Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

What’s next at Clearfork? Custom suits, whiskey and more

Q Clothier sells custom-fit suits ranging from $1,095 to $10,000.
Q Clothier sells custom-fit suits ranging from $1,095 to $10,000. Q Fifty One

Clothes shopping can be one of those dreaded experiences for men — right up there with prostate exams and visiting the in-laws. But if there were a place where guys could sip whiskey and watch sports, all while getting fitted for a custom suit or buying some new jeans, well, that might just change the game.

And that’s the idea behind Q Clothier and Rye 51, a two-headed clothes-horse concept that will open this fall in the tony Shops at Clearfork, off Bryant Irvin Road and the Chisholm Trail Parkway.

Q Clothier and Rye 51 are retail brands dreamed up by Raja Ratan, the founder and CEO of the Q Fifty One, a Dallas-based company that has stores in the West Village and Preston Center, as well as Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Atlanta.

Q Clothier is the “suiting side” of the store, complete with what Ratan says is the largest fabric library in the country. Custom-fit suits range from $1,095 to $10,000, he says. Custom shirts start at $160.

Rye 51 is the more casual cousin, where shoppers will find denim duds and small-batch styles of polo shirts, pants and shirts produced at family-owned factories in Italy, Spain, Peru and L.A.

The two distinct personalities of the shop are connected by a small whiskey bar, which is complimentary for customers and features brands such as Bulleit Rye, Woodford Reserve, Pappy Van Winkle and Fort Worth’s own TX Whiskey.

“A busy guy needs to be catered to today. He’s not real excited to go to the mall,” says Ratan, a UT grad and second-generation haberdasher. “We want to create an atmosphere where a guy can feel relaxed, let his guard down, a place that’s not unlike his living room.”

The first Dallas store opened in 2003. Over the years, it has attracted a who’s who of DFW athletes — everyone from Cowboys legends Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Sean Lee to Texas Rangers ace Cole Hamels and TCU Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

“Athletes typically need custom clothing,” says Ratan. “Once you get into that fraternity of guys, it’s huge. They all talk, and you can easily expand that network.” Other athletes he mentioned as clients included Dallas Stars player Jamie Benn and several of the Dallas Mavericks.

On the Q side, each client gets a personal clothier, who takes their measurements and helps guide them through the fitting process and selecting their favorite styles and fabrics. Custom garments typically take four weeks to be delivered, Ratan says, and there is a tailor shop in the store. For long-term customers, clothiers occasionally will go to their homes or offices if they’re too busy to come into the shop, Ratan added.

The Clearfork store will be situated near the new Neiman Marcus, adding another luxury brick-and-mortar clothing shop at a time when many are struggling or transitioning their business to online sales. Rick Press

More on The Shops at Clearfork

Paxton Motheral, vice president of Cassco Development Co., which is developing Clearfork, spoke to more than 200 people attending a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce lunch last week, and said people only want to know one thing: What other shops are coming to Clearfork?

“That’s been top on everybody’s minds lately,” he said.

But Paxton didn’t deliver, saying that Simon Property Group, Cassco’s partner in the shopping center, would be releasing the names.

We’ve done a little digging, though, and found that Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton and Burberry are in the permitting process for space at Clearfork.

And it appears Arhaus Furniture, an Ohio-based company that designs and builds its own furniture, and California-based Z Gallerie, another home furnishings retailer, are seeking permits as well.

Paxton said The Shops at Clearfork will have about a dozen restaurants. Those may include Rise No. 3, City Works Restaurant and Doc B’s, according to filings.

And, Alex & Ani, based in Rhode Island, could also be coming to Clearfork. Alex & Ani says on its website that it creates “meaningful, eco-conscious jewelry and accessories.”

A few more fitness-related tenants for Clearfork’s Trailhead area are also planned, Motheral said. Sandra Baker

A&M law school cracks top 100

Texas A&M Law School broke into the top 100 of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of law schools for the first time.

Texas A&M is ranked 92nd in the magazine’s 2018 rankings, up from 111 last year. The jump into the top 100 comes almost four years after the university bought the downtown law school from Texas Wesleyan University for $73.2 million.

The law school has about 355 students, who pay about $28,000 a year in tuition, according to the rankings, which were released late Monday.

“We’re pleased to see that the investments we’ve made — like hiring 24 new faculty in 2.5 years and cutting tuition by 15 percent —are being recognized. Whoop!” said Texas A&M Law School dean Andy Morriss in a prepared statement.

Texas A&M joins other Texas law schools in the top 100. The University of Texas in Austin is ranked 14, Southern Methodist University is 46, Baylor’s law school comes in at 51 and the University of Houston is at 54.

Texas Tech University is ranked 118.

In case you’re interested, the country’s top-ranked law school is Yale University, with Stanford University, Harvard University, the University of Chicago and Columbia University rounding out the top five.

U.S. News looks at peer assessment, LSAT and GRE scores, median undergraduate GPA and placement success, among other things, in determining the rankings.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko