Best of Denton 2013: Parting with the hard-earned dollar

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Downtown Mini Malls

118 N. Locust St.


Located on the square, Downtown Mini Malls might have the next treasure or antique collectible you are looking for, hidden away.

This year, Denton readers votedDowntown Mini Malls as best antique store.

With a friendly staff and always-sharp display of old knives and swords in the front glass case and many other items, this store goes all the way back with towers of antiquities.

This store offers the chance for some serious treasure hunting, where you might find yourself spending hours inside looking at a wide range of odds and ends.

Several dealers are located inside this massive square building, making the variety and choice of selection all that much greater.

Runner-up: Antique Experience of Denton

Bragging rights: W Douglas Antiques



Locust St. Terrace Apartments

315 S. Locust St.


Living right next to the Square has its perks and that’s what tenamts of Locust St. Terrace Apartments know best, living only two blocks away. Denton readers voted this the best Apartment Complex is Denton this year for this reason.

Just announcing its newly added units, Locust St. Terrace posted to its Facebook, “Phase two opens this May! Where will you live come May?” They are prime living real estate, according to the post, with only 14 new units available that will get leased fast.

On its Facebook it states: “Live with downtown at your doorstep … This historic building rehabilitation is home to 10 luxury apartment residences and two businesses, Entech Design Inc. and Salon NV.” These luxury downtown-style living apartments first opened up in 2011.

Runner-up: Timberlinks

Bragging rights: Coronado



James Wood Autopark

3906 Interstate 35E

Sales: 940-220-4745

Service: 866-925-0453

2111 U.S. 287 in Decatur


“Big Savings, Big Selection, Big Difference,” this is the commitment to excellent service that James Wood has instilled in his two Autoparks. The Denton location is best known by its big ball atop of the “James Wood” sign, and its blue awnings. Great facilities aside; what keeps customers coming back to James Wood Autopark is exceptional service, and a commitment to making the customer happy.

By continuing this commitment, the dealership has earned yet another “Best of Denton Award.”

The dealership sells a great variety of cars including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hyundai, and Izuzu. James Wood Autopark also believes strongly in giving back to the community, so don’t be surprised if you see them at a local community event.

Runner-up: Bill Utter Ford

Bragging rights: Jim McNatt



Midway Mart

406 W. Hickory St.


If you’re looking for the latest microbrews, IPAs, ciders, sour beers or wheat beers, Midway Mart is centrally located in the heart of Denton, providing customers with the most eclectic gallery of beers in town.

It’s easy to pass by this store if you’re not looking for it, but this diamond in the rough has a connection with its customers. Always accepting requests, Midway Mart prides itself on its communication with the city’s beer lovers by regularly updating its selection with beers from around the world including Germany, Belgium and Canada while also carrying craft beers from Austin, Garland, Dallas, Conroe and Katy.

Firestone Walker, Alaskan, Harpoon, Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn highlight Midway Mart’s brewery assortment as it also sports Denton-brewed beers while being one of the only stores in town to house a gluten-free lager.

The owner, Shakeel Merchant, says Midway Mart prides itself on its relationship with its customers and humbly thanks them for their business and support.

Runner-up: Metzler’s Bar-B-Q

Bragging rights: Beer Barn



Recycled Books

200 N. Locust St.


If you’re a bookworm looking for a good read, and yearning for the smell of old book pages, Recycled Books deserves your bookmark: best bookstore in Denton. Voted the best by Denton Record-Chronicle readers this year, it must be because you can find a treasure on every shelf at this one-of-a-kind store.

 Located in the historic opera house on the Denton Square, Recycled Books has shelf after shelf stacked with books and rooms dedicated to entire sections. Its unique M. C. Escher floor plan, with tucked away rooms and stairs up and down its three levels, will have you perusing aisle after aisle of books.

“We’ve got 30 years of selections here … We’ve got half a million items at Recycled,” said General Manager Chris Garver.

“We want to have as many individual unique books as possible” said Garver. “It’s hard to find a bookstore like us for hundreds and hundreds of miles.”

For serious book hunters, Recycled Books even has an entire section dedicated to “rare and collectible treasures,” according to its website, plus a huge basement. This three-story bookstore attracts all ages, and has a reasonable price for your next read.

Runner-up: Barnes & Noble

Bragging rights: Mardel Christian & Education Supply



La Di Da

114 N. Locust St.


La Di Da, Denton’s downtown boutique, was voted Best Clothing Store by Denton readers this year, because of its fashion and trendy items.

Located in the heart of the Denton Square, you can find anything from your next pair of Tom shoes to your next stylish outfit.

It’s easy to see why readers like La Di Da: its front display is always eye-catching to anyone strolling by, with cute colorful dresses and Toms displayed for anyone taking a quick glance.

“Where fashion is fun for everyone,” according to its website, this store has its specially branded apparel, denim and gifts/accessories.

Next time you’re up on the Square, check into La Di Da to see what it’s all about.

Runner-up: Dillard’s Department Store

Bragging rights: Macy’s Department Store



Recycled Books

200 N. Locust St.


Denton folks love getting lost in the labyrinth that is Recycled Books. The three-story book, movie and music store was picked as best entertainment store for music and videos for the Best of Denton.

The distinction, manager Chris Garver said is an honor.

He touted the great selection the store has as reason for winning Denton’s vote. Each section is curated by staff who have a genuine interest in the area they work.

“We haven’t changed our policies too much in the last 30 years, the store kind of sells itself. You’d have to drive hundreds of miles to find a store that even comes close,” Garver said of the 17,000-square-foot store. There are best-selling books, old-school favorites, historical content, VHS, DVDs and music.

“We’ve got everything under the sun but yesterday’s newspaper,” Garver said. “It’s pretty overwhelming once you’re are in here just how many books and sections there are.”

Garver said the store maintains its appeal even in this digital age for music and books because people still like physical objects.

“There is a big different between downloading the latest book and picking it up and putting it in your hand,” Garver said. He noted the resurgence of vinyl over CDs in his store.

“A lot of days our vinyl will outsell our DVDs. People like stuff and we have (it). Our prices are pretty good, too, so that doesn’t hurt,” he added.

Runner-up: Best Buy

Bragging rights: Mad World Records



Thomas’ Ethan Allen Home Interiors

200 W. Oak St.


Founded by Bill Thomas in 1962, the store at Oak and Elm streets to this date continues to be one of the oldest Ethan Allen furniture stores in Texas.

Ethan Allen is known to provide a full-service interior design gallery complete with room after room of beautifully-crafted furniture and accessories to make everyone’s home stand out.

The family-owned and operated store remains committed to providing quality service as well as supporting the community by participating in such events as the annual Holiday Open House held each year at the Square.

The store’s long-standing legacy and attention to detail is what keeps it as a Denton favorite each year.

Runner-up: The Store for Décor

Bragging rights: Bungalow



First People’s Jewelers

117 N. Elm St.


Open since 1974, First People’s Jewelers has been providing quality service to customers for 39 years.

Owner Frank Zangerl believes in providing a top-notch product as well as friendly customer service.

First People’s Jewelers provides a wide assortment of jewelry and such services as custom design as well as an assortment of loose diamonds. The store conveniently located on Denton’s downtown Square also carries pre-owned Rolexes, provides both watch and jewelry repair and many other services.

An extra that you might want to stop by and check out is the Loft at First People’s Jewelers which is a showroom upstairs with guest items and a full line of silver.

Being part of the community has long been important to the owner and his team. And they are very appreciative of the vote of confidence from the public.

 “Thank you for voting us the best jeweler,” says Kelsie Sadberry, manager at First People’s Jewelers.

Runner-up: NASR Jewelers

Bragging rights: Ehrhart’s Jewelers



Paradise Spirits & Fine Wines

1217 FM407


 Denton readers voted Paradise Spirits & Fine Wines Best Liquor Store in Denton County.

Just north of Denton off I-35 W, this one-stop liquor store has been locally owned and operated since 1995.

An always-friendly staff makes sure you get what you’re looking for.

Open Saturday through Sunday, this shop has one outstanding selection of sprits, beer and wine.

According to its website, “whether you are a beginner or connoisseur, in need of a single bottle or stocking your wine cellar or bar, the Paradise staff is ready to lend a helping hand in making the right selections to suit your needs.”

This liquor store also will serve you breakfast or lunch in its full service deli, making sure your hamburgers are cooked perfectly with just the fixings you desire - making it a two-in-one convenience stop for residents.

Runner-up: Buckeyes Liquor Store

Bragging rights: Jacobs Liquors



Calloway’s Nursery

1601 Dallas Drive


With weekly garden clinics, an online garden club and the arrival of new and unique plants like the new tangerine begonias which arrive on April 27 are just a few of the reasons so many in and around town select this nursery as the Best in Denton each year.

Kid’s gardening programs, the Perennial Festival, Earth Day Festival and Bug Bonanza keep customers of all ages coming back.

If you are looking for color in your garden, a vast array of annuals and perennials are on display. Need a fresh batch of lady bugs to zap those aphids on your roses? Looking for uniquely-designed pottery to plant the container garden? Or are you considering starting a new collection of African violets? Calloway’s is the place to go.

Friendly service with ever-ready suggestions and tips make Calloway’s a must stop for gardeners.

Native Texans — Jim Estill, John Cosby and John Peters — came together and pooled their resources to build a garden center.

A total of 16 garden centers serve the Dallas-Fort Worth area with two locations in Houston.

Runner-up: Meador Nursery

Bragging rights: Four Seasons Nursery



Sleeping Lizzards

424 N. Elm St.


Collaborators, artists and co-owners Beth Klein and Roxane Clark opened Sleeping Lizzards in 1994 in Denton — just north of the square. A one-of-a-kind store with hand-crafted jewelry and artsy knick-knacks, this is the perfect store to find that special gift for a special someone.

That’s why Denton readers voted for its own special gift to Sleeping Lizzards this year, voting it the Best Special Store in Denton.

“We’re delighted to think that people think what we do is something special,” said co-owner Klein. Klein makes the hand-crafted jewelry available in the store. Her partner, Clark, works with mixed media and also paints.

Runner-up: Atomic Candy

Bragging rights: Courthouse Collection



Atomic Candy

105 W. Hickory St.


After one year of service and candy sales, Denton Record-Chronicle readers decided it has a new favorite store on the square: Atomic Candy. It’s vintage everything, from the rusted signs on the wall to the gumball machine; and you can select from over 200 different glass bottle sodas, leaving “over 200 kinds of burps,” according to its website.

Owner Tim Loyd opened the candy store a week before Christmas in 2011. Atomic Candy has Denton craving its special selection of vintage candy and soda pop with its own tweak of nostalgia.

Atomic Candy wants to “bring back memories for people, so it’s more like a walk down memory lane,” he said.

Runner-up: Recycled Books

Bragging rights: Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream



Circa 77

225W Oak Street


Love all things vintage and don’t have a time machine? Then walk through the doors of Circa 77, a vintage thrift shop offering an array of unique clothes and accessories. You’ll feel as if you have stepped back in time once you discover all the shop has to offer.

You’ll find men’s and women’s apparel, shoes and accessories from the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. With new items frequently making their way to racks, who knows what year your own find will be from. This, customers say, is what keeps your shopping experience new and exciting.

When buying at a thrift shop, you know you will be getting something unique since generally, no two items are alike.

With a seamstress at the shop, you are bound to fit into something you love. As the saying goes, part of the treasure is within the hunt.No matter what your find at Circa 77 is bound to be your new treasure.

Runner up: Downtown Mini Mall

Bragging rights: Rose Costumes



Weldon’s Saddle Shop and Western Wear

345 East Hickory Street


At the age of 83, Weldon Burgoon, owner of Weldon’s Saddle Shop and Western Wear, still spends as much time at his business as he can.

Weldon’s, a local fixture since 1957, has outfitted many cowboys and cowgirls in search of a “one-stop shop” for all their western needs. And who better to outfit a future rodeo king or queen than an inductee from the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame?

Burgoon is the heart and soul of “all things rodeo” and he doesn’t mind giving a history lesson in his store from time to time for a willing customer.

Runner up: Fosters

Bragging rights: Justin Boots



Metzler’s Food and Beverage

Metzler’s South

628 Londonderry Lane

Denton, TX 76205


Metzler’s North

1115 East University

Denton, TX 76201

940-383-FOOD (3663)

Metzler’s Food and Beverage, serving BBQ in Denton since 1985, is also known for the Denton Wine Club and its large selection of wines.

In addition to the two full service dine-in restaurants, take-out, catering, party trays, family packs, and a full array of wine and beer, they also host wine tastings.

Since 1999, Metzler’s Denton Wine Club has continued to present wine tastings that allow the wine lover to sample a wide variety of fine wines at various price levels and from the entire world, according to the website. The goal is to educate through tastings while having fun.

Runner-up: Wine Squared

Bragging rights: Cellar 220



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