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Shop to leave Square site

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer
By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer

After 23 years of selling home decor, clothing and other specialty items at The Courthouse Collection, business owner Karen Wilson is moving the shop to Krum.

The anticipated move and revamp of the business is expected to happen in April, Wilson said. In Krum, at 137 W. McCart St., she will open McCart Street Charm by The Courthouse Collection.

“I hope it will be really good, and Krum is not that far,” Wilson said. “It’s been very difficult, but I really just do not like the direction that the Square and the downtown area is moving.”

The influx of restaurants and bars has caused frustrations for her and her customers, she said. Now people stay in the limited parking spaces for longer times while they are out, and the area is more crowded with people who aren’t shopping.

So far, her customers have been understanding and sympathetic to her concerns, she said. However, after looking at other options for storefronts in the area, she decided Krum would be a better fit than the available spaces in other parts of Denton.

“It’s been very difficult [for my customers] — I’ve had some in tears,” she said. “I would say that 90 percent of the customers hate to see the direction that it’s all going, and most are saying that they will follow us. I hope that they will.”

Wilson also owned the building that housed the shop at 111 W. Hickory St., which she inherited from her parents. Wilson sold the building to John “Sparky” Pearson, owner of neighboring Lone Star Attitude Burger Co. Pearson could not be reached for comment.

Julie Glover, who works in economic development for the city, said the turnover of businesses on the Square is a natural occurrence. Also, the restaurant business has a high turnover, she said, and she expects the market will eventually even out the mix of retail with drinking and dining spots downtown.

“I think it’s just a way that downtown’s changing and growing,” she said. “Fifteen to 20 years ago, people complained to me that we had too many antique stores, and the market corrected that ... and we saw in the ’60s and ’70s that not adapting to the market killed downtown.”

Other retail business owners on the Square share Wilson’s frustrations. Traci Davis, owner of Garden Gate, said she thinks there needs to be a good mix of restaurant and retail to keep the downtown area successful, and she’s concerned about the new businesses that keep opening in the area.

“Our customers are complaining,” she said. “I think it’s more of a frustration right now, but I feel like people are getting really frustrated. If it keeps going like this, people won’t want to come down here to shop, and it could become a problem.”

Multiple projects underway on the Square are for restaurants that will have late-night hours, including Muddy Jake’s, a sports bar and grill; Barley & Board, a brewpub and restaurant; Service Industry, a craft cocktail bar and eatery; and 940, an upscale casual restaurant.

The Courthouse Collection is still open at its current location in Denton.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.