The Denton Record-Chronicle notes that the first residents (students, mostly) are moving into the brand spanking new Sterling Fry Street mixed-used development at the corner of Fry and Hickory streets in Denton, right across from the University of North Texas campus.
Early last year, I waxed nostalgic in the pages of D Magazine, about my many hours of youth misspent on that block. At the time the parcel of land had been sitting empty, in limbo, for three and a half years. I talked to the longtime owners of the much-beloved Tomato pizza joint, who had been forced from their building when developers swooped in and decided to create something new. There were hopes that the Tomato could return to Fry Street, though I doubted whether it could ever again be what it once had been without a space anywhere near as expansive or distinctive as the original restaurant’s.
Since then, some former employees of the Tomato have reopened under the old name, using the old recipes, in the nearby town of Sanger instead. And the Sterling project – with 194 apartments, a six-story parking garage, and 10,500 feet of retail space – finally got built. It’s surely a nightmare come true for people like cantankerous 70-something Bob Clifton, who told me for my story:
“The thing about Denton, the thing that attracts people to Denton, is Denton was a funky town. Musicians could come up here, 10 of them live in a f—ing house, dope flows like it’s going out style, everybody’s laid-back, not giving a s— about nothing, and it’s just funky,” he says. “They’re turning it into Plano.”
My guess was that the new development was much more likely to become home to a Starbucks, a Chipotle, and a Quizno’s than a mom-and-pop operation like the Tomato. Â And what, according to the DR-C, will open there?
Retail space will be filled by Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Chipotle Mexican Grill, MacDaddy’s Macaroni and Cheese Bar and the recently announced GRIP Mediterranean Grill.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop will be the first restaurant to open, on Tuesday, and Chipotle will open Aug. 28.
MacDaddy’s will open in about a month, Dinerstein said, and GRIP will open in early October.
I stand by my claim “it’s a scientifically proven fact that it’s impossible for a person to create fond memories of a place as fungible as a Chipotle.”
But, regardless, I’ve already banked my fun times on Fry Street. I may have to give this MacDaddy place a try.