Just a few short paces into any stroll around the newly opened Shops at Clearfork and a witty remark about it resonates loud and clear: It’s Rodeo Drive arriving in the city of rodeos.
The Shops at Clearfork already is being lauded as the crown jewel shopping and entertainment destination of southwest Fort Worth. It’s earning such lofty kudos by effortlessly striking that delicate balance between expanse and coziness. The “expanse” part is how it will eventually spread out over 500,000 square feet, nestled on 270 acres. But because it is that rare open-air, cutting-edge quilt of retail, restaurants and entertainment choices, Clearfork achieves a kind of urban energy and coddling luxurious intimacy all at once.
Balance very much governs how this gleaming new shopping and entertainment complex has been assembled. Its retail stores — which will boast 44 opening by the holiday season, and 53 by the first quarter of 2018 — are already anchored by a spectacular new branch of Neiman Marcus, which debuted in February.
If ever the adjective “curated” could appropriately describe the finely tuned mix of high-end home-furnishing and refined fashion retailers, along with restaurants, plus a special contingent of 120,000 square feet of office space, the Shops at Clearfork certainly deserves that description.
The Clearfork experience is as much about strolling around, absorbing the entirety of the complex as it is about the individual stores. There are plenty of park benches, tables with chairs, and cruise ship-worthy deck chairs to rest weary shopping bones. Music, emitted by speakers discreetly hidden in lush flower beds, fills the air. Nudging up to the sidewalk curbs is a flotilla of BMWs, Mercedes SUVs, Lexuses and Range Rovers.
Part and parcel of the Clearfork shopping experience is its panoply of dining options. Between the fall of this year and early 2018, no less than 12 restaurants will open, purveying everything from healthful juices (Clean Juice Bar) and luscious macaroons (Joy Macarons) to the freshest shrimp ceviche (Mesero) or crispy catfish (Fixe).
Indeed, the restaurants’ opening schedule has Joy Macarons, Malai Kitchen (contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine) and Rise n°3, specializing in cloudlike, savory and sweet soufflés, up and running in September; B&B Butchers & Restaurant, City Works Eatery and Pour House, Clean Juice Bar, Cru Food & Wine Bar, Fixe and Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar all debuting by the holidays; and Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, Luna Grill and Mesero, opening in 2018.
After a fulfilling meal at one of these culinary temples, more entertainment unfolds at an eight-screen, luxury AMC movie theater, or at Pinstripes, the 30,000-square foot, high-end bowling and bocce center that borders a fire pit-accented, Italian-American restaurant and craft beer-heavy bar.
A snapshot of some of Clearfork’s shops
1. Arhaus Furniture: Offers a global perspective, from a worldwide roster of artisans, in its eclectic offerings.
2. Everything But Water: This boutique is all about the latest in swim and resort wear – from bikinis to sandals.
3. Evereve: When it comes to “Mom” flaunting her power and beauty through smart clothing choices, Evereve is just the emporium for her.
4. Alex and Ani: Combine ecological consciousness with eye-catching jewelry and accessories design, and you have Alex & Ani.
5. Tiffany & Co.: Indisputably the world’s first and last name in luxury jewelry. The diamond creations alone might dazzle one into a shopping stupor.
6. Mizzen + Main: In the market for the globe’s most comfy dress shirt, look no further than Mizzen + Main.
7. Out on a Limb: Eclectic and stylish fashions are the watchword at Out on a Limb – along with must have accessories and gifts.
8. Climate: Whether the conditions are beach-scape aquatic or a winter wonderland, Climate stocks all manner of winning lifestyle brands as North Face, UGG and Patagonia.
9. Tumi: Around since 1975, Tumi’s line of travel-ready luggage, backpacks and bags are synonymous with great style and carefree durability.
10. Hemline: With its 20 branches in the Southeast, Hemline’s reputation has always rested on its brand-name accessories, clothing and shoes.
11. Louis Vuitton: Around since 1854, Louis Vuitton is synonymous with innovation and style, fused together in a stellar line of luggage, shoes, watches and fragrances.
12. Tesla Motors: Take one step into the Tesla showroom and you’ll immediately understand why most refer to it as a “gallery.” This is where the art of electric cars and sustainable energy products is truly on full display.
13. Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams: Starting in 1989, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams has grown into a globally recognized home furnishings phenom.
14. Burberry: Established in 1856, this iconic British luxury name is rooted in its founder’s original invention of gabardine, the kind of fabric known for its lightweight and weatherproof qualities.
15. Double R: Think of Texas and the specialty niche of custom-made clothes for women and Double R comes swiftly to mind.
16. Neiman Marcus: Measuring a jaw-dropping 90,000 square feet, Neiman Marcus is Clearfork’s principal anchor store. This newly minted Fort Worth branch offers extra special amenities such as the Beauty Boardroom, The Girlfriend Room and The Club Room.
17. NuVitrum: When it comes to artistically driven, cutting-edge lighting design, NuVitrum is that art form’s go to destination. For NuVitrum, it’s all about the “hard-to-find,” luxurious lighting possibilities, created by global artisans.
The public art at The Shops at Clearfork
Inside and outside are 14 pieces of artwork by 10 different artists, five of them native to Texas. While nine artworks are smartly scattered throughout the Clearfork grounds, five of them have been placed inside the nearby two office building lobbies.
Margery Gossett, owner of Fort Worth’s Artspace 111, is Clearfork’s chief art curator.
“The developers wanted really discoverable pieces for those shoppers walking through the space who might stop to appreciate the art work as part of the overall space,” says Gossett.
Several of the artworks stand out for their sheer uniqueness in size, scope, and thematic allusions to the singular landscape of Fort Worth.
Owing to its unmissable stature, “Windmill,” by Brooklyn-based artist Tom Fruin, was wrought from steel and acrylic panels, while following the artist’s habitual practice of repurposing forgotten materials. The 40-foot-high, 10-foot-wide work is so commanding that it is visible from the second floor of Neiman Marcus. With its Crayola crayon-tinted feature of stained glass panels, there’s something childlike about the entire work.
Directly in front of Burberry’s is Barbara Dybala’s “Nature of Three Orbs.” Dybala, based out of Rockwall, crafted three different circular full and half globes — ranging from 46 inches in diameter down to 12 inches — from the unassuming materials of fiberglass and glass. Their strongly mosaic pattern is meant to evoke the world’s animals, plants and the surrounding cosmos.
You’ll never enter any prosaic parking garage lobby again and not think of Migrating Cranes that float above you in Kevin Box and Robert J. Lang’s work. Hovering overhead in the lobby of the blue parking garage, the 15 larger cranes measure 26 inches long, with 30 birds measuring 18 inches long, while 20 are eight inches long.
Though inspired by Japanese paper origami forms, these birds are done in cast aluminum and tinted varying shades of sand and cream, and hung like classic mobiles.