Film Buff Heaven
Moviehouse & Eatery in Keller Town Square, complete with eight screens, 900 plush seats and full food and beverage service in all auditoriums, is finally ready to open its doors. The grand opening, set for Nov. 7, will be preceded by a Nov. 5 VIP party that includes an advanced screening of sci-fi movie Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan. Expanding straight to Keller from its original Austin location, which opened in 2012, the dine-in theater takes the idea of dinner and a movie very seriously. A menu created by executive chef Brandon Hanna favors fresh fare like Yucatan pizza and chicken lollipops and features scratch-made crusts and cookie dough prepared on-site. Food is styled for unobtrusive eating — for instance, served on black plates to minimize glare. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items are available, along with a full range of bar offerings, including signature craft cocktails. Film buffs are encouraged to order their tickets (and pick their seats) online and arrive early for dining in the theater before the lights dim, although food service continues throughout movie showings. The Moviehouse keeps an active social media profile, offering ticket giveaways and deals with regularity, and now that the Keller location’s doors are finally opening, the next goal is a third location, set to open in nearby Flower Mound in the spring, the company says. 250 Rufe Snow Drive, Keller, 817-741-2540, www.themoviehouse.com/keller.
Capes aren’t just for superheroes anymore. They hit the catwalk with a flourish this fall, and whether you call them ponchos, capes, ruanas or serapes, the snuggly, blanket-wear trend achieved it-girl status almost immediately when celebrity fashionistas like Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Palermo made waves in New York City pairing Burberry’s $1,400 colorblocked and monogrammable lamb’s wool and cashmere poncho with miniskirts and skinny jeans. Styles and colors are plentiful in local stores and there are a million ways to make this casually chic look your own and stop the shivers in style. An eye-catching fleece ruana found at Belk mirrors Burberry’s effortless appeal with an exploded plaid — read that, large pattern — in gray, black and red. From V. Fraas, its $68 price tag is a happier number too, and it is also available in tan. 9488 N. Freeway, Fort Worth, 817-750-3500, www.belk.com.
Convenience With A Capital “K”
Kroger Marketplace at Alliance Town Center is close to becoming a one-stop destination for food, jewelry, home goods and — now — apparel. The store debuts its new apparel department on Nov. 5, stocking shelves that formerly held home decor and furnishings with casual and athletic fashions for men and women from brands like Carhartt, Champion, Skechers, Signature Levi Strauss & Co. and Gloria Vanderbilt. Kroger Marketplaces in Houston have sold apparel since April and company officials say the expanded marketplace concept, although still rare, is on the rise. Regular shoppers at the Alliance store have gotten used to the unusual sight of a jewelry store nestled in the front corner: Fred Meyer Jewelers, owned by Kroger, has been selling an assortment of diamond rings and necklaces as well as mid- to high-range watches and jewelry there for more than three years. Construction has already begun for a new Kroger Marketplace in North Richland Hills that’s expected to open in 2015. 3300 Texas Sage Trail, Fort Worth, 817-750-2040, www.kroger.com.
Goodies With An Accent
For those last-minute moments when you’re due to a family gathering but didn’t have time to cook something special the night before, Central Market saves the day with its grab ‘n go cheese platters. Actually, you bring your own platter, but fill it with a pre-selected assortment of themed cheeses, nuts and and condiments that make you look like you spent hours planning your well-coordinated spread. Priced at $39.99 and serving 10-12, the grab ‘n go selections come in six themes — English, Italian, French and Spanish, plus American Artisan and Alpine. Collections mix lesser-known cheeses like the Spanish tray’s Mahón and La Serena or the English Aged Red Leicester and Blue Stilton, upping your chances of impressing some cousins. Exotic crackers and condiments such as walnut confit (French) and green pepper jam (Alpine) add a nice touch, too. From Nov. 3-25, Central Market stores will have three or four different varieties prepared each day, but you can order in advance online or call the store’s “holiday hotline” to get precisely what you need. 1425 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-310-5609, www.shop.centralmarket.com.
Sparks Are Flying
Debuting more than a decade ago, fire bowls were one of those items that industry insiders like Bryon Eaton, manager of Yard Art Patio & Fireplace in Colleyville, thought would go up in flames. “I was sure people wouldn’t use them,” he says. “I was very, very wrong.” Noting that these early models were popular despite the fact that they were mostly only good for gazing at embers or toasting marshmallows, he says manufacturers have finally seen the light and started enhancing their looks and functionality. These days, the newer fire tables arrive on patios to add a warm glow in an almost dizzying array of tile finishes as well as varying heights, plus they burn wood, propane or gel fuels. Yard Art has the largest selection in the Keller area and the wide range of styles promises to elevate a fun idea to a haute and functional centerpiece of just about any outdoor entertainment zone. Two good examples: the Santorini, a 54-inch round, dining fire table that comes in a 24-inch “chat height” as well as in bar and counter heights, and features a choice of 11 porcelain tile tops ($4,458); and the Vesuvius from O.W. Lee, which has an attractive, hacienda-patterned surface and hides its fire feature when needed with a lazy Susan insert ($2,200). 6407 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, 817-421-2414, www.myyardart.com.
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Holiday Treasure Hunts
Yuletide craft shows are popular with those who enjoy the quest for unique gifts and decorative items. In Keller, two high school dance troupes have longstanding traditions of helping residents sniff out cool, unusual homemade gifts and fun finds. Central High School’s Lightning Dancers will host their 12th annual Fall Gift and Craft Show Nov. 9-10, inviting holiday shoppers to enjoy the offerings of 200 vendors marketing Christmas decor and gifts not easily found elsewhere. Live entertainment, silent auction baskets and kids’ entertainment offerings make it fun for nonshoppers, too. For $5, Lightning Dancers will entertain children — never say babysit — while parents explore the wares. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, 9450 Ray White Road, Keller, www.lightningdancers.com. On Dec. 6-7, there’s more of the same when the Keller Indianettes host their 32nd annual Christmas Craft Bazaar. Popular sales items include holiday decorations and jewelry, plus the Indianettes’ locally famed pumpkin rolls (see the story on P age ). The craft show features more than 250 vendors, a silent auction, free child care and concessions. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday; 601 N. Pate Orr Road, Keller, www.indianettes.com.
Triple the Tuscan Fun
Runyon’s Fine Furniture in Roanoke has spent two decades cultivating its reputation as a worth-the-trip retail destination. Locals visit Runyon’s for envy-inducing, custom-designed furnishings, as well as inspiration for reinventing ho-hum living spaces into warm, welcoming rooms. Recently, the retailer threw open the doors to a triple-sized space conveniently located at its old address. Rather than moving to new digs, owners Andy and Bo Runyon simply bought the shopping center that has housed their longtime location, allowing them an increase in showroom size from 3,000 to 9,000 square feet. About 2,000 of that is devoted to a new luxury mattress gallery; the rest, to an expanded inventory and an impressive assortment of envision-yourself-here vignettes of Old World, hacienda, Tuscan, Hill Country and transitional styles of furniture. Passionate about “rustic/chic” treasures, Bo Runyon works with clients to assemble unique custom draperies, area rugs, artwork, accent furniture, accessories, lighting and silk florals, offering a level of personalized care that makes the whole-home makeover process seem ridiculously easy. 500 N. U.S. 377, Roanoke, 817-490-0082, www.runyonsfinefurnituredfw.com.
A Seasoned Stop
New to Keller’s Bear Creek Plaza, Maria Cuca’s Mexican Cuisine is a spinoff from the south side of the Metroplex, where Mansfield’s popular Mama Cuca’s Mexican Cuisine still holds court as a popular place to indulge. Star-Telegram Eats Beat columnist Bud Kennedy reported that owner Enrique Rodriguez, formerly with Mariano’ s and La Hacienda Ranch, is a partner in both restaurants. His mother goes by the nickname Maria “Cuca” Refugia, Rodriguez told Eats Beat, and the two restaurants have slightly different names and owner groups. While the Keller version of Cuca’s shares menu specialties like fajita-potato skin “nachos” and street tacos, it adds new dishes such as chicken enchiladas in a creamy chipotle sauce. 800 S. Main St., Keller, 817-741-0213.
Garden Ridge, a Plano-based home decor chain, has announced plans to build one of its newly branded Garden Ridge at Home stores at 2201 Porter Creek Drive in far north Fort Worth’s Presidio Junction development. The store is investing $20 million to rebrand all of its stores to the new name. Meanwhile, according to permits in Presidio Towne Crossing, on the west side of Interstate 35W at North Tarrant Parkway, other retailers locating in this future shopping mecca include T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Petco, Dollar Tree, Old Navy, Shoe Carnival, Ross and In & Out Burger.
The Lunch Box, commemorating 40 years at its west Fort Worth location, has opened a second location in far north Fort Worth at 2730 Western Center Blvd. Just like the flagship Camp Bowie Boulevard outlet, the Keller-area location offers The Lunch Box’s signature chicken salad, sandwiches and salads, as well as a build-your-own salad bar. Customer-turned-owner Imran Khan added a food truck and a strong social media presence to The Lunch Box’s repertoire upon purchasing the beloved cafe from longtime owners in 2012. www.eatthelunchbox.com.
Arezzo Italian Street Food, new in Southlake, is what Sheila Afzal, manager of the Addison-based chain calls “an Italian Chipotle.” Like the build-your-own-burrito joints, patrons create custom orders at the counter, but instead of boring bowls and tasteless tacos, entrée items include pastas, panini, salads, pizzas and “padeenas,” the restaurant’s signature Italian flatbread wrap (known as “piadinas” in Italy) that can come filled with Italian sausage, meatballs, shrimp, salmon, veggies and more. Sauces and dressings, as well as the padeena bread, are made from scratch on-site and include pomodoro, fresh basil pesto and green spicy arabbiatta. Kids get a complimentary ice cream. 410 W. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-251-3222, www.myarezzo.com.