Fort Worth South District in Fort Worth, TX
Many families seeking a neighborhood with charm and history are finding their fit in Fort Worth’s Near Southside. So, too, are young singles wanting nightlife, entertainment and dining choices with atmospheres as vibrant as the food.
For these reasons and others, the area continues to turn the heads of entrepreneurs with eyes trained on its tremendous commercial promise.
In other words, the nonprofit Fort Worth South, Inc.'s (FSWI) revitalization work in Near Southside is attracting all kinds of people and businesses who are longing for a mixed-use community where quality of life melds harmoniously with economic opportunities.
“Moving here was a bit of a leap of faith that has turned out to be the smartest business move we ever made,” says Ken Schaefer, president of Schaefer Advertising Company. “The impact for Schaefer Advertising has been huge from a culture standpoint. The community of Southside is deeply woven together. It’s a very tight-knit group of people who support each other.”
Homes, Hot Spots and Festivals
The district contains several neighborhoods of single-family homes as well as townhomes and apartments, and more than 30,000 people work there, largely because it contains the city's Medical District, which comprises five major hospitals and dozens of clinics. Yet many smaller, locally owned businesses are located there, too.
“I specifically wanted to start a business in this area,” says Elizabeth Northern, who opened the Magnolia Cheese Company on West Magnolia in December 2012. “I had been involved with the community in other ways, and I’ve seen this real groundswell of energy and small businesses opening in this area.”
The district dates to the early 20th century, and new-home construction blends with the original and older structures. Neighborhoods include Historic Fairmount, which is directly adjacent to Near Southside, as well as Mistletoe Heights and Berkeley Place to the west, Ryan Place to the south and Terrell Heights to the east.
Entertainment options are plentiful, with a variety of pubs, live theater venues and clubs for enjoying some of the region’s best bands.
Near Southside's neighborly vibe and walkability makes it well-suited for outdoor events and street festivals, such as Friday on the Green, a monthly concert series from April-October at Magnolia Green; and ArtsGoggle, a biannual celebration of arts, artists and music, which attracts huge crowds.
A Diner’s Dream
And then there’s restaurant row on Magnolia Avenue, where dining options include many locally owned restaurants. The list includes Ellerbe Fine Foods, Lili’s Bistro, Shinjuku Station, Mamma Mia, Shaw’s Burgers & Shakes, and Cat City Grill, among many others.
“Fort Worth South has done a lot to revitalize the area and make it cool,” says Richard King, owner of Ellerbe Fine Foods, a fine dining restaurant offering seasonal, local foods in an artfully repurposed former gas station. “West Magnolia has a great vibe. It’s one of the best date-night streets you could ask for because it has great restaurants, and you could have any type of cuisine at any kind of price or setting. It’s fun to be a part of that.”
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