Thursday, June 30, 2011
New Denton bar Simone Lounge caters to adults in a college town
Even local music legend Paul Slavens has agreed to take up residency every Tuesday night.
DENTON Tucked between the historic Campus Theater and Vigne Wine Shop & Delicatessen in Denton lies a bit of an anomaly. A new music venue/bar/restaurant hybrid that caters to people ages 24 to 35 is proof that the evolving culture of the town is eternally young – even though the city itself has been around since the 1850s.
What makes this town so vibrant are the two universities and the young, hip twenty-somethings who seem to be in constant need of something new. There are those who party it up at the bars on Fry Street, but for others who prefer to relax and sip on a drink, the new kid in town is Simone Lounge.
As owner Sebastian Urschel says, Simone Lounge is a place that strives to be community oriented. Art made by local artists – all for sale – hangs on the walls, and local musicians provide the entertainment. Denton city council-related meetings are held there. And the fresh fruits and vegetables used in the dishes on the menu were lovingly chosen from the Denton farmer’s market.
Urschel knows the Denton community well; he is a student (on a break) at the University of North Texas who loves Denton's culture and is hoping to provide a place where members of the community can come together to relax, eat, drink, listen, and discuss.
Simone Lounge is sleek. The textured walls are painted purple, and black booths and tables fill the space; but so do the obligatory pool table, dartboard, and foosball table. Rarely are they used, however. Most patrons gravitate towards the bar to watch the flat screen television or remain in their seats, deep in conversation.
The floors are painted red, with black and white tile from the days when the space was a small steakhouse known as Burgundy. The stage is made from repurposed wood from the old booth partitions Burgundy’s had used, and the carpet that covers the stage formerly covered the entire floor.
Although Simone Lounge opened its doors just as college students were finishing classes this spring – and consequently, Denton became a summertime ghost town – interest in the bar has grown. Residents like City Councilmen Kevin Roden are taking notice that this place is not like others in the city. Even local music legend Paul Slavens has agreed to take up residency and perform every Tuesday night.
Simone Lounge is a mature older sibling in Denton's family of bars. It has a laid back bar with an eclectic menu of music and food -- just the kind of watering hole us non-pretentious folks like.
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