Eats Beat

Z’s Cafe makes its move — into a historic landmark on Fort Worth’s south side

The Z’s Signature Chicken Salad Sandwich at Z’s Cafe
The Z’s Signature Chicken Salad Sandwich at Z’s Cafe

For 70 years an elegant and private “ladies’ tea room,” the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth is now the new home of a popular sandwich-and-salad cafe.

Z’s Cafe, a popular nearby take-out shop, moved in and now sells grab-n-go lunches weekdays from the back door of the club’s old-world Waples Hall.

Some dine-in tables are available in the club’s National Register-nominated dining room, built in 1948 during Fort Worth’s postwar heyday.

Seating is limited. And the menu is very simple: a few sandwiches, a salad bar and soup. Don’t expect fancy fare.

But for the first time, anyone can dine weekdays at the historic Woman’s Club, or at least anyone with a reservation booked at

“It’s a great chance for us to bring our food over here for the members and also serve the public,” Carlo Capua said.

The stately dining room set up for a group in Z’s Cafe at the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth. Bud Kennedy

He and his mother, Janet Zito Capua, opened Z’s Cafe exactly 10 years ago with a commitment to community service. The cafe has trained and hired men and women in need, and works closely with social service agencies.

In its new location — it’s at 1316 Pennsylvania Ave., but enter in the rear off Ballinger and Tucker streets — Z’s is serving a short menu of salads, soups and the cafe’s most popular sandwiches: chicken salad, turkey-Swiss. pimiento cheese or a salad trio.

For groups booking in advance, there’s a more extensive $16.25 lunch menu of chicken épinards (with spinach), the Zito family’s homemade lasagna, or other entrees such as King Ranch chicken or quiche Lorraine.

z cafe
Janet Capua and her son, Carlo Capua, are owners of Z’s Cafe. Khampha Bouaphanh Star-Telegram archives

Z’s is open for lunch reservations weekdays only, or call in an order to go. (Dress as if you’re going to a nice restaurant. )

The dining room is in May R. Waples Hall, in the rear of the Woman’s Club complex on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from Texas Health Harris Methodist.

Eats Beat Ep. 147

DFW Restaurant Week

To find it, take Ballinger Street to West Tucker Street and turn east into the parking lot, then look for a green awning.

See the menu and book reservations at

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.