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09/07/2012

The Craft - Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell is opening a new seafood restaurant

6a00e54f7fc4c58833017744941927970d-300wiTo the millions of readers who follow The Big Mac Blog daily, I have put a fancy new title to the posts I have with entertainers, chefs, authors, jocks, comedians, etc. The chat will now be called "The Craft" where my guests talk about their gig, and their latest projects.

The very hospitable and underrated Fort Worth chef Jon Bonnell joined me to talk about his new restaurant, "Waters - Bonnell's Coastal Cuisine". Make it a point to hit his signature restaurant, Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine.

"Waters" is going to be located in Forth Worth's rapidly growing 7th Street development in the location previously held by Bailey's Prime Plus. Bonnell said he hopes to open his new establishment in January.

The Big Mac Blog: What prompted you to pursue this?
Jon Bonnell: I have been wanting to do high end seafood for three years. I have been looking for the right spot. I don't think anyone has done that well yet in Fort Worth. That has been the problem. Eddie V's does a good job, but it's a steak and seafood place. Daddy Jacks does a good job, but I don't think anybody has done a high-end seafood place well. The market is ready for something on a bigger scale.

The Big Mac Blog: Is this going to be consistent with your current establishment or 180 degrees different?
Jon Bonnell: The answer is both. It's going to have a different feel. You are going to see the same philosophy towards local growers. I'll be sourcing as many Texas ingredients as I can. The seafood will be the Texas gulf coast, but we will go to waters far and wide, too. I can have fresh seafood FedEx'd. It's easy to get fresh seafood. It's pricey, but it's really good.

Ft_worth-pg-horizontalThe Big Mac Blog: How did this come about?
Jon Bonnell: They approached me and asked if I would be interested. They wanted an independent Fort Worth restaurant; not a Cheesecake Factory. They wanted a Fort Worth guy in that spot and not a generic place. I told them about my seafood idea and I do think it's going to work well for us and that center. It will increase more of their business and offer more diverse restaurants. And it's a different side of town for me so I'm not competing against myself.

The Big Mac Blog: What can you tell us will be on the menu and how will the layout of the restaurant look?
Jon Bonnell: We are designing a cool oyster bar. Where in Fort Worth can you sit down at a lunch counter and have six different kids of oysters? We are excited about the bar menu that will be quick and fast. There is a huge wine cellar here; that's a passion of mine. And we will have a huge private dining room in the back.

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