Eats Beat

Try, try again: Downtown grocery to open in new First on 7th shops in Fort Worth

The new Neighbor’s House Grocery will replace a bank at Sixth and Lamar streets.
The new Neighbor’s House Grocery will replace a bank at Sixth and Lamar streets.

A new grocery, lunch counter and gourmet veggie and juice bar will fill a vacant bank lobby downtown, yet another effort to bring downtown a successful supermarket.

Neighbor’s House Grocery will open later this year in a former bank lobby on the side at 501 W. Sixth St., taking over the ground floor of the remodeled First on 7th tower. It will take up all the Sixth Street frontage at 5,100 square feet.

Chefs Ashlee and Kyle Cowan are new to the market but not to Texas. Their grocery will stock national store brands along with specialty items and will feature a “vegetable butcher bar” with cold-pressed juices, Kyle Cowan said.

“We’ll do our grab-and-gos and our meal kits,” Cowan said. “And we’ll have everything that a traditional grocery store will have, but with a smaller format.”

Several downtown supermarkets have opened and closed in Sundance Square, the most recent of them In the Sack, a gourmet-to-go replaced Oliver’s specialty foods.

Despite that, Cowan said there’s a need for a walkable grocery store, especially for the residents of downtown Fort Worth. He said that while Oliver’s and In the Sack had more of a focus on ready-to-go and deli options, Neighbor’s House will put the brunt of their focus into the grocery side of its business.

They had some solid concepts,” Cowan said, “but they may have been more food/deli centric than grocery centric.”

Cowan said he hopes the store will also succeed with affordable prices, a wine club and a neighborhood atmosphere.

To compete with home-delivered meal kits, Neighbor’s House Grocery will have its own line of Instant Pot meal kits, as well as options for people to create their own meals. Most of the ready-to-go food Cowan will offer will be regional Texas fare to stay “true to the heritage of downtown Fort Worth.”

Construction is currently underway for Neighbor’s House Grocery. Opening is slated for mid-August, barring any construction delays.

Neighbor’s House Grocery is the first tenant to be announced in First on 7th, 500 W. Seventh St. The former Bank of America building started undergoing renovations of the ground level in January.

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 16 Texas Legislature sessions. First on the scene of a 1988 DFW Airport crash, he interviewed passengers running from the burning plane. He made his first appearance in the paper before he was born: He was sold for $600 in the adoption classifieds.
Carla Jimenez covers breaking business news and commercial retail development. Born and raised in Euless, she took a detour in the Midwest for a few years, but she’s back in the land of football, barbecue and Dr Pepper.