Just southwest of downtown Fort Worth, along the Chisholm Trail Parkway, Clearfork sits on 270 acres that were once part of cattle country. Today, it’s a mixed-use development that offers luxury living and office opportunities in addition to retail, dining, entertainment and green spaces along the Trinity riverfront. Whether you’re looking for a fun date night, stellar hiking and biking trails or high-end shopping without the big-city traffic, Clearfork has something for everyone to discover.
The development has deep roots in the area’s early history, and it gets its name from its location along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Before Fort Worth was established, Lemuel Edwards came to Texas from Missouri, and in 1848, with a grant from the state, he established the Edwards Ranch near the river. Over the years, the ranch grew to span more than 7,000 acres, and in 1956, the family founded Cassco Development Co. to manage and develop the land. Neighborhoods like Tanglewood and Overton Woods, Hulen Mall, Trinity Commons and now Clearfork all sit on former Edwards Ranch land.
“Clearfork is a product of the Edwards family’s stewardship and commitment to the land for more than six generations,” said Jennifer Massey-Kapcsos, spokesperson for Cassco.
According to Massey-Kapcsos, the vision of Clearfork has been on the drawing board since the 1950s, but it wasn’t until more than 50 years later that Clearfork was made accessible to visitors. Development of Clearfork began in the early 2010s, its farmers market opened in 2016 and the first store at The Shops at Clearfork opened in early 2017.
At the southern end of Clearfork, you’ll find its hub for community gathering, The Trailhead. On the riverfront of the Trinity Trails, The Trailhead is home to the Clearfork Farmers Market, which is open year-round on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon (except in the winter when it opens at 9 a.m.). The market features more than 25 local vendors — that means within a 150-mile radius of Fort Worth — and includes goods from farmers, ranchers and artisans. Fried pies from Sweet Lucy’s Pies, sourdough bread from Icon Bread, greenhouse tomatoes from Fambro Family Farms and fresh eggs from Ash Creek Farms are just a few of the crowd favorites. But the Clearfork Farmers Market is more than just shopping for fresh veggies.
“It’s a ‘social market,’” Massey-Kapcsos said. “There’s so much to do at The Trailhead on Saturdays. Bring your dog and loved ones to hang out before, during and after shopping the market.”
The Trailhead is a greenspace, fitness lawn and outdoor destination for both fitness enthusiasts and casual strollers. If you enjoy running, hiking or biking, The Trailhead connects you to more than 60 miles of trails. There’s on-site water, pet waste stations and restrooms, as well as Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop. At Mellow Johnny’s, you can shop for bikes, apparel and accessories, but you can also get in on its weekly group rides. And if you don’t have a bike? No problem — you can rent a bike and helmet for as little as $35 a day from Mellow Johnny’s or grab a bike from the Fort Worth B-Cycle bike share station for only $8 an hour.
The Trailhead also offers fitness classes for all fitness levels and most age groups, and a few of them are free. Since we’re in Texas and the summers can get beyond hot, classes are more prevalent in the spring and fall, but there are still a few summer class options, including the Summer Yoga Series, which offers a free yoga class every Saturday at 10 a.m. (just bring your own mat).
Right next to The Trailhead, Press Cafe is on the riverfront and has a patio and rooftop bar with views of the Trinity Trails. Press Cafe opened in 2016 and was one of the first businesses on the scene at Clearfork. It’s a casual dining option (think salads and sandwiches) that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a selection of wine, cocktails and beer. The Cafe Burger made Texas Monthly’s 50 Greatest Burgers in Texas list back in 2016.
The Trailhead is actually home to two restaurants found worthy of a Texas Monthly mention. Back when Flores Barbecue was located in Whitney, it made the Top 50 Barbecue Joints list in 2017. Now located in Clearfork behind Mellow Johnny’s, Flores Barbecue’s food truck is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves typical Texas barbecue fare, such as brisket, pulled pork, house-made sausage and pork ribs, as well as brisket and carnitas tacos served on house-made tortillas. Massey-Kapcsos said a brick-and-mortar location is in the works and is expected to open in summer 2020.
On the northern side, Clearfork offers office space, a luxury residence and a carefully curated mix of dining, retail and entertainment options in The Shops at Clearfork. The Shops at Clearfork is an open-air center and a partnership between Cassco and retail giant Simon Property Group. It’s anchored by a state-of-the-art, high-tech Neiman Marcus, which moved from its previous Fort Worth location at Ridgmar Mall where it had been since 1976, and also houses storefronts for more than 40 other retailers, including luxury boutiques Bachendorf’s, Burberry, Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton; popular retailers Tory Burch, Tommy Bahama, Kendra Scott and Kate Spade New York; and home furnishings from Ballard Designs and Arhaus. The Shops has a diverse selection of chef-driven culinary options with patio dining — Malai Kitchen (Thai-Vietnamese), Mesero (Mexican and craft cocktails), Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Luna Grill (Mediterranean), B&B Butchers (steakhouse and butcher shop), Crú Food & Wine Bar and Fixe (upscale soul food) — and sweet confections from Amorino Gelato or Joy Macarons.
“We have introduced the very best of national and local retailers, restaurants, entertainment, office and residential to the surrounding communities, which has certainly changed habits for those who used to drive to Dallas for this caliber of offerings,” said Suzanne Paul, The Shops at Clearfork general manager.
For entertainment, The Shops at Clearfork has an AMC Dine-In, which is the theater chain’s cinema and restaurant combo where you can order food and drinks right from your seat, and a Pinstripes. With the addition of an outdoor patio, an Italian-American bistro and bocce ball courts, Pinstripes elevates the classic American pastime of bowling. Prices for bowling and bocce differ by time and day of the week, so check online before you go, but it’s $10-12 per person, per hour during peak times and as little as $1 per person, per hour Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to close. Bowling lanes can hold up to eight guests and bocce courts hold up to 10. Reservations are recommended, and you can make them online at pinstripes.com or call ahead to 682/352-0808.
Clearfork is a multiphase project that’s still in the works, so expansions and additions are on the horizon. The Shops at Clearfork will ultimately have 1.2 million square feet of retail space and more than 100 retailers, a second luxury multifamily residence is already under construction and a hotel is in the works.
Just a quick jaunt down the Chisholm Trail Parkway from downtown Fort Worth, the city’s cultural district and the Fort Worth Zoo, Clearfork is ideally located to be part of your day trip or weekend in south Fort Worth. Visit clearfork1848.com for more information, and you can follow Clearfork, The Shops at Clearfork, The Trailhead and the area’s various businesses on Facebook, Instagram and their respective websites for event updates.