A friendly, upscale bar-and-restaurant combination recently joined the plethora of local businesses around the Denton Square. Since its debut in Sept. of 2015, 940’s has striven to make its mark on the city, and so far, the business has been successful.

But the process of establishing their business wasn’t an easy one, according to UNT alumnus and band member Mckenzie Smith.

“Starting a restaurant is a huge undertaking,” Smith said.

Smith, a musician in the band Midlake, has played the drums since he was very young, and has studied music his entire life. Seizing the opportunity to explore a new vocation in Denton, he and his longtime friend and business owner Randy Labosco got together to brainstorm.

Having already experienced a variety of other business ventures, Labosco is very involved with the food industry, giving the pair a distinct advantage.

It made sense to start up a business in the busy, growing town of Denton, and since the two were Denton locals, they were already acquainted with the area. Smith also owns Paschall Bar and was excited to expand his ventures into further reaches of Denton.

Despite Smith’s enthusiasm, 940’s was in the works for more than a year.

They spent a long time looking for a location, but when the previous owners of the current location offered to sell them the spot, they seized it. Coincidentally, Smith both knew the previous owners, and had a unique memory from the building.

“One of my first musical experiences playing in Denton was in this room in the very back… [in] about 1998,” Smith said.

Finding the right team members was the next challenge, and eventually, current general manager Matt Mullins would come into the picture. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mullins has since relocated to the D-FW area. When he arrived in Denton to meet the owners, Mullins also had experience in the food industry under his belt.

“I met with Mckenzie and Randy,” Mullins said, “and things kind of hit it off from there and started going.”

Having been in Denton since 2014, Mullins is relatively new to the area. He named the kindhearted residents and fair business practices as things that made him want to stay, noting how active the community is.

“I think my favorite thing about being here is being more and more apart of the area,” Mullins said. “With some of the business owners and locals who live here, learning more about that and meeting other people.”

Bartender Aurora Arellano, another UNT alumna, has been with 940’s since its opening. She was one of the last ones to be hired before it officially opened for business. With previous bartending experience, Arellano has lived in Denton since 2008.

“It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing,” Arrellano recalled. “Someone asked if I wanted to apply, and then I got the job on the spot. I was pretty excited.”

940’s bar offers a unique ambience that is different from the majority of bars and restaurants found in Denton. To many, it’s classy without feeling snobby or intimidating and open to any clientele. The place is trendy, yet retains a somewhat vintage feel. Elegant furniture graces a long bar with a sparkling marble top.

Mullins said he thinks people in Denton often travel to other towns, like Dallas or Frisco, in order to obtain the kind of dining experience that 940’s now offers. Everybody at 940’s takes pride in the fact that they are distinguishable from the other business in Denton.

The name of the restaurant was inspired by Denton’s area code, 940.

“940’s is Denton, a part of Denton,” Smith said. “It’s like we’re built into this city, we’re part of the fabric of the town, and it’s a place that all are welcome in this town, and that was sort of the thinking behind it.”

By: NT Daily

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