Denton's New Fry Street is Flirting with Corporate America. Is This Such a Bad Thing?

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As many Dentonites are aware, especially those (un)fortunate enough to live a stone's throw from the UNT campus, the "high rise" apartments going up on Fry Street have created quite a state of multi-variable chaos.

Construction, no parking, there-is-seriously-another-nail-in-my-tire syndrome: the list goes on for miles. In the end, however, all that chaos might just be worth it.

When The Tomato closed (not to mention the arson) everyone's head exploded over losing the famous mediocre pizza, and plans for the space were left to speculation for years. Eventually the entire block was torn down, forcing multiple small businesses to move or close. And the last thing staunch supporters of Fry Street's kitschy, homegrown vibe wanted was a corporate conglomerate to move in and piss their corporate poison all over the street's beloved independence. (This apparently doesn't apply to the rather popular Jimmy John's, judging by the line out the door every day at lunch time and after last call.

But the empty block just sat there for what seemed like decades, making a cartoonish mockery of the void in the heart of many a Fry Street purist. There was talk of a CVS, which elicited gasps of horror. So there it sat.

In late 2011, and much to the dismay of proximal residents, the Sterling Fry Street project broke ground. And last week, a small banner appeared at the front of the monstrosity announcing the addition of a Chipotle and a Mac Daddy's, a Connecticut-based macaroni and cheese bar. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, a Potbelly Sandwich Shop is also slated to share space.

For anyone who has dwelled in Denton for an extended period, especially if you've been a UNT student, you know how uneven the distribution of stores and restaurants has been. In the past, going to dinner either required a trip down the fury-inducing clusterfuck of Loop 288 or through the middle of town to the west side, not to mention the poor excuse for restaurant choices that awaited you. The options surrounding the historic Downtown Square have expanded in both number and quality and added some culinary clout in the process. Now that new eateries like Mellow Mushroom, Tim Love's Love Shack, Roosters Roadhouse and Weinberger's Deli, among others, have come to town and shown staying power, this has elevated what was once a typical "college town" food scene to something the slightly-more-sophisticated-than-Taco-Bell (except when completely shithoused on $1 Shiners) palate can appreciate.

The addition of reputable establishments around Fry Street is a step in the right direction for continuing to improve Denton's once pathetic food state. The block will never be what it once was, but a few chain restaurants are far more useful to commerce and student employment than an empty lot. There are only so many Jimmy John's sandwiches you can eat in four years.

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Mervis
Mervis

I saw on Ch 5's DFW Foodies program that The Tomatos owners re-opened in another town somewhere up there around Denton. Different name but same basic menu/pizza. FYI if you all care. 

MeanGreen
MeanGreen

They did, in Sanger. If their pizza was so excellent they would've re-opened in Denton - just sayin'

Andrew Gunter
Andrew Gunter

The Tomato had excellent pizza, however when it came time to exit your body it was usually not so excellent.

Warren Gunn
Warren Gunn

Who the f*ck does this writer think she is? Clearly not someone who has spent much time in Denton. 

I guess if you'd actually lived there, you would know that, first of all, The Tomato had excellent pizza (if a little on the doughy side), plus it was just a great place to hang out.

Second, Denton has had a number of great restaurants for years just around the campus: Mr.Chopsticks (before it moved), Andaman (still the best Thai I've ever had), Ravelin Bakery, Hannah's (for the pricey Sunday brunch), and the list goes on.

Please stop writing about topics on which you know nothing about and go back to serving coffee at Starbucks.

Bdreynolds
Bdreynolds

Wow, somebody's pissed that they've been waiting on their coffee for 5 minutes. Click on her name up there chief, you'll see a lot of her articles have been about Denton food and events. I happen to know the author spent most of the last 10 years living there, so I think she's pretty qualified to speak of Denton things. Now go back to your coffee and hurry up on that screenplay you're writing in the corner (i.e. Facebook) and get up, others would like to use your table.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Everything changes......I remember when everything in Deep Ellum was centered around July Alley, and the place was littered with rubble; watching the New Bo's at The 500 Club, seeing the Buck Pets at Clearview, Joe Ely at Dada, Hash Palace, etc, etc.

With that being said, I will miss old Fry Street....anyone remember the Sammy House?  

Guy Long
Guy Long

An old friend was just in Denton, said the Sammy House was also torn down

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

No way!  That place was awesome; except for that time this guy beat my ass.  But I did deserve it!

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

Cool Beans? Lucky Lou's? They still there? 

Admitine2k5
Admitine2k5

Lou's, Riprock', and Cool Bean's (at least half of it) are still up and tunning. But the apartments overlook Cool Bean's roof patio.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

New York Subway?  Not the crappy chain sandwich shop. 

ps-I used to live in West Hall, and I really didn't do that much eating, other than that in the WH messhall.  Couldn't afford anything else; and when I could, we'd collect spare change and wander over to the 7-11 and buy dat CHEAP beera, and whip that guys ass with loose coinage. 

John Hall
John Hall

Sara, whatever point you were trying to make here is lost in your sea of snark, which I can only assume was added to reach the Observer's snark-per-post quota.

"Fry Street will never be what it was! -- you know, a house for mediocre pizza."

"Corporate involvement will improve Denton's once-pathetic food state! -- you know, by adding a POT BELLY!"

... and other such contradictions between facts and contrived snark.

Have you thought about getting back on Lexipro? 

Juice
Juice

Actually, the quotes were

"When The Tomato closed (not to mention the arson) everyone's head exploded over losing the famous mediocre pizza,"

and "The addition of reputable establishments around Fry Street is a step in the right direction for continuing to improve Denton's once pathetic food state."

What were the "other such contradictions"?

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