The guy behind the new Cowtown Diner coming to Sundance Square in Fort Worth showed off his big plans Tuesday night.
"It's a Texas lodge meets modern diner feel, a unique modern atmosphere that's homey and comfortable," said Scott Jones. "I took the whole project on this time and also created 90 percent of the menu."
The 48-year-old Jones is the man behind Cafe Italia and Screen Door in Dallas. Now he's taking his talents home to Fort Worth to open his new concept restaurant.
"It's a premium diner. I don't want to use the word 'upscale,'" he said. "It's comfortable, recognizable food that's uplifting."
Favorites like beef short rib pot roast and King Ranch chicken will be on the menu, but Jones said his versions of traditional Texas comfort food will be different than what people are used to tasting.
"We've done tastings for the last year, and people always say, 'I've had this,but I've never had it like that,'" said Jones.
Jones and business partner Carter Wilson teamed with Glenn Comtois of Ach 2 Graphics to redo the space vacated by La Madeleine in Sundance Square. Jones put a million-dollar price tag on the transformation that includes booths, tables and a bar which mimic the open, friendly feel that comes with Cowtown.
"It's not just looking at who you're with but seeing what's around you. That's the energy, too," he said.
Bringing Cowtown Diner to Fort Worth is like a long-awaited reunion for Jones. He went to grade school and middle school in Fort Worth and his first job out of high school was as a singing waiter at Italian Inn on Camp Bowie Boulevard.
"I've wanted to be in Fort Worth for a long time," he said.
Cowtown Diner, 305 Main Street, opens January 11, 2010, for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as take-out, delivery and off-site catering.