Denton's bar scene gets a cozy new bar-restaurant in spring 2015 from a former local musician and some of his close friends. The musician is Matt Slider, former frontman for The Feds, and the new place is called Service Industry.
He's opening it with his wife, Leah, and partners Lissa and JB Paschal, in a complex that includes the Denton branch of Hypnotic Donuts.
The Feds were a pop-punk band who flirted with national fame after playing on the Vans Warped tour and winning a national battle of the bands competition in 2004. The band called it quits in 2008, and Slider enrolled at UNT, where he's been studying communications and design and tending bar at establishments around Denton, most recently at East Side Denton, a craft beer and bourbon bar.
"It'll be a bar that serves food more than a restaurant that serves alcohol," says co-owner Matt Slider. "The main thing we're going for is a comfortable, intimate atmosphere."
"We've all been around the Denton Square area for a few years and have known each other for a while, but we got to talking at JB's wedding, and it all started to come together," Slider says. "JB will be general manager, and I can use the knowledge I've gained in advertising and design."
Service Industry will be a bar and restaurant, with emphasis on bar.
"It'll be a bar that serves food more than a restaurant that serves alcohol," Slider says. "The main thing we're going for is a comfortable, intimate atmosphere. Denton has had a few of those bars, but the bar industry has changed so much, and that includes Denton."
It's about raising the bar, he says.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the times we live in, the types of ingredients and flavor profiles that people crave," he says. "That lends itself to craft beer, which has blown up here in Denton. People want to try new things, be adventurous. We understand that people's palates are changing."
That said, Service Industry won't be a craft beer bar.
"We have that in Denton; Oak Street Drafthouse and East Side have a huge craft beer following," he says. "We're still a part of that family, but we're not trying to compete with them. We'll have craft beers, domestic, draft, bottles. We’ll have a great selection."
The menu is still in progress, and they're currently doing "the fun part" of sanding and painting in a space previously occupied by Gold Mine BBQ, which closed in September. "We're in the belly of this building. It's a hidden little gem," he says.
"We're creating a space where you can have a conversation, take someone on a date, meet your friends," he says. "Denton is growing so fast. Real estate is crazy. People are building, buying and renting, and there are a lot of small businesses opening.
"With that being said, we feel like there's a market for a place where you can have an intimate, comfortable night. Not something crazy elevated, because we're still a college town, but [someplace] people feel comfortable and welcome."