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DECEMBER 2016

D

BC

Denton Record-Chronicle

Cover Story

Barron Ludlum/DRC file photo

Kippie Wilkinson and father Weldon Burgoon run Weldon’s Saddle Shop & Western Wear on East Hickory Street. Burgoon is retiring at the end of the year, and Weldon’s is scheduled to close Jan. 14. 2016 | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

He said local competition, as well as his bad knee, were the main reasons he decided to close the shop, originally located on Hickory Street and finally at 520 Locust St. He said one of the bakery’s biggest sellers was always doughnuts — “We used to sell 200 to 300 dozen doughnuts a day” — but now he sees doughnut shops on every corner. After hosting celebrities such as Blake Shelton and former Gov. Rick Perry, El Guapo’s Mexican restaurant unexpectedly closed in July. Owner Michael Zampino closed the store on his son’s 16th birthday to make more time with his family. He had run the business for 12 years. The entire family stayed involved with events inside and outside the restaurant, and in 2015 won the Family of the Year award from the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club. The business boomed the most in 2007 and 2008, and at that time, Zampino passed on buying the property because the deal included two small buildings on the opposite side of the parking lot. Although the business wasn’t failing financially, it also wasn’t at its peak, partially because of an influx of restaurants to the area, he said.

Town Center now open It started with Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. Police directed traffic for a week after the popular chicken spot was the first business to open at Rayzor Ranch Town Center in April. Soon after, Chili’s opened, followed by the sprawling WinCo Foods grocery store, and now the development is well on its way with several openings scheduled for 2017. The Town Center project had been planned for years as the upscale counterpart to Rayzor Ranch Marketplace across the street, and took years to get construction going. Two of the initial businesses that said they would join the development, Dillard’s and Cinemark Movie Bistro, withdrew from the project. Now, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, WinCo Foods, Chili’s, Great Clips, Sleep Number and Chipotle are all open in the space. Here’s what’s under construction at Town Center: In-N-Out Burger, Firehouse Subs, Kung Fu Tea, Denton Convention Center & Embassy Suites Hotel, and Envy Nail Spa. Additionally, Rooms to Go has put in an application to build a 40,000-square-foot

Barron Ludlum

Workers build a drive-through lane at In-N-Out Burger at Razor Ranch Town Center.

DRC file photo

Lupe Gonzalez bids clients and friends Wanda Arrington, left, and Marilyn Williams, right, farewell March 25 at Popo & Lupe Hair Styling Center. store on the property. An unnamed movie theater also has filed preliminary applications with the city.

Music venue closures While maybe not the most noteworthy closures, when the basement venue at J&J’s Pizza and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios closed within months of each other, the music community felt like it was hit hard. Both venues served as valuable playing spaces for

up-and-coming musicians and hosted national touring acts as well. Rubber Gloves closed first, after owner Josh Baish realized the cost of his divorce settlement. With the little amount of money the venue made, it wasn’t sustainable. He still owns the building, but there’s still no word for what comes next at the venue. J&J’s Old Dirty Basement closed the following month, after the building owners said

they were going to renovate the space to house a new business not associated with J&J’s Pizza. The basement, which holds 49 people, was a music space for more than 15 years. Its closure followed Rubber Gloves in June and Hailey’s Club last year. JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

Jeff Woo/DRC file photo

Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios closed in June.

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December Denton Business Chronicle 2016  
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