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US Ghost Adventures

A national travel company is showing off the scary side of the Fort Worth Stockyards with the launch of a brand new ghost tour.

US Ghost Adventures, an Orlando-based company that hosts ghost tours in some of the most haunted cities in the country, has just added Fort Worth to its list of tour locations. The one-hour tour is held nightly at 8 pm and includes eight stops within a one-mile walking distance.

Some of the haunted highlights from the tour include Miss Molly’s Hotel (109 W. Exchange Ave.), a former brothel where unexplained activity – think lights turning on and off, heavy breathing, and footsteps heard on the stairs – have long been documented.

The Stockyards Hotel (109 E. Exchange Ave.), built in 1904, is said to be home to the apparition of its developer, Colonel T.M. Thannisch, as well as rodeo cowboy C.D. “Junior” Colwell, who is said to have committed suicide to avoid jailtime for swindling people.

Tour participants will also visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (2515 Rodeo Plaza), where it’s said the six-foot, four-inch ghost of famed actor John Wayne has been seen admiring the cowboy memorabilia on display – even with a museum dedicated solely to him located just steps way at John Wayne: An American Experience.

While other ghost tours exist in Fort Worth, US Ghost Adventures owner Lance Zaal says his tour specializes in storytelling.

“US Ghost Adventures offers EMF detectors and focuses on telling the history behind the hauntings,” says Zaal.

When paranormal activity takes place, theories suggest electromagnetic disturbances can be seen with electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors. Lights on the detector indicate the strength of the disturbances, with a green light meaning little to no activity, yellow meaning moderate activity, and red meaning high activity.

Fort Worth was one of 12 new cities recently added to the US Ghost Adventures roster, including Houston and El Paso. The company operates tours in more than 50 cities across the country, and full list of new cities include:

The tour is $25 per person and there’s a two-person minimum. There's also an option to add a 30-minute bonus tour of four additional stops for just $6 per person.

Reservations should be made in advance online, and participants should meet at the Livestock Exchange Building at 131 E. Exchange Ave.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas Top Chef winner stars in new National Geographic restaurant-travel series

Culinary explorations

Austin claims chef Kristen Kish as its own, but the Top Chef winner has always had a global mindset. She first earned her chops in French and Italian cuisine at Boston's acclaimed Menton restaurant, infusing those influences into the menu at Arlo Grey with a pioneering curiosity and adventurous spirit. Now, she's bringing that explorer's mindset to a new National Geographic series, debuting Tuesday, March 21.

Available on Disney+, Restaurants at the End of the World is a docuseries in which Kish travels to off-the-beaten-path pockets of the planet. The four-part series follows Kish as she searches for the secret ingredients – people, places, culture and traditions – within the world’s most remote restaurants in Boquete, Panama; Svalbard, Norway; North Haven Island, Maine; and Paraty, Brazil.

A lucky selection of South by Southwest (SXSW) attendees got a sneak peek of the series on March 14. The event took place inside Arlo Grey at the Line Hotel, where Kish mingled with guests and introduced clips from the series.

"This series is all about shared experiences and trading stories," Kish said, introducing the evening's menu. "So, when putting this menu together, I realized there are a lot of similarities. When I think back to all the places I went and new things I learned, there are so many familiar flavors to every bite that can bring you right back home into your own story."

The menu celebrated each location in the upcoming series, often in the same course: Parker House Rolls (with delicious whipped brown butter) were a nod to her New England episode ("Maine Island Barn Supper,"), paired with a scallop crudo commemoration of her time in Brazil ("Brazil’s Floating Feast,"). Meanwhile, the main course gave guests a glimpse of the great lengths Norwegian fishermen go to when harvesting Arctic char, accompanied by a clip of Kish's adventures with local purveyors in Svalbard, Norway.

The aim of both the dinner and the upcoming series is to showcase the tenacity it takes to run restaurants in such remote places. Each episode follows Kish behind the scenes with local purveyors, farmers, herders, kitchen crew, managers, and head chefs to hear their stories. She invites viewers along with her in the hunt for the best and freshest ingredients, unearthing the culture and heart behind global cuisine and showcasing the balancing act required to bring unique food to the table around the world.

“Food has an unparalleled power to bring us together and teach us about one another and the world around us, and we see that firsthand by going to restaurants in the world’s most remote areas,” says Chef Kish via release. “Filming this series with National Geographic was an adventure of a lifetime that taught me so much about an industry I’ve been steeped in my whole life. I can’t wait for viewers to come along on the journey with us and experience these dishes at restaurants most never even knew existed.”

The first episode of Restaurants around the World will be available on March 21 at 9 pm.

Kristen Kish

Courtesy National Geographic

Top Chef winner Kristen Kish has a new National Geographic show debuting on March 21.

Warm new coffee shop with buzzy beans from Yemen opens in Richardson

Coffee News

A new coffee shop is bringing Yemeni-style hospitality to Richardson. Called Arwa Coffee, it's a hidden gem, tucked into a shopping center at 888 S. Greenville Ave. #223, that has become an instant favorite in the neighborhood and a destination both for coffee lovers and the greater Yemeni community.

The shop is a family venture from Yazan Soofi, a native of Yemen, along with his wife Susan, sister Nora, and brother-in-law Faris Almatrahi, who founded the shop to bring awareness to Yemen's beauty and culture.

That includes a library in the back with books on Yemeni culture, as well as a small market where they sell their own candles with what Soofi calls “typical scents of Yemen," plus totes, small handcrafted items, and high-valued Sidr honey, grown in Yemen, and untouched by chemicals, cultivation, or modern machinery.

"When we were looking for a location, we wanted to find a place near a college campus, and the University of Texas at Dallas is about four miles away," Soofi says. "We also wanted someplace with lots of parking, which is important in the Dallas-Fort Worth market."

They've infused the storefront with Arabic accents that include a natural golden color palette, Middle Eastern-style arches, farmer's hats hanging from the ceiling that serve as lighting fixtures, and a 25,000-piece mosaic mural portraying old Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

The coffee comes from Yemen, as well, and they roast their beans in-house.

Yemen has a long history with coffee, dating back to its inception centuries ago, and is credited with being the first country to cultivate and harvest coffee beans. Their industry is still dominated by small family farms who grow beans without chemicals, and who dry the beans naturally, which allows natural flavors to infuse the beans and results in a richer-tasting coffee.

Yemeni coffee shops have begun to spring up in the U.S. in hipster locations like Brooklyn. It's only been recently that beans from Yemen could be procured.

While Arwa does serve typical cappuccinos and lattes, they also offer Yemeni-style drinks with spices such as cardamom, including:

  • Jubani: Coffee and husks (cascara), cardamon, ginger, cinnamon
  • Mofawar: Coffee, cardamon, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sugar, milk
  • Adeni Tea: Premium black tea, milk, sugar, Arwa spice blend
  • Yemeni Latte: Latte, cardamon syrup, honey, Arwa spice blend
  • Sanaani Coffee: Medium and dark roast coffee, cardamon

To get a taste of each, you can order a sampler with four drinks for $15, or $20 with treats (available Monday-Thursday only, because it's too busy on weekends).

Food options consist of pastries from La Casita Bakeshop, as well as Yemeni items baked at a commercial kitchen, such as the honeycomb, their most popular item, consisting of a fluffy bread filled with cream cheese, and topped with cardamon syrup and sesame seeds. They also offer cheese breads and cakes.

The staff is diverse and comprised almost entirely of college students who train in Yemeni culture and drinks to ensure authenticity. The training also includes instilling an incredibly hospitable and accommodating level of service.

"We wanted to build a place that reminds us of home," Soofi says. “Yemeni people always give you hospitality, they'll give you everything they have. We want to do the same."

Where to shop in Dallas right now: 10 must-hit stores for March

Where to shop

Spring has sprung in Dallas, and that means tulips on every corner and pastel in every retail shop's window. Whether you like light and bright this time of year or keep your wardrobe neutral 24/7/365, there is as store on this list for you.

Alexia Maria
Luxury evening wear and bridal designer Alexia Maria recently held a trunk show at the Neiman Marcus Bridal Salon in Dallas, and it has us swooning over her Spring/Summer 2023 Wedding Wardrobe Collection. Originally from Mexico, the designer has an atelier in San Diego and sells her designs at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Over the Moon, and more. We love the go-big-or-go-home bows that adorn some of the dazzling designs.

Allie + Bess
With a new season comes new accessories, and Dallasites love supporting this local bangle brand that makes dressing up a little more fun. We specifically are into the brand's new necklace collections. Featuring a range of colors and materials, the collection makes it easier than ever to showcase your personality through luxe yet approachable jewelry. Our favorite? The Dakota necklace. Why? We are suckers for anything turquoise in color.

Artwork for Humans Showroom and Boutique
Dallas artist Jerod DTOX Davies, well-known for his murals around Dallas and album covers, has just opened a showroom in Deep Ellum to showcase his other passion: his fashion line, Artwork for Humans, which he calls "wearable art that upcycles clothing and uplifts the human spirit." Davies' garments have been favored by local musicians like Erykah Badu, who wore a sweatshirt he created for her at her recent birthday party. The showroom and boutique, at 3001 Canton St., is open Sunday afternoons for walk-ins and on Wednesdays by appointment. Read more about it in this story.

Blue Nile
Diamonds are a Dallas girl's best friend, and on NorthPark level one, near Macy's, there is a new mecca for meandering through the best of bling. Blue Nile showrooms provide shoppers with an opportunity to look, touch, and try on a superior selection of jewelry and engagement rings. Or, choose the custom route using the Build-Your-Own Diamond Jewelry Tool.

Cappello
It seems silly to remind everyone that the summers are really hot in Texas. That said, the sun’s not something you can combat without the right accessories. Enter the most perfect sun hat, both beautifully made and certified at UPF 50+. These hats block 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. The co-founders, Catherine Bankston and Erin Rabenhorst Davis, work with amazing artisans in Ecuador, ensuring that each hat is hand-woven and thus, unique. A vintage ribbon adds the perfect pop of color to a truly exceptional piece of wearable art. Shop them online.

Christian Louboutin x Neiman Marcus - “A La Piscine”
In time for swim season, Neiman Marcus has partnered with Christian Louboutin for an exclusive collection called “A La Piscine.” The collection features footwear and handbags in neon colors and splash print, as well as pet accessories, tumblers (gotta stay hydrated at the pool), t-shirts with hand woven details, and even limited-edition skateboards. A La Piscine is available online and at Neiman Marcus stores nationwide, including NorthPark, where shoppers will find an installation that transports them to a sunny Palm Springs day circa the ‘80s - think pool, bar, lounge chairs, grass, and floor-to-ceiling palm trees.

Finley
We love a Dallas-based brand that actually makes the clothing here in town, too. Finley — seen on racks at Neiman Marcus, Tootsies, and more — provides a great staple for the ever-changing Dallas wardrobe. Chilly? Add a cardigan and a belt bag and you’re off to car pool. Warm? Wear this breezy beauty with shorts and some Golden Goose sneakers. Really, really warm? Throw this over a white one-piece and drive as fast as you can to Cedar Creek Lake. The possibilities are endless.

Cappello hat

Photo courtesy of Cappello

Get one of Cappello's new hats from the spring collection before your hot Dallas summer.

Parker and Hyde
Dallas-based handbag creators Lauren and Zack McLarnon hit the Dallas-demand jackpot with the success of the Neoprene Collection that they first offered in 2020. And because the brand is all about growth, the new signature woven collection - with a lycra blend and contrasting weave - is poised to be their next big hit. Each tote comes with a matching pouch and detachable strap to transform a tote into a crossbody. Get ready to see these everywhere this summer in Dallas.

Mizzen + Main
The Dallas-based brand has launched a new retail experience after years of feedback from its customers. The redesigned, 1,200-square-foot space in West Village is all about community. Come in and shop, talk, drink, and stay a while. The vibe is small-scale lounge, and the products are as reliable as always. Grab a friend and go shop for the comfiest dress shirts in Dallas at 3699 McKinney Ave. #407.

Moncler
This French-founded brand is now headquartered in Italy and offering Highland Park Village shoppers the utmost in luxe, innovative outerwear. City life and nature expeditions have been married in a cohesive way, and the resulting pieces are on display at the now-open Dallas boutique.

*Bonus Intel *

We technically are only supposed to talk about things happening in the month of March; however, Highland Park Village is having its annual Spring Shopping Stroll kickoff on April 1, and we just couldn't let it pass without spreading the word. Happening from 10 am to 6 pm, it will include photos with live bunnies, face painting, balloon twisting, and endless store promotions. Some of our favorites include custom sketches by a fashion illustrator at Ralph Lauren and complimentary monogramming on in-store purchases as La Ligne. Be there or be oh-so-square!