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DRC - David Minton

Karina Ramírez: New cigar lounge well received by local customers

A 5-foot-tall Señor Sapo, a metal-designed frog, dressed in a James Bond-type white and black suit, holding a wine glass and a cigar is one of the first things customers will see when they visit Cigar Frogs, a business that opened Dec. 27.

Owned by Joe L. Dunham, Cigar Frogs is a cigar lounge located between Teasley Lane and Fort Worth Drive on the north side of Interstate 35E. The business wants to be the next place in town where people can go talk and have a glass of beer or wine while enjoying any of the 400-plus world-class cigars.

“This was a bank, previously; there were offices and walls where the bar is now,” Dunham said. “There was a bathroom where we now keep the [walk-in] humidor. We [also] added the patio.”

The business contains a newly designed patio. Renovations to the building took about 60 days, Dunham said.

His location has a 400-square-foot humidor where he keeps all the cigars.

Dunham owns the original Cigar Frogs lounge in Midland. He said he picked Denton because at the time of his research, there were not any cigar lounges in town.

Since opening, the upscale cigar bar has been well received by customers, manager Stacey Hatfield said.

“They are excited that we have a cigar bar in Denton. Now they don’t have to go to Plano or Lewisville,” Hatfield said. “We want to be the go-between so they don’t have to go so far.”

Hatfield used to be the manager at the Midland location where Cigar Frogs has been since 2011. She said she brought a bit of Midland with her and created a bit of the same atmosphere here in Denton.

Dunham said the Denton location has six employees.

When asked about his fascination with James Bond, Dunham said that in Midland he was told he looked a lot like the “most interesting man in the world’s” brother, or the original 007, Sean Connery.

“If I look so much like him, I am going to do some ads, radio and television ads,” Dunham said

The television ads include Dunham acting like 007 sitting in his chair and holding a cigar.

“The ads are still running in Midland,” he said.

Dunham is married to Martha Dunham, a retired certified public accountant and his business partner. They celebrated 13 years together last week.

A grand-opening celebration with Sinatra music by Dave Halston is scheduled for Friday.

Cigar Frogs is located at 100 N. Interstate 35E.

Business hours are 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and noon through 10 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit


On Monday, Valerie Warren and her staff will begin offering yoga classes at her new studio, Authentic Yoga Life, located at 218 North Austin St., next to NV Cupcakes.

This will be Warren’s first business venture. Before dedicating herself to opening a yoga location, Warren spent 26 years as a flight attendant with American Airlines. She fell in love with the practice of yoga four years ago and because she had acquired a business degree in 1985, she said it was the right time for her to create something she loves and share it with others.

She said the business is about “staying present, playing big and being real.”

A grand opening event is scheduled for Feb. 23.

For more information, call 214-395-6417 or visit www.


On Monday, Chris and Jean-Ann Taylor announced they purchased Fastsigns of Denton, a graphics and visual communications business, located at 2119 Sadau Court. This is the fourth Fastsigns location the couple own, a news release said.

The Taylors purchased their first center in Arlington in May 1995, followed by another in North Dallas in 2004. The couple also share ownership of Fastsigns of Mesquite, which they purchased in 2007 with local businessman Jim Cochran.

Mike Miller is the general manager of the center.

For more information, call 940-383-1785 or visit www.


Attorneys wishing to serve as speakers to civic organizations, professional groups, parent clubs, legal associations and other entities can join LawTalk Texas, a new group that began operations this week.

The goal of the group is to create a speakers bureau for attorneys.

The group is to hoping to expand statewide this year.

Larry Upshaw, CEO of Pro Solutions Group, a Dallas-based legal PR company and founder of LawTalk Texas, said his group’s roster includes top attorneys in the state and most of them speak free of charge, according to a news release.

The organization is looking for attorneys from Denton to join the newly established speakers bureau.

For more information, visit or contact Larry Upshaw at 214-340-6223 or Kate Delaney at 214-335-9441.


Coming up

Sam Courtney, a senior sales engineer with Dallas-based Armstrong Process Group, will address the members of the Dallas Chapter of International Institute of Business Analysis at 6 p.m. Thursday at BravoTech, 4835 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1000 in Dallas.

Courtney will provide his views on architecture, business architecture traceability, industry standards for business modeling and a review of different business modeling diagrams, according to its website.

The chapter is interested in acquiring more members from the Denton area.

For more information, visit


The Aubrey 380 Area Chamber of Commerce will conduct its networking luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Prairie House Restaurant, 10001 U.S. Highway 380 in Cross Roads. Online registration is needed.

For more information, visit http://aubrey

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