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Whole Foods Fort Worth: a sneak preview

Most grocery stores don’t boast about their full-service barbecue smokehouse offering smoked-quail poppers and local lamb sandwiches, but when you’re in Fort Worth, that’s a cue to ’cue.

Or at least it is for the new Whole Foods Market in the Waterside development in southwest Fort Worth. The long-awaited first Fort Worth store, which will have its grand opening at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, will also have a bar (with shuffleboard table, no less) with 16 local taps, concierge/personal-shopping services and a taco/sandwich/wood-fired pizza bar. Not to mention sushi — and a sushi burrito.

The store, which will also have an open-to-the-public “sneak peek” from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, offered a media preview Friday morning. Many areas of the store were stocked, but some of the more restaurant-style areas, including the smokehouse, the bakery, cheese counter and various “grab and go” counters, were waiting for next week to put out their fresh food offerings.

But during Monday’s three-hour preview event, everything should be stocked and the store will be open for shopping. Many of the store’s vendors will be on hand to offer samples.

The 45,000-square-foot store, about 10,000 square feet larger than the Colleyville store that opened a couple of years ago, features spacious aisles that feel like they will offer more room to move than you often find in grocery stores, especially in the bulk section, which has a mix of wall-mounted dispensers and floor-level bins. The store will employ 120 people.

Spokeswomen for the store who led a media tour say that it offers more than 500 Texas-made products, many of them from DFW (including packaged chips and salsa from Gloria’s Latin Cuisine and a raft of beers from local breweries such as Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Wild Acre Brewery and Martin House Brewing Co. and others).

Much of the wood used in the store’s interior wall decor comes from the floor of a ballroom at the Lockheed-Martin clubhouse, another Fort Worth touch. The bar area features high-top tables with bases made from old Rahr & Sons kegs as well as a bar top that also features materials repurposed from Lockheed-Martin facilities (Waterside’s website says that the development “capitalizes on the unique physical attributes and location of the former” Lockheed Martin Recreation Assocation). Customers will be able to order beer from the bar and take it through the store with them, aided by cup-holders on the shopping cart.

The store’s official address is 3720 Vision Drive, but it’s easier just to think of Waterside as being at the intersection of Arborlawn Drive and Bryant Irvin Road. For updates, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/fortworth or follow Whole Foods Market DFW on Facebook or WholeFoodsDFW on Twitter.

Waterside is also home to a Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a Tokyo Joe’s and a Zoés Kitchen. Marcus Paslay, chef/owner of Fort Worth’s Clay Pigeon Food and Drink, plans to open Piattello Italian Kitchen in the center in late November or early December, and a Taco Diner is also scheduled to open soon. The center also includes retail such as REI and Sur La Table, as well as townhomes, office space and a public-event space called The Grove.

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