A piece of southern Denton County history and a place to catch up on all the local gossip over a bowl of Frito pie is no longer with us.
Bartonville Food Store closed its doors for good on Friday evening after serving the area for over four generations.
The Town of Bartonville acquired the store, which sits on 1.35 acres at the northwest corner of Jeter Road and McMakin Road adjacent to Town Hall.
“We were approached by a local realtor. We had no idea James (Price) was going to close the store. The land was going to be sold, we had the option to buy it and we did,” said Bartonville Mayor Ron Robertson.
Robertson said that the town used the proceeds from another land sale to pay cash for the store.
“We bought the land across the street (the former Lantana Gardens nursery) some time ago and were able to sell it to NewQuest Properties for the Kroger site in Lantana Town Center and make a big profit on it.
“We were able to take that money and buy the store as well as pay off all the town’s debt. The town is debt free as of today.”
Both the NewQuest and Bartonville Store transactions closed within a couple of hours of each other on Friday afternoon.
Bartonville Store owner James Price, a one-time Argyle Fire Chief and long-time volunteer fireman, said that the time was right for him to sell.
“It was time,” said Price. “There’s just not any profit to be made anymore.”
There has been a general store at that location “since the 1850’s is what I’ve been told,” said Price.
Price’s father bought the store in 1959, tore most of it down and built what stands today.
“My father’s sole plan was for me to grow up and inherit the business,” said Price.
Now, his plans are up in the air, and Price said he will be looking for a job sometime later this year.
As for the future of the Bartonville Store land, Robertson said not to expect another retail development.
“The council has no immediate plans, but I think the long term plan will be to protect the local historical value of that corner and maybe put a future town hall there.”
Read more about the rich history of Bartonville Store in the April 2013 edition of The Cross Timbers Gazette, courtesy of local history buff, Jim Morriss.