Common Ground will serve Modern Americana cuisine, and is set to open at the end of the month next to University Housing apartment complex.
“We chose this area because there’s a lot that’s geared toward students,” said developer Chris Hutchinson. “We want to bring the food and atmosphere quality up to appeal to students, the neighborhood crowd and young professionals.”
Chef David Hollister said the menu will cater to a broad demographic that includes college students, young professionals and the elderly.
The menu will feature classic dishes with a twist Hollister said, such as a meatloaf dish.
“Instead of your traditional, pan-dripping gravy, we’ll use Rahr Ugly Pug and turn that into a balsamic mustard sauce with fresh vegetables,” Hollister said. “We will have lighter options on the menu, like our spring salad mix with blue cheese, chili toasted pistachios, red bell pepper and a maple balsamic dressing.”
Hollister said the menu will draw some inspiration from Fort Worth originals like Yucatan Taco Stand and Dagwoods Grinders and Growlers.
Hutchinson said lunch will range from $8 to $12 per person. Main dinner plates will fall between $14 and $18. He said Common Ground will eventually accept FrogBucks.
Developer Don Huynh said Common Ground will offer a more friendly, welcoming bar vibe to the community, which will differ from the “dark and dim” bar scene that currently surrounds campus.
“We want this place to not just be a TCU student bar,” Huynh said. “This a family friendly, pet friendly environment. After a certain time, it does become a bar, but that’s not our focus.”
Brianna Barnhart, a TCU student who lives in University House, said there is a limited variety in restaurant options for students. Barnhart said she is happy to see a new restaurant addition that will appeal to students and draw more members from the surrounding community.
Hutchinson said Common Ground will feature happy hours and specials, but he said the restaurant’s emphasis will be on the overall dining experience.
“We’re definitely not gearing the place to the $1 or $2 drink specials like other bar-affiliated places do,” Hutchinson said. “We want this place to really be driven by the food and the atmosphere.”
Hutchinson said Common Ground will host soft openings for residents of University House and surrounding neighborhoods prior to the restaurant’s opening.
“I believe creating a venue that offers both restaurant quality cuisine as well as a bar-grill atmosphere will increase the amount of clientele that will attend the new business,” Barnhart said.