In 2006, I answered an ad in the Fort Worth Star Telegram advertising a small cafe for sale. I had little experience and money, but I was determined and in no time at all the Blue Hanger Cafe was bursting at the seams. In 2009, I sold the cafe and started Christie's Extreme Burgers. Critics loved us! From 2008 to 2011, I experimented with big game burgers, specialty grinds, and fun & trending toppings. However the raving fans and reviews were not enough to stay afloat, but a conversation with Nathan Abel (founder FLYKIDSforNATE), led me on a journey to Hicks Airfield where I opened the first & original Beacon Cafe. In 2019, with the Beacon on Hicks bursting at the seams I opened a second location several miles away on 287. The journey has had its ups & downs, but I have always had the same vision - to provide Quality Food made with Quality Ingredients while rising above the many challenges on the road to success.
The Beacon Cafe
-Current & Operational-
I needed a place to quietly work through the grief of losing Christie’s, it was like losing a loved one. I buried myself into long hours and strove to learn and be better. I wanted to have the best food and best service in Fort Worth and I wanted everyone to know it. Patrons & Friends continued to follow me and we grew more & more. Until, one day, the wait for food was super long & I conceived the idea of the very first Chef's Bar. I was desperate to feed all the people & I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to dine at the Beacon. Nine Years later and the cafe is a beacon in the community.
In February of 2019, I opened a second location, located two miles north of the airstrip. In Short, the Beacon had outgrown the airfield - Parking was a struggle even with parking attendants.. But what would my brand be without the airplanes? After weighing all my options, I made the decision to try to operate two locations within two miles of each other, in order to alleviate the traffic overflow at the airfield but retain the customers. Also, the new location could attract more foot traffic because it faces a main thoroughfare, where as the hicks location is quietly tucked away in the middle of the airport.
The restaurant industry is hard and laborious. You face many challenges on the road to success. No one, however, could have been ready for 2020. The effects of Covid-19 have shaken our industry, and the tiny airport cafe sits, temporarily shuttered. We are open at the 287 location, but barely hanging on. In the midst of the worldwide pandemic, the HAPA launched a legal attack to close the main and only entrance to the airport, targeting the cafe and casting some major shade! Currently there is a campaign to keep the airfield open to the public, in hopes that after the clouds have parted, the tiny cafe can once again open its tables to the public. In the meantime, Beacon Cafe needs your support at the 287 location as we struggle to stay among the survivors in our industry. We are a local icon in Fort Worth and are working hard to adapt with the times.
- Chef Christie
Blue Hanger Cafe
-The 1st adventure-
In 2006 the Bingham's answered an ad in the Fort Worth Star Telegram advertising a small cafe for sale. They had no money and no experience. But, in no time at all the small hangar cafe was bursting at the seams! They learned to listen to their customers and their desire to give unwavering friendly service spread the word about the cafe quickly. The food was basic, from scratch, but prepared well. They were approached with an offer to partner with Sparks Bar and Grill and move to North Richland Hills in 2009, serving lunch and dinner. They sold the tiny cafe and Christie’s Extreme Burgers was born!
-The 2nd adventure-
From 2008 to 2011, They experimented with big game burgers and specialty grinds, fun and trendy toppings that could bust the gut of any eater. They had, at one time, the hottest burger in Texas, or so I was told by a customer! Food critics loved them and praised them with accolades. Patrons from the Blue Hangar Cafe made the long trek from North Texas to get the amazing food they’d come to love and support. And the local foodies naturally gravitated to their brand’s quality. But those “raving fans” were not enough to keep the restaurant going. In the meantime, They bought and sold Colleyville Farmers Market. It was working in the market that led to the love of locally sourced produce. It was at Christie’s where they discovered Broken Arrow Ranch and HeartBrand Beef. They began a culinary journey at the local level and the quality of their brand blossomed with flavor! But still, they were failing. However, on an idle afternoon some patrons from the Blue Hangar Cafe walked in and had lunch. That conversation set them on the path that would transform their lives and brand. Nathan Abel, one among the group that day, made a phone call and the following day they drove out to Hicks airfield.