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The Abbey Underground throws farewell event after 10 years in Denton

The Abbey Underground throws farewell event after 10 years in Denton

The Abbey Underground throws farewell event after 10 years in Denton
September 01
12:25 2018

After 10 years in the Denton Community, The Abbey Underground is closing.

Co-owner Tim Trawick says that the closing is unfortunate, but The Abbey Underground has been around longer than many other places.

“It’s the evolution of the business — every business has a certain life cycle,” Trawick said. “I think that’s what led us to close the Abbey Inn eventually. We owned the building and we had an opportunity to sell it [and] our sales were down significantly.”

For the closing ceremony, the party was joined by several different DJ’s, drink deals and even provided pizza. Trawick, however, is no stranger to changing restaurant scenes.

Trawick has seen the basement evolve since he became a co-owner in March 2007.

Before he owned The Abbey Underground, Trawick owned a restaurant called Texas Jive across the street from Riprocks. After coming across the property, Trawick and his co-owners turned the space into a bar called The Boiler Room. Three years later, The Abbey Underground was born.

“I’m going to miss a place I’ve been a part of for 10 years,” Trawick said. “I had a lot of fun. I’ve seen a lot of great bands play down there. I’ve met a lot of entertaining, fun people.”

Several of Trawick’s staff have been with him since the beginning. One of those staff members is Mike Stewart, who has been DJing for Tarwick since 2005.

“Denton was a lot different back then,” Stewart said. “It was more of the arts community near Fry Street and the college crowd was near the Square.”

For the first 10 years of DJing, he went by Bastard Mike, but he now goes by Champagne Shotgun. Stewart has been DJing for 15 years and said Denton changes and also stays the same. With companies moving in left and right, the city is facing its impacts.

“I think a large part about what’s hurting this area down here is the parking situation,” Stewart said.

Stewart said that the bar would experiment musically to see what would work best with the crowd. They did industrials music, electronic music and Top 40 music. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturday were “DJ Nights.”

“There was a great era for few years where I was doing ‘80s, ‘90s night and College Night here, and karaoke on Monday nights,” Stewart said.

Denton citizens gather to celebrate Abbey Underground at its final closing event. The Abbey Underground has been a part of Denton for the past 10 years. Will Baldwin

Stewart said if they kept the contract with the same location, he would want to redo the entire bar.

For the closing ceremony, The Abbey Underground invited not only Stewart but artists from all over, coming up from San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.

Like Trawick, Stewart loved The Abbey Underground. However, he said he is not going to think of the last night as an end, but just a beginning to a different chapter.

“I just want to thank everybody from Denton and Dallas,” Stewart said. “I’m not going stop doing what I do, it’s just going to keep going on a different avenue.”

Twenty-six-year-old Mauricio Guzman bartended at The Abbey Underground for two years.

“I’ve really grown to like this crowd and I’ve become friends with a good portion of them,” Guzman said. “Now I’m going to have to go somewhere else and create a new family. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Ironically, the past couple of months have been the most successful nights The Abbey Underground has seen in the past several years.

At the closing event, Guzman’s job was to make sure everybody had fun and to get rid of all the leftover liquor. Despite the festivities, it was bittersweet for him.

“We had a feeling it was going to end after the Abbey Inn closed,” Guzman said. “The main reason why we are closing now is because the landlord decided not to return our phone calls. When they wouldn’t take our calls, that’s when we said, ‘Oh I guess we are closing at the end of August.’”

For now, Trawick is recruiting employees to work at his other business, the Horny Toad Café.

Although the future of the property is uncertain, employees said it will hopefully meet The Abbey Underground’s reputation.

Featured Image: DJ Champagne Shotgun mixes at The Abbey Underground’s closing event. Many artists came from all over Texas to celebrate the final night. Will Baldwin

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Anna Orr

Anna Orr

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