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DENTON

January 2020

Business

CHRONICLE

Looking forward www.dentonbusinesschronicle.com

Here’s how Denton business landscape will change this year By Jenna Duncan | Staff Writer jduncan@dentonrc.com

Changes are coming to downtown Denton and Golden Triangle Mall this year with several new concepts and new-to-market businesses set to open in 2020. Here’s a look at the business news we’ll be watching this year.

Golden Triangle Mall

Bucking against national trends, Golden Triangle Mall is adding nontraditional concepts to the property in the face of brick-and-mortar retail closing up shop. Both Conn’s Home Plus and Fitness Connection are set to open in April this year, said Matt Ludemann, the mall’s manager. Conn’s Home Plus will take up about 45,000 square feet of the former Sears property, and will sell appliances, electronics and home furnishings. Also coming this spring is an interactive Easter pop-up for children from the owners of Santa Adventure Land, Ludemann said. “They enjoy the overall concept of bringing fun experiences to children for different holidays and they had a great time with Santa Land, which they plan

to do in 2020, and they want to try to do something for Easter,” he said. Santa Adventure Land was a seasonal pop-up in the mall, occupying 17,000 square feet with different interactive exhibits for kids, plus live reindeer. Activities included a pit full of fake snow, a post office to drop off letters to Santa and a toy workshop. The Easter concept is being developed now, as well a summer concept, Ludemann said.

Radical Hospitality Group

Two long-awaited projects are expected to open to the public this year: events venue Sunago Bell at the top of the Wells Fargo building on the Square and H2Oak, a new barbecue restaurant on East Hickory Street. Sunago Bell could open as early as this spring, but has not yet gotten its certificate of occupancy. Company representatives haven’t formally announced its opening date, but an Instagram profile for the venue slates February for the business opening. When the project was announced, it was expected to open in summer 2019. Narciso Tovar, the publicist for the company, did not respond to requests 2020 | CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Photos by Al Key/DRC

Above and left, drywall workers get a wall ready for demolition Monday at the old Sears store in Golden Triangle Mall to make room for a new Conn’s Home Plus.

Make, and keep, New Year’s resolutions for your business Y

By Jenna Duncan | Staff Writer jduncan@dentonrc.com

A slew of beloved restaurants closed with the end of 2019. Luigi’s, a longtime Italian restaurant, closed at the tail-end of December to make way for a new concept by the restaurant owners, Northstar Cafe. When it reopens this spring, it will be a breakfast and lunch cafe, according to the business’s Facebook page. Denton also said goodbye to two tenants at Denton Crossing West:

Fuddrucker’s, a long-standing burger chain, and Dressbarn, a national women’s retailer that closed all locations at the end of 2019. Down the street, Corner Bakery Cafe also closed at the end of the year, citing ongoing construction impacting sales. Neighboring Taco Cabana was shut down Monday, Jan. 13, when parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group announced millions of dollars DUNCAN | CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

ou’ve made them, right? Resolutions. Maybe you didn’t write them down but, admit it: You’ve been thinking about how to be a better version of yourself in 2020. Not only is it the start of a new year, but this is a new decade — a new era. Some of you wrote them down: ■■ Get back to the gym. ■■ Drink more water. ■■ Get up earlier. ■■ Be nicer to people. ■■ Do these at least through March. At the Denton Chamber of Commerce, we are planning for 2020 (and beyond) as well. We’re working at becoming brilliant at the basics. We want your business to thrive, and we want to be the best we can be in that effort. Whether it’s business advocacy and serving our members, recruiting new jobs and capital investment to our community, attracting the next convention or travel group, creating new community partnerships, well — we’re on it.

Erica PANGBURN | COMMENTARY

We closed out 2019 by applying for reaccreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This designation places your chamber in the top 200 best performing chambers in the nation, out of 7,000. We take this designation seriously and work daily to stay abreast of best industry practices that we can employ in serving Denton’s business community. We have great leadership in our elected board, and we have the world’s best volunteers (thank you sincerely for sharing your company’s

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talent with us). Our resolution for this year is simply this: Focus on our members, for their success, and the collective success of the Denton business community. As a reminder: the mission of your Denton Chamber of Commerce is to advocate, educate and collaborate for economic growth in Denton. Measuring everything we do by this mission is what will ensure our success. Here’s a few suggestions to position yourself and your business for success this year:

Schedule a break

Has it been a while since you’ve slowed down and taken a break from your business or career? Consider scheduling some time off in the new year. Not only can time off help to reduce stress and prevent burnout, but it can also give you a fresh perspective that you can use in your business when you return. Taking a break — even a PANGBURN | CONTINUED ON PAGE 4




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January 2020

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Enterprising Voices

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Denton Record-Chronicle

Resources for women-owned businesses A

ccording to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), there are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses, which have an economic impact of $1.7 trillion in sales and account for nearly 9 million jobs. About 5.4 million of these businesses are owned by women of color and 4.2% of all women-owned businesses have revenues of $1 million or more. Not surprisingly, Texas leads the country for women entrepreneurs because of its business-friendly climate and its overall economic health, according to a study by FitSmallBusiness.com. If you’re thinking of starting or growing your own small business right here in Denton County, there are many organizations ready to help.

Funding

While access to capital is crucial for growing a business, it can be challenging for any entrepreneur to find funding options — especially for women. According

Shannon MANTARO | COMMENTARY

to Fortune, women-owned firms received just $1.9 billion of an $85 billion total invested by venture capitalists last year, while businesses owned by men received about $66.9 billion or 79% (the remaining funds were raised by mixed and non-specific gender teams). Similarly, the rate of business loan approvals is much lower for women than men. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) gap analysis of its own business loan program found that women account for only 16% of all of its conventional small business loan portfolio. LiftFund assists women business owners with limited access to capital by provid-

ing small business loans and minority business loans. The Dallas-based organization provides small business loans up to $1 million, startup loans up to $50,000 and partners with the SBA to offer a loan program. PeopleFund provides small business loans to women and underserved small businesses and nonprofits for equipment purchases, permanent working capital term loans, revolving lines of credit and real estate. It also offers interest rates and terms of up to 60 months. PeopleFund has an office in Dallas. The SBA 504 loan program is designed to promote economic growth and job creation in small businesses and offers accessible, fixed-rate, long term financing for land, buildings and equipment. Contact your local bank or the Small Business Development Center of North Central Texas (SBDC) office for funding opportunities. Texas Woman’s University’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs offers a grant program for women-owned businesses. To support and encourage women-owned

businesses in Texas to undertake new and innovative projects, the CWE Microgrant program awards 10 women-owned businesses $5,000 each to start or expand their businesses. 2019 awardees included: ■■ Cary Broussard, Broussard Global, Dallas ■■ Amy Choi, Ready Set Grow, McKinney ■■ Courtney Gumbleton, Locavore, Fort Worth ■■ Dr. Michaela Herndon, MHerndon Enterprises LLC, Desoto ■■ Amanda Hueneke, Hello Imprint LLC, Frisco ■■ Leah Johnson, LJ Artisan Designs, Argyle ■■ Ashley Lynn Rideout, QT Activity Kits, Providence Village ■■ Jennifer Seay, Art + Artisans Consulting, Austin ■■ Lynn Taylor Green, Taylor Made Careers LLC, Round Rock ■■ Lynn Wilford, Cheeza Pleeza, Bedford

Market research

The Denton County Public

Library can provide you with access to Reference USA, which profiles 49 million businesses (public and private), 281 million consumers and their purchase patterns and buying habits. This is a great tool to help you determine whether you should start your business or not, where it should be located and where there are potential customers. The SBDC also has access to a broad range of customizable resources for market research.

Certification

The Women’s Business Council Southwest (WBCS) in Irving certifies women in North and Central Texas for Women’s Business Enterprise, Women-owned Small Business, and Small Business Enterprise certifications. Membership in the WBCS includes access to its member database, networking and procurement events, and educational seminars. The National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Minority Business Enterprise certification is available to businesses that are

at least 51% minority-owned (at least 25% Asian, black, Hispanic or Native American) operated and controlled. The owner must be a U.S. citizen whose business is for profit and in the United States. MBE certified businesses have access to top corporate purchasing agents, inclusion in and access to the NMSDC supplier database, and request for proposals, business leads, and alerts for procurement opportunities from corporate members. Other resources for women-owned businesses in Denton County include The Denton Economic Development Partnership, Denton County Economic Development and the Denton Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to take full advantage of the abundant ways Denton County can help ensure the success of its women entrepreneurs. SHANNON MANTARO is the director for Texas Woman’s University Center for Women Entrepreneurs and can be reached at smantaro@twu.edu. For more information regarding TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs, visit twu.edu/cwe.

A look at investing in 2020 What’s a trade secret, and how “The current federal deficit tops 4% of GDP – a modern, peacetime, late-cycle first.” — James Grant

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ost investors celebrated the close of 2019 with fanfare and high-fives. After falling off a cliff in December 2018, the markets roared back last year. In 2019, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained just over 22%; the S&P 500 added over 28%; and the tech-heavy NASDAQ surged some 35%. You could cite several reasons for markets hitting new highs. Many point to the detente in the dreaded global trade war supporting global growth. Others might point to the three short-term rate cuts by the Federal Reserve last year. This reversal of the 2018 rate hikes has driven a resurgence in the tech-heavy and profit-​ light market names. Still others might credit the stealth money printing scheme launched in September. Following a spike in interbank lending rates that month, the Fed stepped in to provide nearly $6 trillion of liquidity. Yes, that is a lot of liquidity. We could also turn to the quote at the top of this column, lifted from the recent Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. While the Fed has carried much of the water to support the market the last 10 years, Congress and the White House seem to be stepping up their game. The current package of federal spending this year is expected to create a budget

Jonathon FITE | COMMENTARY

deficit of more than 4% of GDP. Never before have we spent so much when not at war or climbing out of a recession. All of these factors (and others to be sure) combined to power strong market returns in 2019. So, what should we expect in 2020? Well, the first couple of weeks of January have continued the trend, with all market indices continuing to hit new highs. A report from Stansberry Research reviewed market data going back to 1963 compared S&P 500 returns 6, 12, and 14 months after it hits a new high versus other times. In every period, the market was higher. The conclusion: New market highs beget even more market highs. That’s bullish for 2020. Even so, with contra-indicators measures (like the “Buffett Index”) also hitting new highs, it makes sense to proceed with caution. The “Buffett index” was a simple measure coined by investing legend Warren Buffett during the dot-com craze when he compared the combined market capitalization of all U.S. stock to the U.S. GDP. In late 1999, it was at an all-time high. Markets col-

lapsed a few months later. The new market highs of today have also propelled the Buffett Index to new highs… but perhaps the collapse has/ will come outside the public markets. Even as public markets as measured by the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ hit new highs, private equity valuations came unglued last year. WeWork and their private market collapse may be the Pets.com of this generation. The last few months have brought report after report of massive layoffs at once highly valued, well-funded, money-losing privately held businesses. So far this has not spilled over to the markets where most of you readers invest your IRAs. But this too is a sign of caution. And of course, the Iowa caucuses are just a couple weeks away. With the official launch of the 2020 election season investors must reckon with the prospects of a less business friendly administration sitting in the Oval Office later this year. Regardless of how the elections turn, 2020 promises to be an interesting year in the markets. JONATHON FITE is a managing partner of KMF Investments, a Texas-based pure pay-for-performance hedge fund. He is also a professor with the G. Brint Ryan College of Business at the University of North Texas. This column is provided for general interest only and should not be construed as a solicitation or personal investment advice. Comments may be sent to email@KMFInvestments.

might it be misappropriated?

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ishonest and disgruntled employees are a threat to any employer’s business. One of the greatest threats posed by such employees is the misappropriation and use of an employer’s trade secrets. Although prior law governing this subject could be confusing and inconsistent, the Texas legislature took action and replaced it with statutory protection for employers by passing the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“Act” or “TUTSA”) and simplified this area of the law. Under the act, the owner of a trade secret can sue another, including an employee, if: (1) the employer owned a trade secret; (2) the employee misappropriated the trade secret; and (3) the misappropriation caused damages, if the employer seeks them. But what is a trade secret? Many believe the term involves some secret formula, like the recipe for Coca-Cola. While Coke’s secret formula is a trade secret, the term is much broader than that. A trade secret includes any business information, including methods of operation, financial data, and lists of actual or potential customers and suppliers, that is valuable, or could be because it is not generally known by other persons who can benefit from the information; and reasonable efforts are made to keep the information secret. As the definition suggests, to protect business information, the employer must show it made a reasonable effort under the circumstances to keep the information secret. The employer does not necessarily have to make extreme or expensive

Brian Cartwright | COMMENTARY

efforts to protect the information. Instead, reasonable efforts may include encrypting data files, marking files as confidential, and limiting access to confidential information to certain employees. Entering into a confidentiality agreement with the employee is also an easy way to designate and protect confidential information, which is relatively inexpensive. One caution should be made. Employers should be careful what they post on the internet and social media. For example, many employers will post a list of their best customers on their website to create credibility as to why someone should do business with them. Almost certainly, the employer has compromised its right to protection by making public the “secret” identity of their best customers. In other words, it will be difficult to contend that an employee has misappropriated a trade secret when the employer posts its secrets online. Assuming a trade secret exists, how can an employee misappropriate it? While still employed, some employees decide they want to create their own company and, without authorization, will start down-

loading customer lists, contact information, customer preferences, etc. to get a competitive head start when they open their new business. Disgruntled former employees who are fired may disclose confidential information to competitors out of spite. Importantly, not only is the former employee potentially liable for misappropriation, but the person receiving the information can also be liable. In short, misappropriation can be established when the defendant acquires the trade secret and knows or has reason to know it was acquired through improper means (e.g., theft, bribery, misrepresentation, inducing another to breach a duty of secrecy, etc.). So what remedies are available to the employer if a misappropriation occurs? The employer can recover damages caused by the misappropriation — for example, the value of the trade secret, lost profits, development costs, a reasonable royalty, and/or exemplary damages. The employer can be awarded attorney’s fees if they prevail, provided, among other things, it is shown that the defendant willfully and maliciously misappropriated the trade secret. Besides damages, the employer can also seek an injunction to prohibit actual or threatened misappropriation, provided the injunction does not prohibit the defendant from using general knowledge, skill, and experience they acquired during employment. It should also be noted that while the act preempts law that is CARTWRIGHT | CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Calendar of Events Aubrey 380 Area Chamber of Commerce hosts networking luncheons the third Wednesday of the month at Prairie House Restaurant, 10001 U.S. Highway 380 in Cross Roads. Admission is $12 and includes a meal. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 11:30 a.m.

Denton Black Chamber of Commerce meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Denton Housing Authority, 1225 Wilson St., in the first-

floor conference room. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6 p.m.

Denton Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly business networking lunches at Spring­ Hill Suites by Marriott, 1434 Centre Place Drive. The event costs $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers, including a buffet lunch. Friday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m.

Denton Chamber of Commerce will hold a membership mixer sponsored and hosted by Red Barn Events. The event will

take place at Red Barn Events, 3420 Elm Bottom Circle. Thursday, Jan 23, 5 p.m.

Denton Chamber of Commerce will host a government relations meeting at the chamber office, 414 W. Parkway St. The event is free and open to members only. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 4 p.m.

Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce holds coffee meetings at rotating businesses on Wednesdays at 8 a.m. Locations will be listed at www.lakecities-

LOW BACK PAIN? Auto & work injuries accepted. Mon. - Fri. 7-9, Sat. 7-6 I-35 at McCormick Se Habla Español.

(940) 566-3232 www.dentonchiro.com

Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce hosts Small Business Breakfast meetings the second Tuesday of the month at PointBank, 3971 FM2181 in Corinth. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 8 a.m.

Little D Open Coffee Club, hosted by TechMill, meets every Tuesday at 8 a.m. West Oak Coffee Bar, 114 W. Oak St., to discuss technology and startups. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m.

Stoke and Techmill will host a community happy hour at Harvest House for Stoke members, mentors, Denton Angels investors and anyone involved in the tech or startup communities. The meeting will take place at Harvest House, 331 E. Hickory St. Thursday, Jan. 23, 5 p.m.

Stoke will host a Lunch & Learn about small business taxes, hosted by Russell Wallace, a CPA at Wallace Accounting and Advisory. The

Abe Nayfa, AAMS®

Financial Advisor Dr. Melissa Noell

We’re Here to HELP You!

event takes place at Stoke, 608 E. Hickory St., Suite 128, and reservations are required at eventbrite.com. Wednesday, Jan. 22, noon

Stoke will host a WordPress meetup where attendees can ask for help and get answers to questions on using the WordPress platform. The event is led by WordPress consultant Kay Kinser and is free to attend. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11:30 a.m.

Call or visit your local financial advisor today.

Denton Chiropractic Center

Dr. Susan Aurich

chamber.com/events.

Kyle A. Nayfa

Financial Advisor 324 Sunset St. Suite 100 Denton, TX 76201 940-565-0100 Member SIPC

DE-23554


Denton Record-Chronicle

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January 2020

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Enterprising Voices KPMG tower sale proves there is no transparency in Texas property taxes

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orth Texas finished the year with solid growth in the real estate market and Denton County managed to trounce the Dallas-Fort Worth averages with home sales jumping 25% for the month. Pending home sales were more than 20% higher than the same time a year ago. Median home prices in Denton County rose 4.3% to $318,00 while average prices were 3.8% higher at $360,348. The city of Denton also finished the year on a strong note with home sales rising 28 percent for the month. Median home prices in Denton rose 2% to $260,000, with average prices rising 1.3% to $273,620. The supply of homes for sale in Denton dipped to only 1.9 months, compared to 2.2 months in Denton County. NTREIS data indicates home sales jumped by roughly 13% in the DFW area. Median home prices rose 5.1%, and average home prices in the DFW area rose 5.5% in December. The supply of DFW homes for sale dropped about 7% to 25, 503 in December. Please take all of those numbers with a grain of salt. CARTWRIGHT | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

inconsistent with its terms, the parties are free to contract the remedies available to them. TUTSA has gone a long way to clarify the law on the misappropriation of trade secrets and the remedies available to employers who are injured by such misappropriation, making it more cost effective for employers to protect their important information. BRIAN T. CARTWRIGHT is board-certified in commercial and residential real estate law and can be reached at bcartwright@dentonlaw.com or www.dentonlaw.com.

December provided a very easy year-over-year comparison. At the end of 2018 the North Texas real estate market was experiencing a pronounced slump amid rising interest rates. There was also a big swan dive in the stock market in December 2018 adding serious uncertainty to the real estate market. The end of 2019 was the polar opposite. The Federal Reserve cut their benchmark interest rate 3 times last year and resurrected massive liquidity injections to Wall Street banks during the last quarter of the year in the hopes of avoiding another “accident.” They succeeded in kicking the can. Speaking of kicking cans, do you remember that big Texas property tax reform package in 2019? While North Texas residents were busy enjoying the holiday season, The Dallas Morning News provided a helpful reminder that the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019 was a glorious exercise in fake narrative. According to real estate editor Steve Brown, the KPMG Plaza tower at 2323 Ross Ave. in downtown Dallas sold for a cool $240 million at

Aaron LAYMAN | COMMENTARY

the end of 2019. That wasn’t the real story of course. The real story behind the KPMG Plaza tower sale is that this trophy commercial property was apparently assessed and taxed at only 58% of its market value for 2019. Records show that the Dallas Central Appraisal District valued the KPMG Plaza tower at nearly $100 million less than the sale price reported in North Texas’ largest newspaper. The real story is that the Dallas CAD essentially left almost $100 million in taxable property off the rolls, leaving over $2.7 million in potential tax revenue uncollected on a single commercial tower in downtown Dallas. As a result of the undervaluation of the

property, Dallas area schools, homeowners and other entities were once again shortchanged by Texas’ two-tiered property tax system. I detailed how the Texas property tax scam works in practice here in North Texas. The irony runs thick with the sale of the KPMG Plaza tower. Dallas CAD records show that Ryan LLC is listed as the tax agent for the property. If the name sounds familiar, it should. G. Brint Ryan bestowed $30 million to the University of North Texas in 2019, and the UNT College of Business is now known as the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. A 2014 piece in The Dallas Morning News revealed that Ryan LLC and its employees were large supporters of the current Texas comptroller’s campaign at the time. “Nearly 1 of every 6 dollars that Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, received in campaign contributions came from employees of Ryan LLC or the company’s political committee,” the article states. “The Dallas-based tax firm works to help major corporations, such as Walmart and ExxonMobil, secure tax breaks.”

According to Steve Brown at The Dallas Morning News, the KPMG Plaza tower previously traded hands for $200 million back in 2016. That’s pretty interesting considering the Dallas CAD valued the property at only $115 million in 2018 ... two years later! This might be acceptable if urban school districts in Texas weren’t struggling to educate children across the state in outdated campuses with strained budgets. It might be acceptable if Austin itself wasn’t dealing with a growing homeless population. It might be acceptable if Texas homeowners weren’t being buried by record high property tax bills as appraisal districts generally assess them at 90%-100% of actual market value. In the real world, it stinks of crony capitalism. According to the same Dec. 26 Dallas Morning News article, the office tower at 1900 N. Pearl St. was also sold in 2019 for “about $180 million.” If you check the Dallas Central Appraisal District website, it shows a market value of only $87.4 million for 2019, indicating a misfire by the CAD even worse than the one on 2323 Ross Ave.

It would appear the owners of 1900 Pearl saved over $2.3 million in property taxes because of Texas’ two-tiered property tax system and the gross undervaluation of another downtown office tower. The sale of the KPMG Plaza tower and 1900 Pearl offer a stark reminder that Texas has a long way to go before we ever achieve property tax transparency. In 2019, Texas legislators once again pretended to reform the Texas property tax system without actually doing so. Those “equity” appeals available to giant corporations and wealthy property owners are still on the books, providing a very lucrative loophole for Texas property tax consultants like Ryan LLC. Average homeowners in North Texas will continue to pay hefty price for what is undoubtedly a two-tiered property tax system devoid of real transparency. AARON LAYMAN is the owner-broker of Aaron Layman Properties LLC. Contact him at 281-935-2889, sales@ aaronlayman.com or www. aaronlayman.com.

‘Lackluster’ holiday sales cast pall over retail sector NPD Group: Key gift category sales held steady in 2019 By Matthew Boyle Bloomberg

What a difference a year makes. U.S. retailers have gone from peak Christmas to weak Christmas, judging from “lackluster” results released Tuesday by data tracker NPD Group. Sales of key gift categories rose just 0.2% between Nov. 3 and Dec. 28 compared with the same

period last year, NPD said, hurt by sluggish demand for apparel and toys in particular. “Retailers did not have their typical robust peak season,” NPD’s chief industry adviser Marshal Cohen said. “It’s flat. You don’t want a flat peak, that’s like an oxymoron.” Combined with feeble numbers from retailers like Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Co., L Brands Inc. and Five Below Inc., it’s shaping up to be a December some retailers would rather not remember. NPD’s results stood in sharp contrast with those from Mastercard Spending-

Pulse, which earlier reported a 3.4% gain in sales over a similar time period, fueled by a 19% uptick in online revenue. While some retailers blamed a shortened holiday-selling period for their declines — there were six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019 compared with 2018 — investors won’t swallow such excuses. Shares of Five Below, for example, plunged 11% Monday after it cut its profit forecast amid a falloff in comparable holiday sales. Another contributing factor was that retailers were boosted in 2018 by the demise of

Toys R Us Inc. — even Best Buy Co. had toys in its aisles — but that benefit largely disappeared a year later. NPD’s Cohen also said consumers continue to migrate more toward experiences versus merchandise. “Romantic gifts, ties, nobody bought that stuff,” he said. The poor performance doesn’t bode well for the upcoming year. While unemployment is near record lows, U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly dropped for the fourth time in five months in December, while wage growth remains tepid. “One thing we are certain of

is that the outlook seems much more uncertain,” Scott Mushkin, an analyst at R5 Capital, said in a note last week. The end of interest-rate cuts and this year’s presidential election are weighing on consumer demand, he said. The industry’s star pupils have yet to post their holiday grades, however. Target Corp. reports sales Wednesday, while Walmart Inc. and Best Buy will update investors next month. Costco Wholesale Corp., meanwhile, remained impervious to the adverse conditions that are battering retailers, with its December sales trouncing estimates.

Vital Statistics RESTAURANT SCORES The Denton Consumer Health Division inspected 92 restaurants and food service spots in November. Nothing Bundt Cakes, 1300 S. Loop 288 #110, 100 Lori’s Gift Shop, 3535 S. Interstate 35E, 100 Howling Mutt Brewing Co., 205 N. Cedar St., 100 CVS Pharmacy #5962, 3200 Teasley Lane, 100 Roman’s Pizza, 3001 N. Elm St. #200, 100 Rick’s Beer Barn, 2535 W Prairie St., 100 Popcorn Junction, 2430 S. Interstate 35E #164, 100 Dan’s Silverleaf Bar, 103 Industrial St., 100 Walgreen’s #11515, 5000 Teasley Lane, 100 KNJ Beverage, 3211 Fort Worth Drive, 100 Kroger (Starbucks), 500 W. University Drive, 100 Midway Craft House, 1115 W. Hickory St. #101, 100 Kroger (Yummi Sushi), 500 W. University Drive, 100 Braum’s, 529 S. Interstate 35E, 100 Pizza Hut #034486, 227 W. University Drive, 97 Denton Senior Center, 501 N. Bell Ave., 97 Subway, 3535 S. Interstate 35E, 97 Torchy’s Tacos, 2224 W. University Drive, 97 Race Trac #119, 601 Fort Worth Drive, 97 Applebee’s, 707 S. Interstate 35E, 97 Panda Express #2016, 2700 W. University Drive #1040, 97 West Oak Coffee Bar, 114 W. Oak St., 97 Taco Bell #30591, 5050 Teasley Lane, 97 Bubble Well, 2215 S. Loop 288 #310, 97 Taco Bell #35447, 681 Fort Worth Drive, 97 Taco Bell #35440, 2124 Sadau Court, 97 Cain’s Meat & Produce, 2736 N. Elm St., 97 The Garage, 113 Avenue A, 97 Cracker Barrel, 4008 N. Interstate 35E, 97 La Mexicana, 619 S. Locust St., 97 McDonalds, 2750 W. University Drive, 97 Loco Cafe, 603 N. Locust St., 97 Total Wine And More, 1800 S. Loop 288 #370, 97 The Taste, 408 North Texas Blvd., 97 Eagle Stop, 412 North Texas Blvd., 97 S & B #4, 1200 N. Interstate 35E, 97 Pi Squared, 3200 S. Interstate 35E #1150, 97 Maple Bear, Mesa Drive, 3118 Los Colinas St., 97 Kroger #493, 500 W. University Drive, 97 Mi Casita Express, 905 W. University Drive, 96 Vegan Freak, 1804 Cornell Lane, 96 Chuck E Cheeses #310, 341 S. Interstate 35E, 94 Boomer Jack Wings #8, 407 W. University Drive, 94 Double Daves, 220 W. University Drive, 94 Zera Coffee Bar, 420 E. McKinney St., 94 Crossroads Cocktails & Karaoke, 1125 E. University Drive #101, 94

Heavenly Taylored Sweets, 260 S. Interstate 35E #100, 94 Sonic Drive In, 930 Fort Worth Drive, 94 The Village At Valley Creek, 2505 Brinker Road, 94 Ravelin Bakery, 416 S. Elm St., 94 Corner Bakery Cafe, 2217 S. Interstate 35E, 94 La Fondita, 3969 Teasley Lane #1300, 94 Naranja Cafe, 906 Avenue C #100, 94 Cowboy Chicken, 2520 W. University Drive #1150, 94 7 Eleven Store #34356, 4005 Teasley Lane, 94 Hooter’s, 985 S. Interstate 35E, 94 Kroger (Deli/Bakery), 500 W. University Drive, 94 New York Sub Hub, 906 Avenue C, 93 Taco Casa, 2311 W. University Drive, 93 It’s A Burger, 3220 Teasley Lane #112, 93 Golden Chick, 300 N. Bell Ave., 93 Taco Bell, 1800 W. University Drive 93 Domino’s Pizza, 3730 E. McKinney St. #107, 93 Gyro 360 Mediterranean, 311 E. Hickory St. #110, 93 Egg House Cafe, 1622 W. University Drive #100, 93 Taqueria Monterrey, 2655 W. University Drive #1049, 93 McDonald’s, 1515 S. Loop 288, 93 Arby’s, 901 W. University Drive, 92 E Z Chek #6, 2803 Fort Worth Drive, 91 Silver Cinema, 2201 S. Interstate 35E, 91 Cotton Patch Cafe, 2505 W. University Drive #1001, 90 Lone Star Attitude, 113 W. Hickory St. 90 Rock N Roll Sushi, 321 W. Hickory St. #100, 90 Wendy’s #12240, 4900 Teasley Lane, 90 Oriental Garden Restaurant, 114 N. Avenue B, 89 Sweetwater Grill And Tavern, 115 S. Elm St., 89 Seven Mile Cafe, 2123 Sadau Court, 89 Quik Trip #899, 3300 E. University Drive, 89 Horny Toad Cafe & Bar, 5812 N. Interstate 35, 89 Rising Sun Cafe, 3101 Unicorn Lake Boulevard, 89 La Sabrocita Tortilla Factory, 201 Dallas Drive, 89 Luigi’s, 2000 W. University Drive, 89 Honeybaked Ham, 1435 S. Loop 288 #113, 88 380 Chevron/Subway, 3000 University Drive, 87 Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 1123 Fort Worth Drive, 86 Pei Wei Asian Diner, 1931 S. Loop 288, 86 Subway #18658, 717 S. Interstate 35E #112, 84 Queenie’s Steakhouse, 115 E. Hickory St., 83 Haru Sushi And Grill, 2430 S. Interstate 35E #126, 82 Wise Health Surgical Hospital, 7218 Crawford Road, 82 J & J’s Pizza, 118 W. Oak St., 80 La Azteca Meat Market, 619 E. Sherman Drive, 79

ASSUMED NAMES The following names were posted in December at the Denton County Clerk’s Office. 75068 Nicole Barrett, CNB Mobile Notary, 2329 White Pine Drive Nicole Barrett, Let’s Make It Official, 2329 White Pine Drive David Boozer, Flo Pros, 900 Lake Cypress Lane Angel Burrell, TruBliss Cookies, 1613 Ada Lane Angel Burrell, TruBaby, 1613 Ada Lane Angel Burrell, Tru’anjl, 1613 Ada Lane Angel Burrell, Angel Christine, 1613 Ada Lane Candelario Octavio Ceballos, Texas Superior Painting, 1667 Wynfield Drive Willie Golatt, WBG IT Solutions, 15321 Mount Evans Drive Brandon Hernandez, Shaddai Transportation, 4415 W. Dickson Lane Krystal & John Hoover, Eyes on Little Elm, 1710 FM423 Suite 200 Nicholas Hopkins, Volunteer Couriers, 468A Castleridge Drive Donald Lem, Lem Home Inspection, 2400 Dawn Mist Drive John Lusk, Lusk Properties, 1229 Cedar Pine Lane Sara Melendez, Starbell Boutique, 1729 Silverwood Lane Blaine Myers, Beem Media, 349 Longshore Drive Randall Nugent, Elite Construction, 1026 Port Aransas Drive Charles O’Neall, DCM Contracting Services, 2109 White Rock Lane Carl Owens, H20 ratZ, 3943 Spinnaker Run Point Dominick Pham, Awal Babies, 1532 Zebra Finch Drive Shameka Shorter & Tameka Rambeau, Bold & Beautiful Entertainment, 1101 Lake Cypress Lane Julie Sandifer, LoneStar Cichlids, 816 Cypress Hill Drive Alireza Soltanipour, Home Remodel Contractor, 205 Clearwater Court Betty Stage, Texan Maid, 2728 Evening Mist Drive Cherese Walker, Hunter’s Valet Trash Services, 1012 W. Eldorado Parkway #976 Clinton Warren, Veterans Community Advocacy Group, 2332 Bradford Pear Drive Jaimi Weems, Frisco Texas Taxi, 2050 FM423 Apt. 4407 Al Wiley, Texas Auto & Freight Brokers, 2301 Twilight Star Drive 76201 Alfredo Ayala, Inkaholics Tattoo, 420 S. Carroll Blvd. #104 Alfredo Ayala & Alberto Noriega, Classic World Design, 420 S. Carroll Blvd. #104 Aaron Bowley, Earth Star Kung Fu, 611 N. Locust St.

Gregory Lange, Little D Guitars, 2108 N. Elm St. Jon & Tanya Seibert, BBHC of Texas, 1409 Panhandle St. Zachariah Simmons, Sensitive Man Productions, 2424 W. Oak St. Apt. 115 76205 Rochelle Cummings, Entrepreneur Eagles, 2101 Colorado Blvd. #51524 Austin Daniel, Dougal Keane’s Wares, 1967 Colorado Blvd. Unit C Upendra Dhakal & Supriya Karki, Bully’s Vapor, 1776 Teasley Lane Suite 112 Parker Savage, LottaRock Ranch and Home Team, 2434 Lillian Miller Parkway Karla Williams, M&K Tax Multiservices, 301 Dallas Drive Suite 114 76207 Sausha Darden, Sahs Corp., 155 Precision Drive Maegan & Carol McKey, Expressions Music And Arts Studio, 3709 Cotten Drive 76208 Omolayo Ayeni, Alpha African Market, 3804 Harbour Mist Trail Kenyatta Barber-Moore, Fleurty Flame Candle Company, 3804 Carmel Hills Drive Thomas Blucker, Cooper Creek Farm, 241 Cunningham Road David Crist, Brightway Windows, 5301 E. McKinney St. Lot 547 Chris Graham, My Design Firm, 7305 Chittamwood Court Brandi Liles, Personal Vibez, 5301 E. McKinney St. #449 Allison Luczak, Adorn your Door, 7004 Smoketree Trail David Marsh, Random Transports, 232 Oakwood Circle Rebecca Matimba, Becca Matimba Photography, 3800 Surf St. Pat Seeds, The Mustard Seed Southwest Jewelry, 3606 Black Jack Drive Monica & Brittany Terry, Seabrook’s Harvest, 3305 S. Mayhill Road Suite 119 76210 Troy & Kathryn Brannon, Brannon Drapery Installations, 2919 Custer Drive Lauren Dellis, Shop Above All, 2305 Miranda Place Jerry Flowers, Flowers Real Estate, 4116 Hialeah Drive Brent Heath, AudioLive, 1809 Manchester Way Lisa Gay Jones, Adundant Life Solutions, 1709 Copper Leaf Drive Cody Kitchens, Kodiak Property Management, 2405

Wildwood Lane Thais Arenas Richieri & Tiago Carlos Magane, Arenas Solutions, 1700 Bradford Court Andrew McDaniel, Axxis Audio and Video, 725 Commerce St. 100 Anthony Gaston Rios, Bayside Property Development, 3300 S. Garrison St. Apt. 1212 Angelica & David Rose, Worldicana, 7200 Chaucer Drive Larry Ward, Ward Educational Consulting, 2219 Yellowstone Lane Byron Williams, Byron Williams Realty, 8001 Mirror Rock Lane 76226 Janelle Alexander, Alexander Music Enterprises, 1700 Henderson Drive Elizabeth Allen, Sapphire Sky Boutique, 7105 Mitchell Court Nathan John Cannon, Fixit Handyman, 4704 Shagbark Drive Michael Ryan Elrod, Uranium Pineapple, 817 Dove Cove Rebecca Ann Koen, Eagle Painting, 1416 Country Club Road Darren Keith McDonald, Lonestar Mortgage Solutions, 206 Collins St. Corine Norton, Fresh Skin By Corine, 1805 6th St. David Sherby, SherWoodSign & Graphic Design, 701 Charyl Lynn Drive Ricky Joe Sprabary Jr., Tropical Pub and Grub, 207 Redbud St. Ricky Joe Sprabary Jr., RS Remodeling, 207 Redbud St. 76227 Tamara Nicole Drake, Sister’s Delights, 1031 FM2931 Apt. #1415 Samuel Goin, Goin Construction, 401 Hill St. Samuel Goin, Goin Granite and Tile, 401 Hill St. Maria Hamblin, Humble Honey Bee, 9847 Birch Drive Jose & Wanda Hernandez, Level UP Glass and Frame, 1045 Holly Anne Lane Kay Irlas, K & C’s Shednanigans, 109 Baseline Road Meagan Jackson, Eclectic Eye Photography, 25 Timbercrest Court Meagan Jackson, Real Estate Vantage, 25 Timbercrest Court Avion Johnson, Avion Johnson, 26850 U.S. Highway 380 Apt. 4006 Jessica Moore, Sign Gypsies Aubrey/Denton, 11417 Blaze St. Jessica Moore, Munky Business Designs, 11417 Blaze St. Harriet Mugweru, Lavington Gardens Dallas, 1820 Ranch

Trail Road Michelle Mwaniki, Golden Credit Consulting, 2008 Plymouth Drive Victor Oke, Pinpoint, 6221 Hightower St. Dustin Owen, Turbomacs, 123 Faircrest Drive Osman Pelico, BBR Appliance, 1201 Goldeneye Drive Elva Ramirez, North Texas Cleaning Services, 6574 P R 2706 Jan Romano, B3 Bee Beautiful Botanicals, 1241 Caudle Lane Lynn Schwab, HR General Contracting, 1625 Forest Hill Drive Ashley & Travis Snavely, TAG Construction Services, 1004 Caudle Lane Tammy Sweeney, Denton Texans Baseball 2028, 203 Lake Way 76249 Ramon Gutierrez, Conchita Trucking, 15278 Stice Road Kristin Caitlin Knabe, Knabe Woodwork, 5103 Mountain View Drive Kathryn McWhorter, KMS Handyman, 6055 Hawkeye Road 76258 Joseph Bartush, JB Enterprises, 315 N. Dallas St. Elias De Leon, Big Boy Texas Customs, 400 N. U.S. Highway 377 Melinda Feickert, First Class Grooming, 100 N. U.S. Highway 377 Suite 106 Eric Lester, Trees Trimmed Right, 643 Copenhavr St. Kenneth Lippard, Bruin Builds, 13584 Strittmatter Road Jade Madden, Honeycomb Beauty Co, 108 W. Grove St. 76266 Gaynel Burch, Right Move Realty Team, 8077 Jingle Bob Trail Corey Allen Claytor, Lungs & Company, 904 Church St. Upendra Dhakal & Supriya Karki, Cool Vapes, 904 S. 5th St. Suite 102 Upendra Dhakal & Supriya Karki, Smoking Wizard, 904 S. 5th St. Suite 103 George & Joshua Kress, PDK Restoration, 313 Elm St. Rafael Martinez Lopez & Yesenia Martinez, R&A Landscape, 13137 Seminole Circle Lane McWilliams, LionHeart Air, 8788 Indian Trail Ramiro Rivera, Pellegrino’s Italian Ristorante, 297 Freese Drive Robert & Blythe Walker, Sanger Storm Baseball, 115 Hillcrest St.

SALES TAX PERMITS The following sales permits were issued by the state comptroller’s office for November. The list includes the owner, name of business and address within ZIP codes 75068, 76201, 76205, 76207, 76208, 76210, 76226, 76227, 76249, 76258 and 76266. 75068 Redefinition LLC, Redefinition LLC, 2752 Starburst Drive Shannon Ray Hodges, Enso Trading, 2349 Crestridge Drive Texas Pride Home Solutions Inc., Texas Pride Home Solutions, 2524 Saddlehorn Drive Julie Sandifer, Lonestar Cichlids, 816 Cypress Hill Drive Kristy Hopkins, Just Knead To Play, 632 Martingale Drive Kara’s Kajun Cuisine LLC, Kara’s Kajun Cuisine, 3101 Manuel Creek Drive Juthamas Baggett, Jumocreation, 2428 Lakebend Drive TX Green Dry Cleaners LLC, Lapels Dry Cleaning, 2180 FM423 Suite 100 Kathleen Amaral, Altered Expressions, 1622 Myrtle Drive Victoria Kiernan, Big Easy Custom Apparel, 1704 Lake Point Court Catina’s House Of BB LLC, Catina’s House Of BB LLC, 913 Smothermon Farm Road Casa Del Mar Seafood And Grill LLC, Casa Del Mar Seafood And Grill, 102 Lobo Lane GCJohns Marketing LLC, Flavor For Real, 405 Windridge Drive

Kimberly Wilson, Kimmie D’s Kreative Krafts, 2920 Brazos Drive Charles Crouse, Charles Crouse, 118 Mundelein Drive Patrick Lawrence, Pat Lawrence’s Books, 510 Naylor Road Tommie Curtis Toups, The Armourer’s Closet, 304 Texas Red Lane 76201 Java Rocket LLC, Java Rocket LLC, 1728 Westchester St. Atha Yoga LLC, Atha Yoga LLC, 218 N. Austin St. Denton High School Baseball Booster Club, Denton High School Baseball Booster Club, 1007 Fulton St. Ashten LLC, CBD Plus USA, 2317 W. University Drive Suite 185 Colony Hardware Corporation, Denton Tool & Fastener, 700 N. Locust St. Keepin’ It Grill LLC, El Pollo Loco, 2822 W. University Drive Kristina Chanel Nelson, Cat Hairs Included, 808 Crescent St. Texas Big Brass LLC, Denton Big Brass, 809 N. Elm St. 76205 Best Deals Auto LLC, Best Deals Auto, 2300 Fort Worth Drive Keith Newsom, Denton Hemp Company, 1800 Teasley Lane DS Taco LLC, DS Taco LLC, 2412 S. Interstate 35E California Ocean Front Investment Group Inc., California

Ocean Front Investment Group Inc., 2224 Fort Worth Drive Christi Bickerstaff, Source Books, 2111 Willowwood St. Patriot Sandwich Company LLC, Patriot Sandwich Company, 1507 S. Loop 288 Suite 203 The Denton Humane Society Inc., The Denton Humane Society Inc., 1247 Teasley Lane La Laguna Meat Market & Kitchen LLC, La Laguna Meat Market & Kitchen, 630 Londonderry Lane Ilona Gorokhovskiy, Ilona Jade Photography, 1521 San Gabriel Drive Wesley Ugochukwu David, 2Eazy Motors, 1332 Teasley Lane Suite 110 76207 Discount Tire Company Of Texas Inc., Discount Tire Co #TXD91-2202, 3861 N. Interstate 35 Pierce Family Automotive LLC, Pierce Family Automotive, 2301 N. Masch Branch Road #240-241 Creative Assembly Systems Inc., Creative Assembly Systems Inc., 960 N. Masch Branch Road Suite 169 76208 Flooring And Stone Of Denton LLC, Flooring And Stone Of Denton, 3305 S. Mayhill Road Suite 123 Tactical Solutions And Consulting LLC, Tactical Solutions And Consulting LLC, 3701 E. McKinney St. Suite 701 Scout Arms LLC, Scout Arms LLC, 4109 Waverly Road Joseph Daniel Arispe, Texas Branded Graphix, 4709 Green River Drive

Biolife Plasma Services LP, Biolife Plasma Services – Denton, 3455 Quail Creek Drive Brittany & Monica Terry, Seabrook’s Harvest, 1120 N. Mayhill Road Papa’s Lot LLC, Papa’s Lot LLC, 5197 Fishtrap Road BDG Properties LLC, BDG Properties LLC DBA Subway Mayhill, 3305 S. Mayhill Road Suite 7 76210 Charm Alt Delete, Charm Alt Delete, 2803 Pottery Trail Comprehensive Breast Care Center Of Texas Inc., Solis Women’s Health At Denton Regional Prof Bldg, 3537 S. Interstate 35E Suite 211 Caitlin Marcinkowski Rivas, CMR Floral Design, 2406 S. Forest Hills Double K Bakers Inc., Holey Donuts, 5050 Teasley Lane Suite 112 Lauren Alisa Dellis, Shop Above All, 2305 Miranda Place Corinth Community Pharmacy LLC, Corinth Community Pharmacy, 3001 FM2181 Suite 400 BDG Properties LLC, BDG Properties DBA Subway MCD, 3535 S. Interstate 35E 76226 Mel’s Cleaning Services LLC, Mel’s Cleaning Services, 621 Gannet Trail Webdev Designs LLC, Webdev Designs LLC, 6358 Prairie Brush Trail Julie Lyle, Julie Lyle Watercolors, 9030 Blanco Drive Benjamin Mayo, ITrust Marketing, 7212 Mitchell Court

True Texas Hoops Elite Basketball Academy, True Texas Hoops Elite Basketball Academy, 9421 Blanco Drive 76227 Cho Moon Trade LLC, Cho Moon Trade LLC, 1609 Habersham St. Viso Bello Spa LLC, Viso Bello Spa, 8700 U.S. Highway 380 Suite 506 T/A Auto LLC, T/A Auto LLC, 9053 Ike Byrom Road Heiiirs Of September LLC, Heiiirs Of September, 1512 Sparrow Lane Cody Hogan, CH Lonestar Promo, 2050 Rock Hill Road SRRG Restaurants LLC, Wendy’s Restaurant #110-11, 26751 E. University Drive Brian Whatley, Whatley Watch Repair, 1608 Downing Drive I Am Dog Rescue Incorporated, I Am Dog Rescue, 11450 U.S. Highway 380 Suite 130-240 Simoo Industries LLC, Simoo Industries LLC, 860 Sandbox Drive Mary Kathryn Olson, Sew Yankee Quilts, 121 Woodland Drive TakeAShot LLC, Take A Shot, 808 Patio St. Corey Scott Zimmerman, Zimmerman Enterprises, 736 Field Crossing Maria Elena Hamblin, Maria Elena Hamblin, 9847 Birch Drive Laura Smith, Breathing In Paradise, 8632 Trailblazer Drive Bad Girl 247 LLC, Bad Girl 247, 120 Stanley Drive

Unit 285 La Gran Empanada LLC, La Gran Empanada LLC, 717 Lighthouse Lane Jordin White, Far From Basic, 8824 Tumbleweed Drive Electric Pineapple LLC, Electric Pineapple LLC, 2001 Oak View Court Verisnak Inc., Verisnak Inc., 2001 Oak View Court 76249 Ashlyn Leeann Hager, Four-Fifths Studio, 1403 Wenatchee Drive Skledar-Greene LLC, Skledar-Greene LLC, 4243 FM1173 Lisa McEntire, LMC Style, 909 Radecke Road MB Specialties LLC, MB Specialties LLC, 5047 Knight Lane Meador Investments LLC, Meador Investments LLC, 15076 W. U.S. Highway 380 Suite B1 M A E Boutique LLC, M A E Boutique, 510 N. 2nd St. 76258 Crag Cobbler LLC, Crag Cobbler LLC, 559 E. Gee St. Juli Lynn Gibson, Western Praze, 522 E. Thomas St. Stay Hooked Outdoors LLC, Xcite Baits, 1300 N. U.S. Highway 377 #100 Stratus Support Industries LLC, Stratus Support Industries LLC, 600 S. U.S. Highway 377 Manda Rae’s LLC, Manda Rae’s, 633 E. Roewe St. 76266 Stipeco LLC, Ready Tech Go, 1650 W. Chapman Drive Suite 303


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Denton’s Corner Bakery Cafe, shown at its opening in 2014, closed its doors at the end of 2019. The company said ongoing road construction nearby affected sales.

Open/Closed DUNCAN | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

in losses. The Denton location was one of 19 underperforming restaurants in the state. Discount Tire also closed its location along South Loop 288 by Interstate 35E. The company has a new location on the west side of town at 3861 N. I-35E, in addition to the east-side location at 100 S. Loop 288. Blue Fish, a sushi and poke spot on West University Drive, closed down at the end of the year. Vitty’s Sports Bar has closed, along with the bar’s locaPANGBURN | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

short one — is easier said than done. Consider taking an afternoon off to explore the city you live in. Discover Denton can help plan your staycation.

Grow your online presence

Digital media is only increasing. Are you up-to-date on the 2020 digital marketing trends? Read up on ways you can increase your online traffic and rest assured that your chamber membership helps automatically increase your SEO score. That’s right: Joining the Denton Chamber of Commerce gives you a backlink from our website that increases your website’s authority score.

tion in Lewisville. The Denton location closed in December after 15 years when the owners moved to Florida, according to the business’s Facebook page. Another local bar closed so the owners could go into retirement: Cigar Frog’s Denton. The spot was known for a large variety of cigars and also featured wine and beer. There’s also one fewer spot in town to get barbecue. The Londonderry Lane location of Metzler’s Food & Beverage is now closed, though the location at 1115 E. University Drive remains open.

It’s not all closed doors, though. Denton has a new bar, JK’s Lounge, now at 219 E. Hickory St., the spot vacated by Steve’s Wine Bar’s move to nearby Industrial Street. Layalina Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge has also reopened, after it closed its old location on Fort Worth Drive in April. Now right off the Square, the spot features hookah until midnight and belly dance performances on weekends. JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @jennafduncan.

Meaning, Google and the other search engines look to you as more favorable from an SEO standpoint. If you have a link from us, and your competitors don’t, you’re more likely to show up in Google searches.

connections with new local businesses and services? Apply this year to serve as a chamber ambassador. Look for more info on those events on the chamber’s calendar.

Find new opportunities for networking

Learn something new

People like to do business with people they know. If you are not actively networking, set a goal this year that gets you in front of more people and expands your business network. The chamber’s networking opportunities include Women in Commerce, monthly mixers, quarterly lunches and even ribbon-cuttings. Did you know that chamber ribbon-cuttings are a great place to make

No amount of education, on-the-job experience or professional development training will ever be enough. I usually learn something new every single day. And, the days I don’t pick up something that makes me — and by extension the chamber — better, is a day that I could have done better. Invest a little time in identifying and participating in seminars. Look for opportunities to learn from others (my

for comment, nor did two of the company’s managing partners. The 3,000-square-foot space is customizable and features a large bar area and panoramic views of Denton and beyond. It also features a bridal suite, prep kitchen and an onsite hospitality team, according to the business’s website. H2Oak is also expected to open this year, with work underway transforming the old Travelstead building at 215 E. Hickory St. into an expansive barbecue and mac-and-cheese restaurant. The restaurant will smoke all of its meat on site, and features a 12,000-square-foot backyard that will have outdoor activities such as whiffle ball. No opening date is set yet, but an Instagram account for the restaurant teases a 2020 opening.

Downtown Denton

In addition to the Radical Hospitality Group projects, downtown Denton is growing, adding businesses beyond the vibrant downtown Square. In the first City Council meeting of 2020, the council approved grants for multiple new businesses that are coming to newly commercial spaces. The former Evers Hardware storage building at 109 W. Walnut St. is going to become the MVMT Lab, a personal training favorite part of networking) or come talk to us about what you need. Connecting you to the educational resources that feed your success is a big reason we show up every day. And don’t forget about the people who work for you. They need education and inspiration, too.

Take your business back to basics

Remember why you started. Remember why you enjoyed your job in the first place. It’s easy to focus on the minutiae and the challenges. Don’t overlook the opportunities to grow – to broaden your horizon. Force yourself to think of all you’re grateful for. Consider challenging yourself to

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Steve Wilkins stands in the future venue-style area of H2Oak in the 200 block of East Hickory Street last February. Wilkins is the co-owner of Radical Hospitality Group, which is renovating the location into a barbecue restaurant set to open this year. and health company. The business secured a $25,000 Downtown Reinvestment Grant that will help upgrade the facade, signage and utility upgrades. Inside, the building also needs to be outfitted with an HVAC system and bathrooms, according to city documents. Other longtime downtown spaces are also getting converted for new uses. The old B&O Towing will become a new restaurant, and the owners also were approved for a $25,000 Downtown Reinvestment Grant. Construction is also underway at 311 N. Elm St., the former home of Kay’s Paint &

Auto Body Shop, to make a new location for Caskey’s Bar & Grill. Caskey’s spent several years near the University of North Texas on Hickory Street, and will move into the transformed restaurant space this year. The transformation of old buildings downtown is one real estate professionals expect to continue this year. In a panel discussion last week, several local developers said they expect more redevelopment of old spaces as new construction costs continue to rise. JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @jennafduncan.

write one thank-you note each day. Doing so forces us to really think about all we have to be grateful for. The “good stuff” often gets lost when we constantly focus on the hard stuff.

and many, many more) that were thought of and implemented by people just like you, in a chamber just like ours, in a community much like Denton, as solutions to challenges facing their respective business communities. And, while you’re at it, invite a local business to join the chamber movement. Think of all we can do — together. For more information on what your Denton chamber is up to, or how you can partner with the Chamber of Commerce in 2020, please email me at erica@denton-chamber.org.

Engage in the chamber (my favorite)

Your chamber is driven by the leadership of its investors. And if you are wondering what kind of influence a group of chamber investors can have, I’d like to recommend a short book: Look up The Magicians of Main Street by Chris Mead. The cool thing about this book is that it highlights some major community undertakings (the Golden Gate Bridge, the St. Louis Arch, Lindbergh’s flight

ERICA PANGBURN is president of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 940-382-9693 and erica@ denton-chamber.org.

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January Denton Business Chronicle 2020  

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