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Cross Keys, etc.


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#1 austlar

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 02:42 AM

Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.

I'd be interested in a refresher course on this topic, so if anybody can recollect the era, I'd love to revisit it.

#2 bailey

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 21 2008, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.

I'd be interested in a refresher course on this topic, so if anybody can recollect the era, I'd love to revisit it.


The Cross Keys was located on the west side of Summit, actually right adjacent to the side of the Westchester House. My sister had the rehearsal dinner for her wedding there in January of 1970.

#3 801hme

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 21 2008, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.

I'd be interested in a refresher course on this topic, so if anybody can recollect the era, I'd love to revisit it.



I remember Cross Keys, but I never ate there. In the 70's we use to go to "Casa Del Sol" during the summers, which was a swimming pool behind Cross Keys. I guess you bought a membership to go there or something: I never really understood the connection between Cross Keys and Casa Del Sol. The pool is still there and I think now serves the old Westchester House Apartments, or whatever they're called now. I think it was Westchester's pool then too, but I know it had some sort of tie to Cross Keys. I do remember Cross Keys almost getting shut down for health code violations at about that same time. The building was on Summit north of Pennsylvania and backed up to the pool, with the front of the building facing north.

#4 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:42 PM

I don't remember what, but something newsworthy enough to be on Channel 8 news once happened there. Iola Johnson called it the "Cross Eyes" restaurant. blink.gif

#5 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:02 AM

There was one other really posh reataurant in the 60's and 70's --was it calles the Swiss House?

#6 austlar

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:22 AM

What was the place called that was down in Trinity Park in the ground floor of one of those office buildings off University. I think it eventually moved out to Camp Bowie. Was it the Carriage House or something like that?

#7 801hme

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 05:20 AM

QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 22 2008, 02:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What was the place called that was down in Trinity Park in the ground floor of one of those office buildings off University. I think it eventually moved out to Camp Bowie. Was it the Carriage House or something like that?


I remember the Carriage House when it was on Camp Bowie. I think it was owned by Mac Macintosh who also had Mac's House. I want to think he also had a disco/club like place off University over looking the Trinity...The Merrimac?...Never went there (too young) but my orthodontist's office was next door...


#8 austlar

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:07 AM

Yes, Merrimac sounds right. I don't think it was a disco originally becasue I remember going there with my aged mother for dinner once when I was visiting FW. She was not a disco kind of lady, not by a long shot.

I think the Mac Macintosh lineage started with the House of Mole on Park Place. It became Mac's Place later on. Then there was this Merrimac place and the Carriage House. I understand that there is still a place in FW that serves a version of the salad that was so popular at Mac's Place. My sister still tries to duplicate the dressing with little success.

#9 Owen

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE (801hme @ Sep 22 2008, 04:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 22 2008, 02:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What was the place called that was down in Trinity Park in the ground floor of one of those office buildings off University. I think it eventually moved out to Camp Bowie. Was it the Carriage House or something like that?


I remember the Carriage House when it was on Camp Bowie. I think it was owned by Mac Macintosh who also had Mac's House. I want to think he also had a disco/club like place off University over looking the Trinity...The Merrimac?...Never went there (too young) but my orthodontist's office was next door...


I, too, remember the Carriage House on Camp Bowie. The family used to go there for dinner before a movie downtown or a concert at Will Rogers Auditorium. We did also eat once at Cross Keys.

#10 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 11:45 PM

My Dad worked for Willis "Mac" McIntosh as a sackboy back when Mac was the manager/butcher at Safeways at Park Hill and University circa 1945. My grandmother shopped there during the wartime rationing era and assured me that Mac "took care of his regular customers," a policy that helped him build a successful high quality restaurant chain. His first partner was Roy Pope, they had a grocery store on the westside, still bears Pope's Name. When they split the business up, Pope took the grocery and Mac took the Carriage House restaurant they had established at Camp Bowie and Merrick. Somewhere along the way the old House of Mole at Park Row and Forest park was bought by Mac, and became first Mac's House of Mole, then just Mac's House. Mac and several partners decided to cash in on the NY disco/restuarant thing in the late 70's and opened the Merrimac down on the Trinity River. It was not as successful as the other reataurants and was eventually sold and became the new home to westside dining institution The Swiss House for a few years before burning down. Mac's daughter or granddaughter opened a new Mac's House on Camp Bowie in the former Petta's Itailan after the Carriage and Mac's Houses had closed, and Mac made guest appearances as wine steward, but the venture was unsuccessful. Mac was a successfu, hard working, and colorful entrepreneur who knew how to take care of his customers. He was a testimony to the power of remembering people's names.

#11 austlar

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:12 AM


Very informative post! I did not think I ate dinner with my mother at a disco. It must have been during the Swiss House period that we broke bread at the place in the park.

#12 cajunmike

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:06 PM

The Merrimac was a restaurant on Merrimac Circle overlooking the Trinity River. I used to office two buildings down from 1980-85. It seems later on it became a mexican restaurant named Armendos of something like that.
Mike

#13 friscodana

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:32 PM

I know that the Merrimac was a nice dinner place downstairs and a club/disco upstairs. Used to go there when the Fort Worth Texans hockey club roamed there in the late 70's and early 80's. It was a fun /classy place. Seemed like they also had a backgammon area also. Had fabulous strawberry daiquiris.

#14 Sailor

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (801hme @ Sep 21 2008, 08:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 21 2008, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.

I'd be interested in a refresher course on this topic, so if anybody can recollect the era, I'd love to revisit it.



I remember Cross Keys, but I never ate there. In the 70's we use to go to "Casa Del Sol" during the summers, which was a swimming pool behind Cross Keys. I guess you bought a membership to go there or something: I never really understood the connection between Cross Keys and Casa Del Sol. The pool is still there and I think now serves the old Westchester House Apartments, or whatever they're called now. I think it was Westchester's pool then too, but I know it had some sort of tie to Cross Keys. I do remember Cross Keys almost getting shut down for health code violations at about that same time. The building was on Summit north of Pennsylvania and backed up to the pool, with the front of the building facing north.


The people that ran "Cross Keys" also ran the "Fairway Steak House" and owned a Holiday Inn in south Ft Worth.....

#15 Molly

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (Sailor @ Oct 17 2008, 12:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (801hme @ Sep 21 2008, 08:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (austlar @ Sep 21 2008, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.

I'd be interested in a refresher course on this topic, so if anybody can recollect the era, I'd love to revisit it.



I remember Cross Keys, but I never ate there. In the 70's we use to go to "Casa Del Sol" during the summers, which was a swimming pool behind Cross Keys. I guess you bought a membership to go there or something: I never really understood the connection between Cross Keys and Casa Del Sol. The pool is still there and I think now serves the old Westchester House Apartments, or whatever they're called now. I think it was Westchester's pool then too, but I know it had some sort of tie to Cross Keys. I do remember Cross Keys almost getting shut down for health code violations at about that same time. The building was on Summit north of Pennsylvania and backed up to the pool, with the front of the building facing north.


The people that ran "Cross Keys" also ran the "Fairway Steak House" and owned a Holiday Inn in south Ft Worth.....



The late Neal Hospers, also of the Hotel Assoc of Fort Worth, ran the Cross Keys.




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