Franchises including a dance studio, soufflé eatery and clothing stores opened Fort Worth locations in The Shops at Clearfork on Thursday.
Former “Dancing with the Stars” competitor Tony Dovolani heralded the opening of Fort Worth’s first Dance With Me studio. Dovolani is a co-founder and trainer for the national franchise.
He said the studio has already received feedback from Fort Worth residents.
“We are just now opening [in] Fort Worth,” Dovolani said, “and as I’m walking around the shopping center, people are constantly stopping me, thanking me for opening up the studio here.”
What makes the studio unique is that nationally-recognized dancers teach the classes, he added. They don’t just have their names attached to the franchise.
Dovolani was born in Kosovo and has danced since the age of three, according to his biography on Dance With Me Studio’s page. He won the 15th season of Dancing with the Stars with his partner and coached Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere for the 2004 film Shall We Dance.
“We truly believe that without dancing life is pretty boring,” he said.
Like the dance studio, Rise n°3 of Rise Soufflé had a high demand from Fort Worth residents.
Executive chef and co-owner Cherif Brahmi said Fort Worth customers had been driving out to the Dallas location for his soufflés. Now, they don’t have to.
Brahmi grew up in France, went to culinary school and has been a chef for more than 40 years, he said.
Brahmi’s French background inspires the cuisine and environment of Rise n°3, said Brian Boulanger, general manager of Rise n°3.
Boulanger said that Brahmi created each of the soufflés that Rise n°3 sells – from savory flavors such as “southwest chicken” to sweet flavors such as “apricot.”
“A soufflé is a light, fluffy baked dish whipped with egg whites and infused with one of our artisan flavors,” Boulanger said. “It’s really delicious.”
When asked what his favorite flavor was, Brahmi said he couldn’t choose just one.
“Every one of them is my favorite,” he said, smiling. “If I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t put them on the menu.”
Rise n°3 also sells entrées, desserts and wines.
Two clothing stores also opened last week, a locally-owned Apricot Lane Boutique and Houston-based Elaine Turner.
Jan Morris and her family run Apricot Lane Boutique, a clothing store that emphasizes local ownership and specializes in selling handmade goods.
Morris said she and her family moved to Fort Worth seven years ago. “We loved Fort Worth, and it was our dream to have a boutique here.”
Morris added that fashion has been an important part of her life.
“I have always loved fashion,” she said. “Ever since I was a little girl, my mother used to sew and I used to model at a department store … and [I] just always had a heart for fashion.”
Houston-based Elaine Turner opened its Fort Worth location to expand its market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, marketing manager Meredith Wierick said. The store is also in Plano and Southlake.
Pink couches and refreshments welcome customers into a social environment, making Elaine Turner stand out from other department stores, Wierick said.
“We don’t look at it as a transactional place but somewhere you can come with your girlfriends,” she said. “You can sit on our hot pink couches, have a glass of wine, champagne, stay as long as you want. We really want it to be a fun environment.”
Wierick added that Elaine Turner’s Houston location was not damaged after Hurricane Harvey hit. However, the store is selling “Texas Strong” shirts and giving 100 percent of profits to the Hurricane Harvey Relief fund, she said.
The Shops at Clearfork include two mixed-use office buildings and various entertainment, including an eight-screen AMC theater and Pinstripes Bistro, Bowling & Bocce.
The following restaurants are also opening: B&B Butchers, Fixe, Luna Grill, Malai Kitchen, Mesero, Doc B’s, CityWorks, Cru Food & Wine Bar and Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar.
A public art program featuring more than six curated pieces will be installed throughout the shops.
The Shops at Clearfork is at the northern end of the multi-use Clearfork development, according to Monica Esparza, director of marketing. An outdoor setting with 40 miles of hike-and-bike trails rests on the southern end of the development by the Trinity River.