Riverwalk chapel opens, restaurants closer to completion
May 12, 2021
Editor’s note: this story includes interviews by The Marquee from spring 2020, unpublished due to the pandemic.
This story received honorable mention for print news stories in the 2022 ILPC contest.
The Flower Mound Riverwalk’s chapel and the adjoining reception hall recently opened up to the public, while two restaurants also appear close to completion. Numerous apartment complexes have also been built and opened in the past few years, but the chapel and reception hall are the first amenities to host public events.
The Riverwalk, which was approved in 2008 and is located near the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital between Morriss and 2499, has a history of missed opening dates.
Currently, amenities such as the splash pad and farmers’ market have not been started. There is also no construction on the amphitheatre that was included in the original plan, but on March 9, the Community Impact Newspaper reported that it may be replaced with a commercial event space. There are no specific dates for when the next amenities will open.
A grand opening for Phase One of the Riverwalk was held on April 25, 2017 to show off the new water feature, large art pieces and walkways.
At this event, former Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos told The Marquee that he believed seven new restaurants, an amphitheatre, a waterpark, retail stores and a wedding chapel would be fully completed within 12-18 months, or by the summer of 2018.
CEO and President of Centurion American, the development company for the Riverwalk, Merhdad Moayedi was also at the event.
“Now it’s time to go vertical with all the restaurants and the amphitheatre,” Moayedi said.
Since then the shells for future restaurants have lined the flowing waterfalls for several years with slow progress being made toward opening. In February 2018, Centurion American spokesperson Sarah Dodd told Community Impact Newspaper that the chapel would be available for wedding services in early 2019, while the restaurants would open by the summer of 2019.
When Community Impact Newspaper interviewed Dodd again in January 2019, she said the plans were on track. But by the end of the year, nothing opened.
Over the years, citizens have expressed frustration about the lack of promised amenities. This includes local real estate agent Robert Day, who was interviewed by The Marquee in 2019.
“It was supposed to be a vibrant community around the Riverwalk and it hasn’t materialized,” Day stated in a text. “It’s smoke and mirrors, they tell people restaurants are coming and then we forget… then we remember later and they say it again.”
Graduate Devansh Dalal was interviewed by The Marquee in 2019. He said that he was also frustrated with the lack of developments on the Riverwalk, although he enjoyed looking at the scenery with his friends.
“But then you want to eat,” Dalal said. “What do you expect me to eat? Water and grass?”
Chapel, reception hall
The Riverwalk’s Chapel opened last August. The chapel and the adjoining Water Works Reception Hall began hosting private events in early October.
On Jan. 17, both locations officially opened to the public, where Centurian American hosted an open house for citizens to meet vendors. Citizens had to reserve a spot on a guest list because of COVID-19.
In an email, Centurion American Marketing and Brand Development Manager Miles Danielson stated that while the pandemic has limited large gatherings, the event was a big success.
“Inviting the residents into Water Works Hall was a glorious time,” Danielson stated. “It was very exciting to experience the first event with our fellow neighbors.”
The vision for these two amenities was a beautiful location for citizens to have their weddings and other events, according to Danielson.
“We are a unique build featuring classic chapel design elements combined with our modern and state of the art hall finish outs,” Danielson stated.
The chapel and reception hall hosted their first wedding on April 3. Five events were held between the grand opening and March, with an additional 20 scheduled upcoming events. Prices are not posted for renting, so anyone interested must fill out an online form.
Students have already found the scenic location, as dozens lined the sidewalks at the Riverwalk on the night of prom, taking photos by the waterfalls.
“No other venues in the DFW Metroplex offer the unique waterway backdrop that the Riverwalk development has,” Danielson stated. “We look forward to making memories with our friends and neighbors.”
The management company responsible for the restaurants has changed to Refined Hospitality Concepts, causing the selected restaurants to change over the last two to three years. In a press release, CEO Robert Hall said he looks forward to opening several restaurants ranging from upscale to casual dining.
“We are excited to bring a wide variety of dining options to our neighbors in Flower Mound,” Hall stated. “The upscale neighborhood and friendly community are perfect for the food and fun we hope to share.”
According to a press release from Centurion American, Primo’s and Sfereco will be the first restaurants to open. At press time, the restaurants were furnished, with lighting and seating set up, and appeared near completion.
Centurion American also said that Scout, an adult gaming, dining and drinking destination, will open after the two restaurants. The Scout location in Dallas has activities such as pool and bowling, but it is unclear what amenities the Flower Mound location will offer.
Centurion American also said that two additional restaurants, Boi Na Braza and Parliament, are set to open this summer. However, the buildings for those restaurants don’t have signage yet and have unfinished interiors that look significantly further behind in construction than the other restaurants.
Parliament is currently a cocktail bar in Uptown Dallas.
“We’ve listened to our neighbors in Flower Mound,” Hall said. “We know they want a sophisticated date night destination full of fun, food and fine wine and spirits.”
Julio Matheus created Boi Na Braza, which is a Brazilian steakhouse. In a press release, Matheus said he is excited to relocate the restaurant to Flower Mound after more than two decades in Grapevine.
“We’re thrilled to continue building community connections in our new Flower Mound flagship,” Matheus stated.