Somewhere in a not-so-distant former resort community nestled just west of Arlington Heights is the neighborhood of Como named for the idyllic seaside escape in Italy frequented by uber rich celebrities.
Though far from the European enclaves, still some similarities exist. A nice lake, succulent foods and a tight knit community atmosphere are three things that make residents call Como home. Founded in 1889, the man-made dam was built intentionally to appeal to locals and out-of-towners alike. Then a few short years later, something quite unsettling happened – The Panic of 1893. An economic depression that lasted four years and subsequently caused properties in Como to drastically reduce allowing domestic service workers to buy land and homes for pennies on the dollar.
The Como area proved convenient for most of the new homeowners who worked in either neighboring Arlington Heights or the affluent River Crest areas of Fort Worth. After the population started to increase with determined African Americans, funding began to decrease for schools and community developments. One Como resident fought to bring aid to the neighborhood she loved so much. Ms. Viola Pitts was playfully nicknamed “The Mayor of Como" by being diligent enough to advocate for positive changes like street improvements and much needed school funding for the children. Her activism and presence can still be seen even five years after her passing in places like the Viola Pitts-Como Community Health Clinic and felt in the hearts of everyone who knew this dynamic woman.
Another notable person was legendary blues artist Robert Ealey, a native North Texan who played at the now closed popular nightspot, The Bluebird Club. Ealey also co-owned the blues bar for a few years as well and was known for his talent throughout the United States! Ealey made Fort Worth his home and showcased his amazing acoustic skills for locals more than 30 years.
Today, local food establishments like Drew’s Place, originally opened in 1987, serves soul food classics and award-winning fried chicken. They recently added an app to their list of accomplishments so now ordering food and navigating to their Curzon Avenue location is a snap. One thing is certain. The Como community has had some challenging times, but positive growth can be attributed to the undying support of locals who have been adding to business development and steady growth in the area for many decades and continuing on beloved traditions like the epic Fourth of July Parade that welcomes Como’s diverse population of today.