Tag Archives: Barney’s


Business is good in Denton, yet the loud sucking sound of a depleted, yet reviving economy, has pulled several local businesses under in recent months. Tim Love’s “Love Shack” is probably the most notorious. The breath-takingly fast demise of Love Shack left Denton residents in shock and it’s employees high and dry. Months later the high-end steakhouse, Queenie’s was birthed by Mr. Love. Let’s hope that Denton is ready for Queenie’s!

Cellar 22, formerly Wine Safari and Bushwacker’s, fell prey to the sluggish economy after it’s move from East Oak St. to the Entertainment District on East Hickory. The petite, cozy refuge and one of my satellite offices, with be missed by many.

Just across Hickory St., Ramen Republic closed a while back replaced with the just-opened Rusty Taco. A friend recently asked the question “why open a ramen noodle restaurant in a town of students who eat 15¢ squares of ramen several times a week.?” I had no answer. The opening of Rusty Taco, in place of Ramen Republic, may be the start of Taco Wars with its down the street neighbor, Fuzzy Taco. We used to have gas wars, why not tex-mex wars.?…….same thing, I guess.

Another quick turn-around in the same space was the Cafe Europa to Royal’s Bagel transformation. Cafe Europa had admittedly strong completion from nearby Starbucks, yet owner Joey Hawkins didn’t let that discourage him and immediately began work on Royal’s after the closing of Cafe Europa.

The long-time Denton flower legend, Linwood-Alford florist closed shop recently and the building at the corner of Carroll and Hickory Sts transformed into the office for Verus real estate and for the new Smiling Moose Deli.

Though the tone of this particular blog may be somewhat morose, it is actually the reality of an economic downturn………which seems to be making a slow, but steady come back. We can hope for recovery and as my grandfather used to say “trade with” these new ventures.

Denton has always been in a state of change. This can be good, if we keep an eye on it. Denton’s charm comes from it’s small town feel, it’s diversified/vibrant neighborhoods, its amazing people and it’s historic buildings.

Travelsteads and Barneys Auto

Jimmy Normile

Jimmy Normile of Barney’s Auto Supply

The businesses of Travelstead and Barney’s Auto, both on East Hickory, went south years ago not due to the economy, but to being bypassed by technology. Travelstead was originally a Model T dealership, followed by a Batam dealership. The big boys on the highway helped turn Travelstead into a lawn mover repair shop. NINETY YEAR OLD Jimmie Normile, of Barney’s tells me that business was really good until 1985 when cars became so sophisticated that few people continued to work on their own cars. Both of these historic businesses and the buildings they occupy are in imminent danger of being torn down.

Change is good……..it is, but not at the expense of the past. Surrounding cities have actually copied some of Denton’s historic buildings because they have none. Look at South Lake, Frisco, and Plano for examples…….do we want replicas of historic buildings, or the real thing? I hope and pray East Hickory doesn’t go the way of our once beloved Fry St. Change is good……but let’s hold on to the treasures we have. Once gone, they can’t be replaced……

Enjoy Denton! Save East Hickory Street!