Food & Drink

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse becomes the latest West 7th casualty

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse in a 2014 photo, shortly after it opened.
Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse in a 2014 photo, shortly after it opened. Star-Telegram archives listings editor Denise Harris happened to be in the West 7th development Wednesday night when she spotted what’s become an all-too-familiar sight in the restaurant/retail/condo complex: A sign on a restaurant door announcing that the restaurant has been close.

In this case, it was Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse, which opened in West 7th in 2014 in a space that had formerly housed a Patrizio Italian restaurant. The closure apparently happened Monday, according to the Rafain Ft. Worth Facebook page, which now has a “cover photo” that says “Thanks for everything.”

That’s also how a March 27 post about the closure starts, and then it goes on to say, in part: “We are happy to say that this is a strategic decision. Rafain is structured to be a global brand, so therefore the future steps that we planned have shown that in order to get where we want to, we have to terminate our operations at the Fort Worth Restaurant.”

The sign on the door, on the other hand, begins with “Notice of Changing Locks” and says that the locks have been changed “due to defaults under the Lease.”

Like every other Brazilian steakhouse, Rafain is/was a meat palace, and the Facebook post reassures fans that “Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse in Dallas continues to run full steam, plus it's located only 46 minutes from the Fort Worth Restaurant's location. We would love to welcome you there.” (The Dallas Rafain is at 18010 Dallas Parkway in north Dallas; even using express lanes, 46 minutes is a little optimistic.)

It’s hard to keep track of all the restaurant closings that have happened in West 7th. Not all of them had “Notice of Changing Locks” on the door: Waters Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine, Jon Bonnell’s seafood restaurant, made the choice to move to Sundance Square, and Bonnell recently announced an April 10 opening date for the new location. Waters took the place of Bailey’s Prime Steakhouse, one of the earlier West 7th closures.

Across the street from Rafain, Tillman’s Roadhouse shut down. It was replaced by Fort Worth Market + Table, which was under the same ownership with former Tillman’s chef de cuisine Kalen Jane (aka Kalen Morgenstern) running the kitchen. Market + Table lasted less than a year before closing, the owner blaming the shutdown on “light foot traffic.” Hacienda San Miguel, next door to Rafain, also shut down, and is now home to popular drinking/brunch spot “Mash’d.” Rafain’s other across-the-street neighbor, Fireside Pies, is an original West 7th tenant that’s still standing, although it underwent a name change to Thirteen Pies — and then changed back to Fireside Pies.

Other closures have included AF+B, Brownstone, Brewsters, Kin Kun Urban Thai and others.