which bar/restaurant owner Brooke Humphries opened in August 2016. There is also a location of her Barcadia in the same complex.

Mudsmith took over the former Love Shack space, which would seem not to bode well for its prospects; if Tim Love can't make it happen in a location, maybe nobody can. Coffee might have seemed a good idea, with all of the apartments on-site needing morning coffee.

"There just wasn't enough business," said a staffer at the Dallas location — and yet the Starbucks across the street is almost always packed. Do residents of mixed-use developments grasp the idea that you should ideally support the business in your building? Maybe not so much.

The Dallas Mudsmith is "doing great," the staffer says, and Humphries is opening another Mudsmith in Dallas' Centrum Building in the spring.