VINTAGE FINDS & Other Mundane Shopping

Because if I have money I must spend.

Denton as a Destination??

It occurred to me that, if you decide to drop off in Denton, Texas, you might want to do more than just go to a vintage clothing store (see my post on Circa 77). I often find that when I visit a small town I don’t find half of the strange little shops that I had hoped. That’s because I don’t know where to look.

In Denton, it is obvious…the courthouse square. Yes, out on Loop 288 you can find the chain stores by the score. But, most of the really funky shops are in town. You don’t want to drive near the malls anyway, because of the highway construction.

If you want to spend the night in Denton, there is a lovely bed & breakfast with three historic houses from which to choose. The Heritage Inn is located within walking distance of the square.

You could spend a full day shopping Denton without leaving the square, but the town has other shops that might intrigue you. If you need another reason to visit, there are two festivals coming up this spring that could draw your attention:

  • Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
    Texas Storytelling Festival
  • The Greater Denton Arts Council at 207 South Bell has an exhibit each year called Materials: Hard & Soft that has gotten national attention, and will surely be worth a look. You can visit their web site to see the types of artwork displayed in past years.
  • Just off the downtown area is a house that became a quaint little museum. TheBayless-Selby House Museum at 317 W. Mulberry Street is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – Noon then from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

As for the shops and eateries I would make sure to see…here is a partial list. Remember I have eclectic tastes…some would say “odd.”

  • On the square there are several antique mini-malls and antique stores.
  • There is also The Candy Store,
  • Beth Marie’s Ice Cream
  • Jupiter House Coffee (which has wireless internet access)
  • la di da (which sells high end clothing)
  • Elements of Design (designer gifts)
  • and a couple of wine shops which offer wine tastings.
  • The vintage clothing store I like, Circa 77 is just off the square.
  • Next to it is a restaurant/bistro I highly recommend called Banter. It has an art gallery on the walls, excellent coffee, delicious sandwiches, hummus, and tapas. It also has wireless internet access, books and games for those interested, and has live entertainment in the evenings.
  • While you are in the area, check out Recycled Books…the big pink building on the northeast corner of the square. It has miles of books in a labyrinth of shelves!
  • If you drive down by North Texas State University on Hickory Street, you’ll discover some more wonderful shops. I don’t travel there much, but I enjoy Voertman’s at 1314 W. Hickory for gifts, cookware and art supplies.
  • Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant at 821 N Locust St.( a part of the Heritage Inn complex) has tastefully prepared food. Don’t miss out on the Chicken Parmesan or the Tiramisu.
  • Sleeping Lizzards, is a collection of odd little gifts, jewelry, etc. at 424 N Elm St.
  • Ravelin’s Bakery at its new location 416 S. Elm St. has delightful pastries and the best sourdough bread I can remember having.

Get in your car for some exploring to the following:

  • International Food of Denton, has wonderful Mediterranean style food at 609 Sunset St.
  • Yummy’s Greek Restaurant at 210 W University is indeed…yummy, that is. And I think you can smoke a hookah there if it appeals to you…
  • Rose Costumes is fun. It’s on Interstate 35 north of Denton (95800 N. Interstate 35 ) in what had aspired to be an outlet mall. That venture fell apart, but it still has several shops. There are 2 or 3 antique stores and Rose Costume (also a Good Eats Restaurant). Even if you don’t need a costume, this humongous store is fun to explore. The dressing rooms are each decorated in a different way. You can try on a costume in a booth that looks like a Gypsy fortune teller’s booth, or Grandma’s kitchen, or the shower stall from “Psycho.” If you go there, make use of the restroom facilities…I’m not kidding. They decorated the room to look like Sherlock Holmes’ study (with a “loo” in it).

There’s plenty more here in Denton, but these are ones that make it worth the drive.”

Vintage Values

I’ve heard people complain about small town life. I don’t mind it much anymore, but I confess that when I first moved to Denton, Texas I wasn’t crazy about it. I missed living in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex where I could shop and eat. It’s been a slow process of discovery, but I’m finding that Denton has several things to recommend it.

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One of my favorite places to shop is a vintage clothing store called Circa 77
(225 W. Oak Denton, TX 76201 Phone: 940-483-1977). It’s a tiny hole in the wall off the square crammed full of treasures.

Christine and her mother Janie, the proprietors, are friendly souls who will just let you browse. Or, they will bend over backwards to help you find what you want. Once they know what types of clothing and accessories interest you, they will call you on the phone whenever similar items come in stock.

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From antique kimonos to bowling shirts to belly dancing costumes and accessories¬†… you never know what treasures you might find. They have designer evening wear and dresses from the 50s that will make any woman look like Beaver Cleaver’s mom.

If an item doesn’t fit, they will alter it to suit your tastes. I had seen one dress made of double knit with a pattern I thought was delightful. The fabric was a cream colored background with a very 60’s retro chocolate print. The dress had a Nehru collar and zipped down the back. Unfortunately, the dress was too snug on me, so I put it back on the rack. A few days later when I visited the shop, another woman had bought the dress and had the shop alter it. They took out the back zipper and closed the seam, opened the front and installed buttons to make it into a coat. It was awesome¬†… but it still wouldn’t have fit me.

Circa 77 doesn’t just have women’s clothing. My husband and son love to shop there, too. I’ll blog about a jacket we found for my husband later. It deserves a blog of it’s own.

You can also find shoes, belts, hats, and jewelry. The pricing at the story is very reasonable. Even though you have to search through the racks, which is something I despise, it’s well worth the hunt when you find something you love.