North Texas Daily

‘Housed’ businesses give Denton down-to-earth vibe

‘Housed’ businesses give Denton down-to-earth vibe

September 24
22:02 2009

By Graciela Razo / Senior Staff Writer –
(Video By Clinton Lynch and Cristi Angulo / Staff Photographers)

Art Six Coffee House – 424 Bryan St., Denton

Art Six Coffee House was not originally intended to be a house cafe, but co-owners Olivia Emile and Tommy Rose found the house at the corner of Scripture and Bryan streets to be the ideal location.

The six-bedroom house needed many renovations before Art Six opened its doors in October 2004.

Because it was once a residential home with not much more than any average home’s parking, customers of Art Six must park only in designated areas to avoid a parking ticket. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

Because it was once a residential home with not much more than any average home’s parking, customers of Art Six must park only in designated areas to avoid a parking ticket. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

“We thought it was a really unique space with a lot of potential, so we decided to go for it,” Emile said.

Customers place their orders at the bar, which was the formal dining room of the house.

They walk down the hallway adorned with local art, photography and locally made handicrafts for sale.

The dog-friendly backyard is open for people to smoke, listen to live music or watch films on the 12-foot projection screen.

Emile said sometimes neighbors call to complain about noise levels, but the volume is usually kept to a minimum.

The various areas of the location give the “destination spot” versatility, Emile said.

“It’s nice because you can come here for a bunch of different reasons,” she said. “It gives Art Six a homier feel.”

The comfortable atmosphere of Art Six, located at 424 Bryan welcomes customers to do homework, chat quietly or simply relax with their coffee and snacks. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

The comfortable atmosphere of Art Six, located at 424 Bryan welcomes customers to do homework, chat quietly or simply relax with their coffee and snacks. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

The coffeehouse has developed a loyal following, and its location has a lot to do with it, Emile said.

“I think people like to come here because we offer a different atmosphere, and some of the drink selections vary, as well,” Emile said.

Customer Timothy Monzingo, a journalism senior, has been going to the coffeehouse for two years.

“I thought it had a pretty unique atmosphere compared to other places I’ve been to, like Starbucks,” Monzingo said.

Monzingo usually goes to Art Six to study because it is down the street from where he lives.

He said the shop fits Denton well and helps create an overall homey feel.

“It makes it feel like there’s less chain operations here,” Monzingo said.

Cups and Crepes – 309 Fry St., Denton

A childhood fascination with living above her own business put into motion the opening of Cups and Crepes.

Co-owner Dawnree Will and her husband, Patrick Will, opened the restaurant three and a half years ago in an apartment unit they used to sublease to college students.

Customers sit outside Cups and Crepes on Thursday afternoon. Dawnree and Patrick Will opened the restaurant three and a half years ago in an apartment. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

Customers sit outside Cups and Crepes on Thursday afternoon. Dawnree and Patrick Will opened the restaurant three and a half years ago in an apartment. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

Because the building was already paid for, opening Cups and Crepes in the three-story building made sense to the couple.

The two live on the second and third floors of the restaurant while customers are welcome to the first floor, the porch and the backyard as long as patrons “appreciate” the garden, she said.

Dawnree Will wanted to create a place where college students could get a home-cooked and relatively healthy meal for less than $6.

“I hope our customers feel welcomed and cared for,” she said.

Waking up every morning at 4:30 a.m., she bakes biscuits and muffins from scratch and buys organic and locally grown produce whenever possible.

Financially, Dawnree Will said opening the restaurant was easy to do because they didn’t have to pay rent.

However, she said parking is the restaurant’s “biggest handicap.”

But with the opening of nearby apartment complexes, foot traffic always makes its way in for coffee and crepes.

Charlotte Gleason, an anthropology senior, is a part of this pedestrian clientele and was attracted to the look of the restaurant, as well as its specialty crepes.

“I think it’s just so whimsical and inviting,” Gleason said. “I am very captivated by the concept of having a business in a home.”

Dawnree Will said she and her husband wouldn’t have their restaurant in any other location.

“We would have less of an ability to know our customers, and that’s my favorite part,” she said.

Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant – 821 N. Locust St., Denton

When owner Giuseppe Brownell was looking to open Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant in 1995, he was attracted to an old Victorian house on Locust Street.

The owner said the wood floors and private rooms gave the restaurant a very “European” feel.

The building housing Guiseppe’s Italian Restaurant is a Denton historical landmark. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

The building housing Guiseppe’s Italian Restaurant is a Denton historical landmark. (Photo by Cristy Angulo / Photographer)

The house not only created a welcoming atmosphere but also spoke volumes about what kind of food and customer service customers could expect, he said.

“We have the nice and cozy feel that is comes from the home,“ Brownell said. “It carries over to the food and the service we want to provide. They all complement each other.”

Complete with intimate tables, wooden floors, and a backyard patio, Giuseppe’s also works with an upstairs bed and breakfast.

However, Brownell said, because of the location, it took a while for people to realize it was a restaurant and not a home.

“Initially, business took a lot longer to get going, but overall, it was a good decision for the location we chose,” Brownell said.

Getting necessary permits did not take long to attain, and parking has not been a problem because of accommodating neighbors, the owner said.

Analise Minjarez, a communications design sophomore, said she went to Giuseppe’s with a group of friends and was surprised at the intimate environment it offered.

“The house is beautiful inside and out, and it didn’t feel like a typical Italian restaurant,” Minjarez said. “The food was great and the environment only made it better.”

Brownell said he thinks mom-and-pop establishments such as Giuseppe’s show a lot about the kind of people in Denton and what they support.

“I think it describes the people in Denton in a sense that they are very independent,” Brownell said. “The people here support this kind of environment.”

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