Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Love the Java JIve, and It Loves Denton Again

It had been a couple years since I'd been to the Kharma Cafe in Denton--so long, in fact, that I wasn't even aware that it had been shuttered for some time now. The loss of the Tomato a few years ago meant that, for me, there wasn't much of a reason to visit Fry Street anymore (and, as I noted in a very old post, the Kharma was always so dark that it was possible to walk right up to it and not be sure that it was in business until you opened the door).

But an active college town like Denton needs a 24-hour coffeehouse, because not everyone wants to go bar-hopping all the time, and even the hard-core partiers occasionally want a much quieter place to study or chill with their friends. And now, I'm happy to report that this can happen in Denton once again with the opening of Big Mike's Coffee(in the former Voyager's Dream space on Hickory just west of Fry St.:
According to the Facebook page for Big Mike's Coffee, the new venture by former Voyager's Dream owner Mike Sutton is now open and running. The North Texas Daily jumped on news in August that the first coffee shop near the UNT campus to stay open all night since the days of smoky Kharma Cafe would take over the prime spot on Hickory Street.
I also have read that BIg Mike's will offer live music--not just for its grand opening, slated for this weekend, but also on a regular basis after that. It sounds like a win all around for the area. Now, if we could just get the Tomato to reopen somewhere... (Read more about Big Mike's from this August article in the North Texas Daily.)

And speaking of Fry Street: while searching for articles about Big Mike's, I also came across this, from the Daily via Pegasus News: Fry Street development remains untouched by developer. Basically, nothing has changed since the last time I discussed Fry Street here; the economic climate isn't friendly to development, and the developer, United Equities, doesn't appear to be willing or able to charge rents low enough to attract the type of student-friendly businesses that the area really needs to thrive (you know, the kind of businesses that were already there before UE came in and knocked all the buildings down). I'd love to see UE bought out and the area returned to local ownership, and I've summarized my own plan for the area--which differs from UE's plan by only a single, crucial tweak--on many occasions. Now, if only the folks in Austin would draw my six lottery numbers, I'd be all over this. Until then, I fear that it's more of the same.

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