Grapevine

This small town is easily accessible from Dallas and Fort Worth—and offers more than a few attractions that are worth the trip.
STREETS
Hollyhock’s, photograph by Darren Braun
Photograph by Darren Braun

1. 
Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Nestled among the shops and restaurants along Main Street are several landmarks, including an eight-by-ten-foot 1909 calaboose and the 1888 Cotton Belt Depot, which houses the Grapevine Historical Museum. From there you can board Victorian-style passenger cars pulled by a 1953 diesel named Vinny for a ride to the Fort Worth Stockyards Station. The regular weekend trips depart at one in the afternoon and allow for nearly two hours of exploring in Cowtown before returning to Grapevine in the evening. 705 S. Main, 817-410-3123,  gvrr.com

2. 
Vetro Glassblowing Studio and Gallery
 

The art of glassblowing 
predates Jesus, but the beauti
ful objects in David Gappa’s 
sleek gallery are strikingly 
modern. Colorful platelike sculptures known as rondels hang on the cream-hued walls, kaleidoscopic vases of every dimension sit on curved black pedestals, and light-catching ornaments 
fill one of the windows. The showroom leads to a state-of-the-art studio, where you can sit on bleachers and marvel as Gappa and his team shape molten glass in furnaces that reach 2,400 degrees. 701 S. Main, 817-251-1668, vetroartglass.com

3.
Tolbert’s Restaurant
 

Raise a spoon in honor of the late chili-loving historian Frank X. 
Tolbert and dig into a bowl of his Original Texas Red at this restaurant run by his daughter, Kathleen Tolbert Ryan. It’s one of five chili dishes on the menu, which also includes the regionally named Grapevine Ribeye and the Paris (Texas) Fried Catfish Platter. And don’t miss photos of the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff, which Tolbert co-founded in 1966 and the family sponsors to this day. 423 S. Main, 817-421-4888, tolbertsrestaurant.com

4.
Bella Butterflies/Hollyhock’s
 

This space is home to two complementary shops. On the left, Bella Butterflies caters to creative spirits with its “modern vintage” clothing and accessories (e.g., necklaces fashioned out of old watch faces and rosaries) and its backroom studio, where owner Ashlea Robertson teaches art classes. Hollyhock’s, to the right, is Gayle Christensen’s version of a shabby-chic flea market. Expect to stumble upon burlap tote bags and ruffly Taylor Linens bedding. 415 S. Main, 817-416-8787, bellabutter
flies.com, hollyhocksgrapevine.com

5.
Esparza’s Restaurante 
Mexicano
 

It’s bold to declare yourself the “margarita capital of Texas,” but this homey Tex-Mex spot makes its case with a “notorious” version of the famous cocktail containing fresh-squeezed juices and not a little tequila. In fact, there’s a three-drink limit if you’re not eating. That’s as good a reason as any to order a deep-fried avocado stuffed with cheese and chicken or the slow-cooked-brisket enchiladas. Though food isn’t served on the patio, it’s an ideal happy-hour hangout. 124 E. Worth, 817-481-4668, esparzastexas.com

6.
Grapevine Olive Oil 
Company 

The shelves of this small specialty shop are lined with dozens of stainless-steel fustis filled with oils and vinegars from Greece, Chile, Australia, and other olive- and grape-rich countries. Read the detailed note cards accompanying each item before dispensing samples into tiny paper cups and then sip or dip the complimentary bread pieces until you find a favorite—perhaps the lemon-and-mint-infused Milanese Gremolata olive oil or the cranberry-pear white balsamic vinegar. Other pantry staples to stock up on include scoop-your-own truffle sea salt and locally made spice blends and rubs. 326 S. Main, 682-223-1592, grapevineoliveoilcompany.com

7.
Into the Glass 
 Wine Bar and Texas Café
 

In a town likely named for its native mustang grapes, it’s de rigueur to indulge in a tipple or two. The wines at this bar and cafe are grouped by their defining adjectives. Want something “energizing”? Try the lemony Highflyer Grenache Blanc. Feeling more “cosmopolitan”? Go for the smoky Zonda Malbec. There’s also food for every mood, from savory chicken-topped rosemary waffles to sweet brownie sandwiches filled with espresso gelato. 322 S. Main, 817-442-1969, intotheglass.com

8.
Red Shed Cottage 
Chic Antiques
 

Head two blocks west of Main Street to troll for salvaged treasures at this antiques shop and its eponymous crimson shed. After snaking your way through the birdbaths and wrought-iron bed frames strewn about on the lawn, go inside to discover a tableau of twenties-era hat molds, candles wrapped with sheet music, and necklaces adorned with vintage French medallions. Two of the owners run a travel agency, so sign up for one of their shopping trips to Paris and Provence if you want to go straight to the source. 317 Church, 817-310-6006, redshedonline.com 

Tags: GRAPEVINE,

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