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Karina Ramírez: Cigar bar coming soon to Denton

A cigar bar is coming to the Denton area. Named Cigar Frogs, the bar will cover three buildings totaling 4,837 square feet located at 100 N. Interstate 35E.

The bar will be the second location for Joe Dunham, who is looking to start a franchise of his Midland-based Cigar Frogs, a cigar/piano bar with a laid-back atmosphere, which he opened in 2009.

Dunham said Thursday that a conversation with a friend and his wife, Martha Dunham, inspired him to go from the real estate business, which he said became very challenging starting in 2008, to owning his own cigar bar.

“My business hit a wall and I did not want to be bored; I wanted to find something else to do,” Dunham said. “I started looking for locations. One night we were brainstorming and I kept throwing out I wanted a name to have the word ‘cigar’ in it.”

He named it Cigar Frogs because he wanted a name to reflect what he did. He and his wife have collected frog figurines for years, and they have about 15 to 20 of them sitting on their own patio in Midland.

He said his Denton bar will employ four to six employees, including himself and his wife, who is also a certified public accountant.

Dunham said he selected Denton because the real estate price was reasonable for his new location, and the city does not have a smoking ordinance.

“The market in Denton is also larger than in Midland,” he said.

Blake Shipp and Matt Baisch with the Commercial Retail Division of The Weitzman Group handled negotiations for the buyers, according to a news release. Steve Watkins with Watkins Commercial represented the seller of the property.

The new business sits on 1.8 acres located on the east side of I-35E, just south of the Fort Worth Drive exit. The site is in an area that features strong restaurant and retail activity, the release said.

Another business coming to Denton is Gerhard’s German Restaurant.

The restaurant, which features a triple pork burger, beer chili and other German and Texan favorites, is relocating from Roanoke to Denton at 222 W. Hickory St.

Chris Smith of Axis Realty represented the tenant, and the landlord was represented by Chris Rosprim of KW Commercial, both of Denton, a news release said.

The building was originally built in 1930. Owners Gerhard and Valrie Pelzer will be transforming the space to give the restaurant a German-inspired feel.

The restaurant is expected to open in the fall. For more information, visit

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study has recognized the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel brands.

The Hilton Garden Inn achieved the highest ranking in the upscale segment in a tie, its ninth-highest ranking in the study throughout the past 11 years. Its sister brand, Homewood Suites by Hilton, was awarded the highest ranking in the extended stay segment — the ninth award in 12 years, according to a news release.

Homewood Suites by Hilton opened in Denton in 2009 with four stories and 107 units. The following year, the four-story Garden Inn, featuring 101 rooms and 14 suites, opened near the area known as “Hospitality Hill.”

J.D. Power and Associates’ guest satisfaction index study rates different factors, including reservations, guest room experience, hotel services and cost and fees. According to the J.D. Power and Associates website, the ratings are based on research studies that survey a representative sample of owners and represent the typical buyer experience.

Earlier this month, the old Wells Fargo bank drive-through facility, located two blocks south of the Denton Square between Elm and Locust streets, was demolished.

Jack Bell Properties is planning a 49-unit mixed-use development on the property. Mark Martin, a local architect, said the property will look similar to the nearby Victoria Station, with one- to three-bedroom units including retail and office space.

The approximate completion date is in December.

The Internal Revenue Ser­vice advised this week that students who work in part-time or summer jobs still need to fill out a W-4, a Withholding Allowance Cer­tificate form.

Clay Stanford, a spokesman with the IRS, said many students overlook filing a tax return and forget to report the income they receive from the part-time or summer job.

“The bad part of that is if you’ve never filed an income tax return before and you’re not used to it, you may be overlooking a tax refund,” Stanford said.

For more information, visit

The Rice Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2013 Leadership Development Program. Rice producers or industries-related professionals between the ages of 25 to 45 can apply to participate in the program.

The Rice Leadership Development Program provides a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills, a news release said. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions designed to strengthen leadership skills through studies of all aspects of the rice industry.

Deadline to apply is Oct. 6

For more details and to view the application, visit



Craig Bond recently joined the Allison Engineering Group, a civil engineering design firm based in Denton.

Bond has over 25 years experience in project management, engineering design, construction management and environmental services, a news press release said. Before joining AEG, Bond worked at Wilson & Co. in Fort Worth, where he served as project manager and engineer for municipal roadway reconstruction and drainage improvement projects, retail and commercial site development projects and railroad yard expansion projects.

Bond earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Okla­homa. Bond and his wife, Terri,  and their children, Jason and Kayla, have lived in Denton for 16 years.

Allison Engineering Group opened eight years ago in Denton and provides due-diligence studies, feasibility studies, site planning, platting, zoning, drainage studies, civil construction site plan and more for private and public sector clients in Denton and surrounding areas.

Allison Engineering Group is located at 4400 N. I-35 in Suite 102.

For more information, visit


Coming up

Congressman Michael C. Burgess will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the health care law and what it means for the future of health care and businesses at a joint gathering of the Lewisville, Flower Mound and Denton chambers Aug. 9 at Celebrations, 2380 Justin Road in Highland Village.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 9:30 am.

Cost to attend will be $25.

To register or for more information, call Angelica Del Rosal at 940-382-9693 or visit


Karina Ramírez can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is