We are smack dab in the middle of summer - The sweltering stretch of time when many of the college kids vanish and the toughest time of the year for many Denton businesses. Over the past few months, we've seen a few businesses close up shop and a few others open their doors. Read on to find out some of the recent/impending business openings, closings, and more in this Quick Denton Business Update.
We've seen plenty of different bar concepts in Denton in the past few years. Something we haven't seen, though, is a hybrid bar and dog park. Alison Winget, hopes to create just that. Fetch Dog Park + Bar is currently searching downtown Denton for properties that are nearby other dog-friendly areas. Our dog is so excited when going for a walk or to the dog park, that the possibility of having a drink during that period of time has us excited. Only dogs that are 21 & up can partake in the booze, though. If you're excited, too, you can donate to Fetch here.
In the wake of Flatlanders closing a few months ago, Komodo Loco will soon take their place. We've reached out to the owner to see what specific brand of "loco" they will be serving, and we will update you as soon as we find out!
Speaking of closings, both El Guapo's and New York Pizza and Pasta have ceased operations. The latter is another hash mark on the wall for people keeping track of the "curse" of that location at Hickory and Carroll St. El Guapo's, however, is a little more surprising. The DRC reported yesterday that the owner, Michael Zampino, decided to close up shop to spend more time with his family. The r/Denton subreddit didn't have particularly nice things to say about the place.
If you're looking for south of the border food and open to something a little more lively than Tex-Mex, Boca 31 is our new safe haven. The Latin restaurant is serving up empanadas, tacos, sandwiches, agua frescas and much more in the spot that once housed Hoochie's and Sub Shack/Nemo's. The spot is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. If you're headed there for lunch, we suggest getting there early (they open at 11am). In our experience, they tend to run out of a few items quickly.
Over on the square, Upper Park Cafe opened a Denton location of their well known Aubrey Cafe. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week in the old Muddy Jake's location. It's early, but this may be the best breakfast you can currently get on the square.
Over on Mulberry St, Game Changers Sports and Arcade Grill (they don't grill any actual arcades), the retro bar, arcade and sports bar, opened earlier this month. While the arcade games are few and far between, there are plenty of TVs to watch a game from any angle in the place. We hear that there will be quite a few more games (and pinball machines) in there very soon. Reportedly, work has already begun on 1933, the speakeasy concept next door, that is slated to open later this year.
One thing making us laugh all over town is Pokémon Go signage at Denton businesses. The glass paintings at Royal's Bagels and Eastside are wonderful, but the marquees declaring things such as "Catch them all!" (Mr. Frosty) or "Rare Pokémon spotted here!" (Horny Toad Cafe) are just amazing. What other ones are we missing?
The remnants of Rasoi, the Indian food restaurant inside a gas station, got remixed after they were displaced by UNT expansion. The new spot - dubbed "Hangout Bar & Dine" - will not only serve the same delicious food that Rasoi was dishing out, but also act as a nightclub of sorts staying open until 2am on the weekend. This is another in an interesting - if not strange - series of restaurants/businesses becoming mixed use venues of sorts. Last we checked, Motto on the square was still just as interested in flashing lights and loud music as they were sushi. We do really like seeing live music and comedy showcases at Midway Craft House, though. So to each their own!
Stoke is Denton's 2nd dedicated co-working space with desks, offices, and conferences rooms available. The plans to cater to "innovators, freelancers, and startups" in their location on E. Hickory near the train station that was once just a vacant industrial space. If you're interested, you can schedule a tour here.
We haven't heard much news since March on Travelstead, the upcoming brewpub/venue/marketplace from Audacity, Eric Pulido, Sparky Pearson, but that doesn't keep it from being pretty high on our list we keep in our Moleskine titled: "Upcoming things in Denton that we are excited about."
Dorothy's Kitchen Table, the cooperative-owned, pay-what-you-can restaurant featuring organic foods and all sorts of deliciousness is looking for some help with upcoming financial needs. This place is a great addition to Southeast Denton. If you can help, you can contribute here.
Denton property management company, The Martino Group, closed on the sale of the building that currently houses the Denton Record Chronicle earlier this week. The company that owns the H² apartments on Hickory St. plans to build apartments in the space across from Harvest House.
What was once Ken's Produce over on Bell will be a second food truck park adjacent to a bar in Denton soon enough. Does Denton have enough trucks and food truck customers to support a second dedicated food truck park? Only time will tell, but we do know that we're pretty happy with our two more recent options: Big Knife Tacos and The Dumpling Bros.
This is getting a little lengthy, but we've got more to say, so let's jump into the lightning round and knock out a few things quickly:
- Salata is open on Hickory St. by UNT and slinging out expensive customized salads if that's your thing.
- Fat Shack is still doling out fried stuff on Elm St. If you're looking to make a deliciously bad late night decision, this is the spot for you.
- Pizza Snob and 940's both have new brunch menus. 940's is all weekend long, but Pizza Snob's is Sunday-only.
Please click the links above to find out more information about the respective businesses including location and hours.
Oh yeah, and Winco opens this week.