North Texas Daily

For whom the dinner bell tolls: Your restaurant casualty report

For whom the dinner bell tolls: Your restaurant casualty report

For whom the dinner bell tolls: Your restaurant casualty report
March 20
02:14 2014

James Rambin // Contributing Writer

Opening a restaurant is bad business for thin skin. Only about 50 percent stay open for more than 18 months, which is easy to forget in Denton where new spots seem to spring forth every time you blink. Sadly, we don’t have the room to eulogize all of Denton’s deceased diners, but here are a few of the recent highlights.

Deceased: Gerhard’s German Restaurant & Bar

Autopsy: Despite some issues with service and the occasional botched dish, Gerhard’s was truly the best place in town to try authentic German food and massive quantities of Deutschland beer you’ve never heard of. Unfortunately, it seems that the family running the business was forced to close up shop and return to Germany after Gerhard’s father fell ill. To add injury to injury, once he got back to Germany, Gerhard took a spill off a ladder and fractured his skull. Thankfully, he seems to be getting better now, but we should probably still consider the restaurant closed for good.

Alternative Spot: Metzler’s Food and Beverage whips up a pretty mean German plate, complete with sausage, sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Plus, you can probably find most of the German beer you’ve been craving in their vast refrigerators. Prosit!

Deceased: The Irish Boozer

Autopsy: We’re going to bet you’ve never heard of this place, which is a shame. How many pubs do we have in town that serve traditional Irish food and a huge spread of Sunday brunch options? Well, none, now. And it’s your fault for never trying the place, even though it was practically hidden in a strip mall on South Elm Street and only made it for about six months.

Alternative Spot: The Last Drop Tavern next door is still open, somehow, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. Go give them a shot sometime — they’ve gotten better at making pizza since they opened and their drinks are still some of the cheapest in town. They don’t do brunch, though.

Deceased: SukhoThai II

Autopsy: If you could look past the collapsing building, stray cats in the parking lot and the open-air bathroom in the center of the dining room, SukhoThai II was secretly the best place in town to get decent Thai food for the price of however much change you found on the floor of your car. If you ever had the nerve to take a date there, we hope y’all are married by now.

Alternative Spot: Thai Ocha is the best in town, but you probably won’t be able to pay with quarters. Maybe take out a second job?

Deceased: Treehouse Bar & Grill

Autopsy: With a bafflingly huge interior space that somehow smelled like wet paint for the entire year it was open, decor straight out of your aunt’s condo and service that regularly took double-digit minutes to fill a drink order, Treehouse was never quite bar nor grill. Still, the burgers were surprisingly good and there was clearly a lot of effort put into renovating the place before it opened, which is why it’s kind of a bummer that the building is apparently headed for the wrecking ball to make room for a CVS. Such is life.

Alternative Spot: Sneak a case of beer into your local McDonald’s.

James Rambin is an English junior. He can be reached at

Feature photo: SukhoThai II on Hickory Street sits behind a chain-link fence. The restaurant has sat empty for two months. Photo by Edward Balusek // Staff Photographer 

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