Perfect 10: Guided by voices, Dan’s marks decade as music mecca

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Dan’s Silverleaf is about to lift a glass (or a bottle of Shiner) to a milestone.

The downtown watering hole is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it’s been a decade of which to be proud.

Named for owner Dan Mojica, the bar really led the exodus to Industrial Street, which was once a row of merchants that sold groceries, livestock feed and other dry goods.

Once Mojica reopened his bar on Industrial Street, he showed skeptics and naysayers that Denton’s downtown could — and eventually would — become a hot spot for culture seekers, loft apartment shoppers and foodies. Without Dan’s Silverleaf, there might not be a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Denton, a Rooster’s Roadhouse, a local Burguesa Burger or Mellow Mushroom.

Belly up to the curvy bar at Dan’s and you can walk away with a frosty domestic or imported beer, a glass of wine, a mixed drink or a cocktail. But can we give a cheer for the scuffed cooler of ice water at the end of the bar, just a step away from the door to the patio?

If you’re a smoker, you’re exiled to the patio to puff. But no worries, a second bar is there with a friendly bartender ready to top you off.

The drinks are reliable, but what Dan’s serves up exceptionally well is live music. Before the bar joined Spune, a North Texas recording, production and event company, the bar already had a steady stream of Americana luminaries — the likes of Susan Gibson, Terri Hendrix and James McMurtry. Since Spune took over much of the booking, the venue has taken on a more focused calendar — alt-country and roots music acts share bills, Denton indie acts hone their craft and peddle recordings, and touring groups bring a broader sound to the city.

It doesn’t hurt that Dan’s is the unofficial birthplace of Sarah Jaffe, a point of pride for Denton music buffs (even if other regional magazines think the claim is witless). These days, the venue is a regular gig for Hares on the Mountain, a folk-punk outfit that shows all the signs of taking off in a big way.

If the next 10 years are as fruitful for Dan’s, locals will have to get in the habit of getting to the door early. Or not. There isn’t a bad seat in the joint.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached by calling 940-566-6877 or sending an e-mail to


103 Industrial St. Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. .

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