Karina Ramírez: Hoochie’s ready to open on Bell Ave.

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When the A-train goes by or sirens can be heard wailing from the nearby fire station, visitors to Hoochie’s Oyster Bar will be treated to $1 beer when the restaurant opens on Bell Avenue in the next few weeks.

Owner John Blackwood said Thursday that Hoochie’s will offer a relaxing atmosphere where people can just hang out, listen to live music and enjoy seafood.

Blackwood has been working on revamping the old yellow house since last October with his business partner, Sam Solomon. Building the new patio took about a month and half, Blackwood said, but construction was simple otherwise.

The only difficult thing about opening his business, he said, is not having a business phone line just yet.

“The phone company gave us a number that doesn’t work,” Blackwood said.

Twelve employees have been hired to man the restaurant.

Hours at the restaurant, 207 S. Bell Ave., will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

When an opening date is set, I’ll be posting it to the Biz Buzz blog, http://bizbuzzblog.dentonrc.com.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Hoochies-Oyster-House/289514341093482?ref=ts.


The owners of El Chaparral Grille are celebrating 10 years in business this month.

The business, co-owned by Manuel Perez and his wife, Belinda, has been at 234 E. McKinney St. since 2008, when it moved from its Cedar Street location.

In an e-mail, Belinda Perez expressed her thanks to the community for its support.



The North Texas State Fair Association announced this week the election of a new slate of directors.

R.D. Martin, president of the association, last year announced plans to retire. He has served in the role since 2005.

“The retirement presented the association with the task of forming a new executive board,” association officials said in a recent news release.

The North Texas State Fair Association’s new officers are: Carl Anderson, president; Mark Foster, Layne Brewer and Jim Fykes, vice president; Mickie Blagg, secretary; Harry Hall, treasurer; and R.D. Martin, past president. The association’s board includes Bill Allen, Eddie Ary, Robert Bell, Danny Brumley, Don Fischer, Richard Fisher, Walt Garrison, Richard Hayes, Wayne Johnson, Bobby Jones, Larry Kish, Jeff Kruger, Mickey McNary and Dale McNight.

Glenn Carlton, the association’s executive director, said in the release that the board has “always worked very well together and within this community,” which he doesn’t expect to change.

For more information, visit www.ntfair.com.


Guy Jones of the Guy W. Jones Insurance Agency was named the 2011 Multiple Line General Agent of the Year on the Gold Level by the American National Insurance Co. on Feb. 16.

“I was proud to represent our agency in receiving this award, but we would never have received it without the outstanding agency team we have assembled,” Jones said in a news release.

The award is the highest honor a multiple line general agent can earn, and it is presented for overall sales excellence by the agency in 2011.

Chartered in 1905, the American National Insurance Co. has more than 5 million policyholders in the U.S., Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

The Denton agency is located at 1421 N. Elm St.

For more information, call 940-566-0377 or visit www.guylynnfinancial.com.


Americans this year are opting to save, rather than spend, their tax refunds.

The National Retail Federation recently released the results of its Tax Returns Consumer Survey, which found that 43.8 percent of Americans will be saving their refund. That figure is an increase over last year, when a record 42.1 percent said they planned to save.

“After a rocky few years, consumers are now more vigilant about how they spend their money and the importance of preparing for future financial stability,” Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “Increased consumer savings proves extremely beneficial to shoppers and businesses in the long run, allowing future opportunities to invest in a large household item or even take advantage of a well-deserved family vacation.”

How are consumers planning to use their tax refund? Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed will use it to pay down debt, while 28.7 percent plan to use it for everyday expenses. Others will make a major purchase, such as a car or new television (12.3 percent) and vacation (11.3 percent).

The Tax Returns Consumer Survey, conducted for the federation by BIGinsight, polled 8,716 consumers from Feb. 1-8. The poll had a margin of error of 1 percent.


KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is kramirez@dentonrc.com.

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