The Dive hopes to revitalize concept of the local watering hole

The Dive hopes to revitalize concept of the local watering hole

The Dive hopes to revitalize concept of the local watering hole
October 26
11:00 2018

With a name like The Dive, some might be hesitant to give the new bar and restaurant a shot, but it is anything but your typical dive bar.

Located at 3350 Unicorn Lake Blvd., owner and UNT alumnus Lloyd Banks is set on making the new joint a comfortable, casual environment for everyone.

“I don’t care if you’re here for lunch or right after work and it’s a guy in a coat and tie [or] a young lady who has to wear a dress to work, or you bring your dog and hang out on the dog patio in shorts and flipflops,” Banks said. “I just wanted a place where everyone can be comfortable, enjoy really good food [and] drink, watch TV, listen to music [or] watch sports.”

Banks said the business plan for The Dive had been in the works for about three years. After growing tired of the bar and nightclub scene, Banks went looking across the Dallas-Fort Worth region for locations to set up the place. He ultimately shelved the idea after not finding the right spot and realizing he was too tired to start something new.

The two-letter R signs are from Lloyd Banks’ previous bar Rockin Rodeo. Banks plans to hang these along with other signs from previously owned bars to keep the memories alive. Isabel Anes

However, when he heard that the space Lakeside Craft Kitchen formerly occupied opened up, Banks jumped at the chance.

“I’ve just been looking at opportunities,” Banks said. “I love this building, [and] I never felt like anybody who was in this building did it right.”

Along with the building itself, the location was a factor that solidified Banks’ choice to go through with his plans.

“Anyone who’s lived back here will tell you, there’s just not much to do on the south side of Denton,” Banks said. “I’ll be honest, I’m 47 and the Square is not really my scene. I’m obviously not going to Fry Street, so where else am I going to hang out?”

While the corporate-owned restaurants such as BJ’s Brewhouse, Bone Daddy’s and Chuy’s Tex-Mex at Unicorn Lake are places Banks frequents, he believes the atmosphere to sit down and watch a game is not right and hopes that The Dive can be a place that makes up for that.

Owner of The Dive Lloyd Banks discusses how he wanted to buy the property for 8 years. “I don’t think anyone did this place justice,” Lloyd said. Isabel Anes

“I think it’s going to be something Denton as a whole but especially the south side of Denton and the Corinth area desperately needs,” Banks said.

UNT alumnus Adrian Norton agrees with Banks’ sentiments about wanting a more relaxed dining environment.

“It’s pretty rare to be in a public place or restaurant and not get this nagging feeling of needing to hurry up and leave after eating,” Norton said.

Set to have a soft opening on Nov. 9, The Dive will have multiple TVs and projectors in the bar and restaurant, with a music system that plays 30,000 music videos from different genres. Banks also plans to include a dog-friendly wrap-around patio.

“This place obviously doesn’t feel like a dive [bar],” Banks said. “You walk in and there’s this beautiful lake view. It’s nice and clean, very well put together and [there are] wood floors. It’s almost humorous to call it a dive. It’s more of a take on just a casual, friendly, comfy, family vibe where you walk in and just relax.”

The Dive’s banquet room will also to be cleared out every Friday and Saturday after dinner for a DJ and dancing. Banks thinks he will refer to it as Rockin Rodeo Saturday Nights, a tribute to his previous business, the Rockin Rodeo bar.

“When I closed Rockin Rodeo I wasn’t sure  I was ever going to set foot in a bar again,” Banks said. “I was just tired and after 21 years of doing it — I was a little worn out. I’m also one of those guys who loves to work so it didn’t take me [long] until I was getting a little crazy being at home and like ‘I got to do something.’”

After operating Rockin Rodeo for 13 years, as well as other venues for 8 years, Banks is ready for a change of pace.

“This place is going to be a world away from Rockin Rodeo,” Banks said. “That was a club, live music, dancehall type place — this is a restaurant. It’s a totally different vibe, and my biggest goal is to have this place have a lot of soul. I want it to be a place people can feel.”

Banks is also excited about the food options he and his staff have come up with for The Dive.

The Dive is a new bar and restaurant coming to Denton this November. Bar owner Lloyd banks previously owned the Denton bar and venue Rockin Rodeo. Will Baldwin

“This place is going to be so much better than bar food,” Banks said. “Yes, we’re going to have burgers, but we’re also going to have blackened salmon, salads and Beyond Burgers, which actually have no meat so it can be classified as vegetarian. We’ve got chicken-fried steak too, so I think it’s all going to be really good.”

As far as drinks go, The Dive will have 30 taps with cocktails and wine included on tap. For the most part, however, Banks wants to stick to a classic cocktail menu for his patrons.

“If you look at my history of all the bars and clubs and spaces I’ve owned, it’s all been very long-term,” Banks said. “I want this place to be cool tomorrow, and if you come back two, three, five, seven years from now I still want it to be cool.”

Applied behavior analysis junior Jessica Miller is looking forward to seeing how The Dive will turn out.

“I loved the feel and vibe of the Rockin Rodeo from past experiences, like going with friends to shows and other events there,” Miller said. “I think the owner will really understand the sort of restaurant that works well with how Denton operates as a town.”

With many renovations that still need to take place and an approaching opening day, Banks has his hands full. Despite that, he is ready to finally turn his ideas and plans of The Dive into reality.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Banks said. “I don’t think anything’s that complicated, really. Trigonometry? Yes, that’s complicated to me, but restaurants and bars I don’t think are that complicated. I’ll serve good food, have good drinks, be nice to people and entertain them — it’s not that complicated. I’m excited to do what we’re going to do here.”

Featured Image: The Dive is a new bar and restaurant coming to Denton this November. Bar owner Lloyd banks previously owned the Denton bar and venue, Rockin Rodeo. Will Baldwin

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Sam Garces

Sam Garces

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