A second Fort Worth location of upscale Mexican restaurant Meso Maya is opening this month in downtown’s historic Kress building. The restaurant, which is taking over the two-story spot last occupied by the Fox & Hound pub, has been in the works for close to two years and was originally slated to arrive before Meso Maya’s Tanglewood location, which opened earlier this year on Hulen Street.
At close to 10,000 square feet, the downtown location will be twice as big as the Tanglewood eatery and will seat up to 400 people on two floors. The ground floor will hold the main dining room, while the second floor will be used primarily for private parties and special events.
Most of the design elements left behind by Fox & Hound have been replaced, says general manager Jimmy Brooks. “We basically started from scratch,” he says. The handsome interior is now dressed head to toe in dark-stained oak and is accented with massive copper drum barrel chandeliers and a cozy horseshoe bar.
Some of the building’s original elements have been saved or painstakingly restored, Brooks says. Mirrors near the front entrance, portions of the floor and original “Kress” signage hark back to the building’s original occupant, department store S.H. Kress Co., which opened in 1936.
“A lot of the floor’s original 4-inch limestone tile is still intact,” he says. “And, to the left of the dining room, you can see some of the smaller-sized tile where the department store soda fountain once was.”
Meso Maya comes from the same Dallas-based restaurant group as El Fenix, but the menu — overseen by chef Nico Sanchez — is a step up from El Fenix’s old-school Tex-Mex. Instead, the restaurant serves Oaxaca- and Puebla-inspired dishes with gourmet ingredients, along with craft cocktails. Brooks says the menu will feature a handful of new dishes exclusive to the downtown location. 604 Main St., Fort Worth, 469-348-0127, www.mesomaya.com.