Wilde, a cigar bar and lounge and dream-come-true for Burleson’s Kris Noteboom
Plus, a recap of Tuesday's city council meeting and a look at what's coming up in Burleson
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Council greenlights city manager negotiations with Ludwig, development at Summercrest and Wilshire and Craftmasters plan
By Sarah Carlson
City council approved a path to a new city manager, a much-needed facelift at Summercrest and Wilshire and a unique trade school at its meeting Tuesday at City Hall.
In addition to discussing the budget and capital improvements plans and reviewing council committees and policies, council approved major projects that could shape Burleson for decades.
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Council directed city secretary Amanda Campos to begin negotiations with interim city manager Tommy Ludwig to become city manager.
“We decided against going out for a search and going with someone we had experience with because we felt Tommy would provide stability and will work together with council to implement our goals for the city,” Adam Russell, City Council, Place 6, said.
The vote to begin negotiations with Ludwig was unanimous.
Council has assured Ludwig it’s confident in him, Mayor Pro Tem Dan McClendon said. He added that Ludwig having respect from the department directors is an advantage for him to be city manager.
Council has to approve Ludwig’s contract and a resolution appointing him, and swear him in before finalizing the hire. Council could begin this process at its next meeting July 10 at City Hall.
Ludwig has been interim city manager since May 1.
“Thank you for getting rid of that eyesore in Burleson,” City Council, Place 2, Phil Anderson said to Alex Philips, Burleson economic development director.
The development will also address many site improvements in the area, including drainage, shared access, traffic flow, and water infrastructure, according to a City of Burleson Facebook post.
Philips presented the development performance agreement to the council.
Council also approved a performance agreement to bring the trade school Craftmasters to Hooper Business Park in Burleson.
“Craftmasters is focused on solving the country’s desperate need for skilled talent in every area of construction by re-imagining how tomorrow’s workforce is educated,” according to the Craftmasters presentation.
Craftmasters chose to build its campus and headquarters in Burleson over Orlando, Forida, and Phoenix, Arizona.
Construction of the campus is expected to finish by September 2026. Construction of the headquarters is expected to finish by 2029.
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The Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly member-only “Business over Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Russell Farm Art Center.
Sponsor: O’Brien Party Rentals
Contact O’Brien Party Rentals to get $50 off (O’Brien Party Rentals is a business owned by Rachel and Samantha O’Brien, not by Cody O’Brien).
Wilde, a cigar bar and lounge and dream-come-true for Burleson’s Kris Noteboom
When Kris Noteboom moved back to Burleson in 2016 to help his family with their commercial-construction business, he didn’t think Burleson was the right town for a cigar lounge. He now owns Wilde Cigars, a cigar lounge and bar offering Burleson a unique craft experience.
Opening a cigar lounge is a dream-come-true for Noteboom, and it means even more to him to have it in his hometown.
“The opportunity to open this here, I thought was really great,” Noteboom said. “I get to be in my hometown. There’s still a lot of people I know around town, which is nice, and just be a part of the community.”
When Noteboom grew up in Burleson, it wasn’t the town it is today – it was a “bedroom community,” where no one spent their time and money, Noteboom said.
“If we wanted to do anything, if it wasn’t something on 174 over here, we had to go to Fort Worth,” Noteboom said.
Noteboom was originally going to open a cigar shop in Denton under a different name with a different concept. It was going to be more of a lowkey neighborhood shop, Noteboom said.
Burleson’s population-boom and economic developments made Noteboom think his dream business could not only be a reality in Burleson but that it could be even better here.
“We kind of went into this one saying ‘what if a franchise bar was also a cigar bar,’ as opposed to always keeping cigars off in kind of tiny little strip centers, things like that,” Noteboom said.
Wilde being a craft, upscale bar and lounge is what makes the business special.
“It’s not all about the ‘Hey, let’s get our buzz on or get drunk and go to the bar,’” Wilde bar manager and artist Kim Jackson said. “It’s about appreciating a handmade thing.”
The handmade thing Jackson’s referring to is the cigars, of course but also her art that hangs on Wilde’s walls, the books Wilde keeps on a shelf for customers to read at their leisure and the craft cocktails she and the staff create.
Jackson has two original art pieces, pictures made entirely of cigar bands, along with multiple prints, hanging at Wilde. She uses the business’s podcast studio to make art.
The freedom Jackson has to create, not just her cigar-band art but also craft cocktails can be “intoxicating,” Jackson said.
“We’ve all bonded,” Jackson said. “I like to cocreate with everybody. It’s not just me creating cocktails. It’s all of us adding some elements. So it’s been kind of a fun leadership role that I never thought I would enjoy, but I do.”
The art appreciation Noteboom displays at Wilde comes from his background in fine arts – he’s gone to theater school, written plays and worked as a journalist. Noteboom met Jackson at theater school. They, along with their other theater friends, smoked cigars together at a cigar lounge near campus.
That cigar lounge might be where the seed of Wilde was planted.
When Noteboom first experienced a cigar lounge, he immediately felt welcomed by the connection his fellow cigar-lovers had to each other. Bringing people of different backgrounds and classes together through a shared love of cigars is what cigar lounges are famous for, Noteboom said.
“Our elevator pitch is it’s one of the last great ‘small-d’ democratic spaces we have left,” Noteboom said. “And I say small-d democratic in that not affiliated to a political party, but so much as the ideal that everyone is welcome here.”
That social aspect of cigar-smoking is very important to Wilde, which is why Jackson chooses to engage with and get to know customers, rather than simply serve them as quickly as possible, Jackson said.
“It really encourages this like connecting with each other of people you would just never run into in any other place of all different economic levels,” Jackson said.
With it’s comfortable lounge seating and relatively-quiet music, Wilde is built for socializing, Noteboom said. The lounge also has card games, board games and dominos for people to play.
Wilde is located in The Standard at Chisenhall in Burleson near American Revelry, Doughboy Donuts and Roasted Beanery, all of which Noteboom recommends. Being in The Standard is potentially greatfor Wilde, Noteboom said, but it wasn’t his original plan.
Noteboom was originally going to build his own building for Wilde on East Renfro Street, but he seized the opportunity to open at The Standard.
“I had driven by this building and said ‘Boy, if I could build anything, I’d build that building,’ Noteboom said. “And it just so happened we got the opportunity.”
Noteboom opened Wilde in December 2021 and hasn’t looked back.