Even for a restaurant scene as volatile as Fort Worth/Tarrant’s, this has been an unusually busy week, and it’s only Tuesday.
Fresh after the openings of Cork & Pig Tavern in West 7th, Bentley’s on Magnolia Avenue and Grain & Dairy Gourmet Cheese in Hurst, another West 7th restaurant, the acclaimed FW Market + Table, announced Monday that it was closing.
On Tuesday, it was Vivo 53’s turn. The downtown pizza-and-pasta restaurant — the “53” is the number of tries it took them before they were satisfied with their pizza crust — has a note on the door saying that it is “closed indefinitely.” (Curiously, a chalkboard sandwich sign remained outside early Tuesday afternoon, as if it were still trying to attract lunchtime diners.)
A publicist for the restaurant told the Star-Telegram “The owner just informed me that this unit might be closed soon due to management issues we have been having.” So maybe there’s an end to that “indefinitely,” but in restaurant land, “closed indefinitely” usually means “for good.”
Like Market + Table, Vivo 53 made our list of Best new restaurants in DFW in 2015 — three of which, for various reasons, have not made it to the end of 2016 (Campestra Chula Vista closed in January, with owner Regino Rojas citing structural problems he said the landlord hadn’t fixed).
Vivo 53 opened in February 2015 and was praised by DFW.com contributor (and big pizza fan) Teresa Gubbins in an April 2015 review. But Gubbins also provided a little perspective on this troubled spot in the northwest corner of the Tower condo complex: “If buildings had feelings, then The Tower in downtown Fort Worth would surely be pleased right now. After suffering uneven restaurant tenants on its ground floor, it has a restaurant it can be proud of in Vivo 53.”
Those previous “uneven restaurant tenants” include the Vault and the Tower restaurant, neither one of which lasted very long. Beyond “management issues,” the space is always a longshot — the northwest corner of the Tower is away from most of the downtown action, which really starts a block east on Throckmorton Street and really gets going a few more blocks over at Sundance Square Plaza.
There has also been a glut of similar restaurants within walking distance of one another. One of the Throckmorton restaurants is Taverna, a more established Italian restaurant at the corner of Throckmorton and Fourth Streets. A little to the north of Taverna is yet another Italian-themed restaurant, Avanti, which recently opened in the City Place development. Both Taverna and Avanti have older siblings in Dallas.