Italian cuisine

Grace owner plans new restaurant focused on Italian cuisine

A longtime Fort Worth restaurateur has plans for a new restaurant focused on Italian cuisine.

61 Osteria, ground floor of the newly updated 21-story First on 7and complex, will be operated by Adam Jones, a 30-year veteran of the Fort Worth restaurant scene, who since 2008 has owned the famed Grace Restaurant on Main Street. He also owns Little Red Wasp, another popular downtown bistro, and is the former general manager of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

The new restaurant will combine an airy, modernist vibe with a menu from award-winning chef Blaine Staniford, who served for 13 years as Grace’s executive chef, as well as eight years at Little Red Wasp, according to a press release.

The new restaurant will be located on the ground floor of a famous mid-century modern tower in downtown Fort Worth. 20and-master of the century.

“The location of 61 Osteria is very cosmopolitan — the grounds, the sculptures, the mid-century look, the huge patio, all the glass,” said Jones, who has watched the space for years and even bought a house across the street at the Neil P. Condos. 61 Osteria plans to open in mid-2022

With floor-to-ceiling windows spanning its west and south walls and offering sweeping views of the cityscape, 61 Osteria will serve as a new culinary destination for the west end of the Central Business District. Dishes will emphasize fresh, local grains, flour, and produce from Texas farms and mills, in a three- to four-ingredient classic Italian style. Restaurant features include a wood-burning fireplace, rotisserie, and pasta room.

The name 61 Osteria is a nod to 1961, the year the First on 7and building (originally First National Bank) was completed. Osteria means tavern in Italian.

The south side of the restaurant overlooks the sprawling First on 7th plaza, where diners will have the opportunity to enjoy meals and cocktails in a shaded outdoor space amid a triad of modernist sculptures by famed designer Isamu Noguchi. Works have adorned the square since the building opened 60 years ago.

While the redevelopment of First on 7and progressed and the retail business flourished, Jones continued talks with the Darden family of Fort Worth, whose companies own and operate the property. After what Jones described as “very good conversations with Glenn Darden” and conceptual discussions with Chief Blaine Staniford, the way forward was clear. “Fort Worth is my home, and I look forward to creating a restaurant that Fort Worth diners and others will also call home,” Jones said.

Valet parking will be available at the west entrance of the restaurant. Guests can also park in the adjacent garage. 61 Osteria plans to open in mid-2022.

First on 7and is a 21-story tower at 500 West 7and A street that features the clean, geometric lines and understated decor that are hallmarks of mid-century modern architecture. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York and associate architect Preston M. Geren of Fort Worth.

A major update to the complex, led by Red Oak Realty, began in December 2018, with improvements such as new landscaping for the south side plaza, remodeling of the glass-encased lobby to remove visual clutter and enhance worth the work of mid-20and century artists and the continued addition of street level businesses including Neighbor’s House Grocery, Buon Giorno Coffeehouse and Guaranty Bank.