Courtesy Facebook

Beloved local Chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks is suffering from end-stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and needs help. He is in palliative care and requires a double-lung transplant — plus a lot of support from the community he loves so much.

Transplant patients need money — lots of it. The original owners and management team of his namesake Buttons Restaurant, with locations in Fort Worth, Addison, and DeSoto, along with co-workers from all the restaurants he’s made a mark on throughout his career, have united to help.

At 6pm Wed, Jan 31, Ridglea Theater (6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, 817-738-9500) will host the Button’s Family Affair Benefit Concert, and everyone is invited. This event will be staffed by Hicks’ friends and former Buttons owners, managers, chefs, bartenders, servers, and hosts.

When Hicks’ Buttons restaurant was open, it hosted many fundraisers, and now it’s time to return the favor.
Courtesy Elevated Content Co.

“I know personally what it takes to prepare for an organ transplant because of my Pops,” said Carolyn Hughes, Hicks’ sister who is spearheading the event.

When Buttons was open, it hosted many fundraisers, she said, and now it’s time to return the favor.

“Every single one was done out of pure love and compassion toward our community family,” Hughes said. “Right now, I’m coming to you and asking you to please help me raise a whole lot of money to help support Keith. This is a journey that he should not have to bear alone. It’s also a journey that he should be able to afford, and with your support, he will.”

If you’ve eaten out in the area over the years, you’ve undoubtedly sampled Hicks’ upscale Southern cuisine — he was doing chicken and waffles before anyone else — and you’ve probably seen him around: big Black guy with the white beard, big smile, and joyful spirit. And if you’ve run into him, you’ve probably heard his catchphrase: “peace, love, and gritz, katz!”

Will chicken and waffles be among the Buttons favorites served at the Ridglea Wed, Jan 31? We hope so!
Courtesy Buttons

Chef Hicks has been a longtime culinary fixture in North Texas, having worked in kitchens at Mercury Chophouse, the Worthington Hotel, and the Italian Villa, in addition to his own place. After Buttons closed, he found a new home at The Rim Restaurant Waterside (5912 Convair Dr, Fort Worth, 817-663-2950).

The artists slated to perform at the benefit regularly played Buttons, including John Adam, Paul Cannon, Bobby Counts, Velvet & Jerry Clark, Kenya Crawford, Lori Dawn, Melanie Dutton, Rob Holbert Band, Ahmad Johnson, Kurt & Ceici Jones, Sam Jones, Killa Bug, Jackie Don Loe, Monty McKlinton, Quinton Moore, Linny Nance, Fredrick Nicholson Band, Natural Change, Taylor Pace, Bergette Rideau, Stephanie Sallie, Honorary Howard Scott, Second Nature, Roxie & Ashleigh Smith, Tone Sommers, and Lewis Stephens.

Natural Changes Band will join a fabulous lineup of local talent playing the Button’s Family Affair Wed, Jan 31.
Courtesy Natural Changes Band

There will be complimentary appetizers and food for purchase featuring Hicks’ favorites made by Billy Kidd of Taco Casa and Ty Frazier of Our Doors to Yours, both former Buttons chefs. Selections from Hicks’ current home kitchen at The Rim and from Fat Face Full and Ms. Angi’s Louisiana Kitchen will also be available for sale.

Tickets start at $25 per person on In addition to the GA tickets, you can purchase a table for four for $400, VIP high-top tables for two for $200, or VIP seats for $65 each. MJ Apparel will sell T-shirts on-site, with proceeds benefiting Hicks.

You can also donate by going to

Hicks is a wonderful fella, and even if you don’t know him, just know that he loves this town and this food scene and would welcome any donation of any size you’re able to comfortably afford. We wish him all the best.

For those who cannot attend the event, donations can be made via
Courtesy Go Fund Me