Big changes coming to Fort Worth Stockyards

A $175 million renovation will change the way people see the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

Craig Cavileer, the executive vice president with Majestic Realty and the Stockyards Heritage Development, was a guest on Good Day Tuesday. He gave an update on the renovations and agreed there is a fine line between keeping the old-school, country charm of the area and yet making it a modern.

“Well, it’s a challenge. There’s a lot of grit and grime in the stockyards we like a lot. We also like the longhorns that come down the road twice a day down Exchange Avenue. So we are trying to entertain guests – tourism both national and international and local – and it can be a challenge. And we’re working hard at it,” he said.

In the first phase of the project, Cavileer said the plan is to put about 180,000 square feet of mule barns and parking to new use. Mule Alley will become an area filled with restaurants, retail, entertainment and offices. It will be a place where guests can find Texas goodies and really taste Texas.

As far as the restaurants, Cavileer said the focus will be on locals. Chef Jason Baso from Dallas is opening up a restaurant called Second Rodeo. It will have live music, a brew pub and barbeque. Chef Marcus Paslay, the owner of Clay Pigeon and a couple of other restaurants in Fort Worth, will also focus on the locals.

“Where the locals go, the tourists will find their way there,” Cavileer said. “Big focus on Texas cuisine. I mean, it’s amazing. This is one of the best places in the world to find great food and we want the stockyards to be a destination for that.”

The shops and retailers will also cater to the locals. Cavileer also believes tourists love to shop where locals go.

“So we’re finding that mix of local and tourist is a real challenge but I think we’re doing a pretty good job of it,” he said.

Last, Hotel Drover opening in the spring of 2020 is being called a “rustic resort.” It will feature a $100 million autographed collection and is something that a lot of people are looking forward to seeing in the stockyards.

“Hotel Drover is appropriate for the stockyards and we think that will be sort of base camp for the entire historic district,” Cavileer said.