Roy Pope Grocery in West Fort Worth bounces back in exciting reboot

Independent grocer Roy Pope grocery store, an institution in West Fort Worth for 77 years, is on the verge of a rebound with new owners, a new look and a new, gourmet selection of goods and services, including a coffee bar, wine bar and chic terrace.

The neighborhood grocery store is reopening in a renovated landmark at 2300 Merrick St., just steps from Camp Bowie’s historic red brick. According to a press release, the reopening will take place in May.

Roy Pope sadly closed in April 2021 after having been in business since 1943. The former owners Bob and Renee Larance then found a new group to take over the business, its name and its recipes. The new team includes restaurateur Lou Lambert (Dutch hamburgers and several restaurants in Austin and San Antonio) and owner and operator Chris Reale, a veteran of Grace, Del Frisco and Lambert.

You’ve teamed up with real estate agent Rodger Chieffalo and developer Mark Harris. The quartet also recently acquired the Paris Coffee Shop in Fort Worth’s Near Southside.

The culinary director at Roy Pope is Bria Downey, an award-winning chef who was a 2020 semi-finalist at the James Beard Awards and also topped Clay Pigeon Food & Drinks when she won the CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Best Restaurant in 2019 and also worked at Piattello Italian Kitchen, Winslow’s Wine Bar, and Bird Cafe.

In addition to reviving classic Roy Pope dishes such as King Ranch Chicken, Mac & Cheese and Beef Stroganoff, she is creating a new menu with ready meals, ready meals and a selection of signature soups, salads and sandwiches.

Specials include steak nights and barbecues via a bespoke smoker / grill from Mill Scale in Lockhart, Texas. Downey will also be participating in demonstration videos sharing recipes and tips for home chefs on how to use Roy Pope products.

The store will highlight Texas-made goods with locally-made bread, pastries, and artisanal cheeses. They will also expand the wine and beer department under the direction of certified sommelier Mikey Riojas, who will also work with the culinary department to develop food and drink pairings and schedule wine events and concierge services.

Further amenities are:

  • Coffee bar

  • Wine bar

  • frozen pudding stand with topping

  • Flower department

  • a catering company

A dog-friendly outdoor deck, designed by Fort Worth-born architectural designer Jack Sanders, includes an enlarged, covered entrance on the Merrick Street side of the building and an upgraded covered entrance on the west side of the building next to the parking lot.

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