Denton Small Business Profile
In economic development, we see small business owners in Denton hustling to make their businesses into something they can be proud of and share with their families. It's not just a way to express themselves or provide an income, but a way to contribute to the community they call home. We hope to share some of the fantastic small businesses here and help you get to know the entrepreneurs that make Denton a great place to belong.
Today, we celebrate a restaurant on the face of the Square that recently received a Downtown Reinvestment Grant, Chestnut Tree Teahouse and Bistro.
Open since 1994, The Chestnut Tree Teahouse and Bistro is the oldest restaurant on the face of the Square. You can dine in or take something to go, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu features regionally inspired recipes, quality ingredients, and old-world charm. Previously focused on serving breakfast and lunch, the pandemic compelled owner Suzanne Johnson to pivot and reinvent her business. Chestnut Tree expanded its services to offer happy hour, brunch, and catering services for everything from weddings to university events. During the pandemic, Suzanne operated a community marketplace and obtained a manufacturing license, allowing her to produce quiches for five Sweetwater Tea & Coffee chain locations in the metroplex. Additionally, she partnered with The Mug, to add their coffee kiosk inside of Chestnut Tree. Further expanding the restaurant’s menu, there is now an Italian chef and a sommelier focusing on happy hour and catering events. Some might even describe the restaurant as having a cult following of dedicated customers who are there for her and the restaurant through thick and thin.
Recently Chestnut Tree temporarily closed and a local Hispanic-Woman-owned small business, Imagine Renovations, was hired to make renovations to the historic building. Improvements on the restaurant included a new, updated electrical system to support the entire restaurant and a new ductless air system. A hidden skylight was found towards the back of the restaurant when replacing the drop ceiling with new sheetrock at the correct ceiling height. They installed a new bar, and the original wood floors were repaired and refinished. Additional improvements made the restaurant and restroom ADA-compliant. Concluding the interior improvements revealed the restaurant's original brick walls and new lighting fixtures inspired by the history of the building were installed.
The Downtown Reinvestment Grant Program provided financial support to complete the renovations. Economic Development manages the program created by the City of Denton to support businesses located in the Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) to help with the cost of "façade rehabilitation and building renovation, awnings and signs, impact fee reimbursements, utility upgrades, or interior code improvements." Grant applicants go before the Downtown Economic Development Committee (DEDC), Downtown Tax Reinvestment Zone No.1 Board (Downtown TIRZ), and the City Council as part of the approval process.
Dining in or grabbing take-out with Chestnut Tree is an excellent opportunity to support a small, local, and female-owned business.
Chestnut Tree Teahouse and Bistro
107 W Hickory
Denton, Texas 76201
Store # (940) 591-9475
Hours – BRUNCH & LUNCH | TUES - SUN | 10 - 3
UNCORKED HOURS | WED - FRI | 4 - 8
Website – www.chestnuttearoom.com
Facebook – facebook.com/chestnuttearoom
Instagram - @thechestnuttreedenton