Eats Beat

Reata at the Rodeo is all set to open. But this year might be its last

A longtime signature dish at Reata in downtown Fort Worth: tenderloin tamales.
A longtime signature dish at Reata in downtown Fort Worth: tenderloin tamales. archives

The Stock Show Rodeo is saying farewell to Will Rogers Coliseum, and maybe also to Reata at the Rodeo.

The downtown Reata restaurant’s three Stock Show locations open this weekend, but when the rodeo closes Feb. 9, they’ll apparently ride off into the sunset.

The rodeo will move next year to the new Dickies Arena, which will have its own culinary team for suites and a new private club. The old arena will still have a Backstage Club, but it may not be run by Reata.

Both Stock Show and Reata officials said no decision has been made about whether to continue the two public restaurants, Reata at the Rodeo in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall and La Espuela Mexican Cantina in the Moncrief Building.

Both restaurants will be open beginning this weekend and will serve the same menu as in recent years.

Guest chef Brian Olenjack will be in the Reata at the Backstage kitchen and that private-club menu will showcase some of the most popular dishes from Reata’s 17 years at the Stock Show.

Reata at the Rodeo is a full-service restaurant serving lunch and dinner daily in the exhibits hall, featuring rib-eyes, tenderloins, grilled chicken or salmon and Reata signature items such as the CF Burger, tenderloin tamales and banana pudding.

It opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and closes when the evening rodeo starts, so book a table ahead; 3400 Burnett-Tandy Drive at Gendy Street, 817-336-5766.

La Espuela, a counter-service stand, is in the Moncrief Building, Burnett-Tandy Drive at Rip Johnson Road.

Reata downtown is a good place to go for brunch after the annual Stock Show parade Saturday morning.

It’s open for lunch or weekend brunch and dinner daily (but closes in midafternoon); 310 Houston St., 817-336-1009,

Other choices for parade dining: brunch at Bird Cafe, 155 E. Fourth St.; Yolk, 305 Main St.; or Mi Cocina, 509 Main St.

If you’d like someplace close to the train station, try Little Red Wasp, 808 Main St., five blocks from the Intermodal Transportation Center.

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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.