The heat is on and the pops are ice cold.
It’s a balmy Tuesday afternoon and Steel City Pops is just as full of families with children clambering for sweet treats as they are with professionals picking up 4 pop bags for eager co-workers. The evening prior, I scurried over with a group of West 7th movie-goers to snag a pop before the shop’s 10pm closing. We happily stood in a circle doing the “popsicle lean” to avoid the inevitable drippings of Sweet Tea, Avocado and Hibiscus on our exposed sandaled toes.
Steel City Pops out of Birmingham, Alabama seems to have found their home away from home in Fort Worth, Texas. Inspired by Mexican paletas and fueled by a desire to change careers, owner Jim Watkins landed on Fort Worth as much for the down-home nature of its people as for its proximity to his and his wife’s Texas roots. Watkins is a Baylor graduate and his wife’s family resides in Euless. “I like the feel of Fort Worth. It’s so unique and just has a great vibe,” says Watkins of his latest location.
All of the stores have an industrial feel with metal and reclaimed wood finishes, but each flourishes with its own personality. A mural that combines the Fort Worth and Birmingham skylines overlooks the long ordering counter full of frozen treats. A glass wall on the right side allows a glimpse into the popsicle making process.
On my inaugural visit Watkins offered a recommendation of his two favorite flavors - Buttermilk from the creamy menu and Blood Orange on the fruity side. While excellent on their own, I found the best of both worlds in alternating bites of each to create the sensation of creamy cheesecake with a tart fruit topping.
The Chocolate Chili pop packed more heat than expected with a combination of Serrano peppers and chili powder while fruity flavors like Cucumber Lime offer a more refreshing option. An emerging customer favorite is the Coconut pop that is both subtle and sweet, but the grand finale resides at the base where all of the toasty flakes congregate in a chewy finish to the perfect pop. Look for a Hatch chile and lemonade combination coming soon.
Parking can be a challenge as Steel City Pops is not a West 7th tenant with access to the garages, but improvements are in the works. If you are planning a lone popsicle run, find street parking along side streets like Morton and Currie.
Pops can be purchased as a single for $3 including tax, $10 for a 4 pop bag and $30 for a 12 pop box.
908 Currie Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Open Noon to 10pm Sunday through Thursday, Noon to 11pm Friday and Saturday.