The Wells Fargo building on the Denton Square has loomed there since 1963, like a chaperone over the shenanigans that take place on the blocks below. In 2018, the top floor of that building will transform into its own hangout: a restaurant with the best view in town.
From up there on the eighth floor, you can see the TWU and UNT campuses. You can look way out and spot Frisco. Up close, the Denton County Courthouse on the Square feels like you could almost give it a high five.
The restaurant will be called the Sunago Bell. Two meanings: "Sunago," in Greek, translates to "to gather together." And Bell is the last name of the landlord, Jack Bell, and also a design inspiration: The partners in the project plan to utilize bells in the decor — without covering up those floor-to-ceiling views, of course.
When John "Sparky" Pearson heard the penthouse of the Wells Fargo building — the tallest privately owned office building in Denton — was available for lease, he and his team made a forceful pitch to nab yet another dining spot in the Denton Square, he says.
"He knew we could love on it and make it cool," Pearson says when they got the lease. (Bell wasn't immediately available for comment.)
Bell initially planned on the space being an events venue when he finalized the purchase of the property in May. The first floor will stay Wells Fargo, even in the new restaurant plans. The floors between will be converted into office space and apartments, based on demand.
"Simple, light, clean, fresh," are words he uses to describe the food.
The restaurant will seat about 150 people up on the eighth floor, and the Radical Hospitality team plans to build a skybridge out to the elevator shaft to create a dramatic, on-high effect. Down on the third floor of the same building, the team plans to build a private event space that can hold several hundred people, with a bar. From up on the eighth floor, diners on the east side of the Wells Fargo building can look down and see the third-floor space.
"Think: You're in New York, looking down on a rooftop deck," Pearson explains.
It'll be late summer or early fall 2018 before the Sunago Bell opens, Pearson says. There's nothing much to see up there today except a bunch of wires and some dark-wood office furniture, pushed to the side. Well, and the view.
The best seat in the restaurant will be in the northwest corner, where folks in Denton County might just find the most beautiful spot for a sunset.
Denton Record-Chronicle staff writer Jenna Duncan contributed to this report.
FEATURED PHOTO: An electrical worker removes old wiring from the eighth floor of the Wells Fargo building at the corner of Hickory and Locust streets in Denton. The work is in preparation for a new restaurant that will provide diners an outstanding view of Denton and the Denton Square.
Robert W. Hart/Special contributor