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New eateries future of former Argyle fire station

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Picture a riding lawnmower hanging from the ceiling, its blades now serving as a fan. Or envision a large shade tree overhanging an open patio. A whimsically-designed combination coffee and ice cream shop will invite residents for an early morning cup of coffee or an afternoon ice cream treat. Such are the visions of a trio of restaurant developers who are reimagining the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department’s former home off U.S. Highway 377.

Steve Watkins, John “Sparky” Pearson and Earl Herrington are the real estate developers behind LSA Burger Co. on Hickory Street off downtown Denton. The renovated building with its open second floor patio has attracted crowds anxious to view the downtown lights and Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square from a new perspective. The trio also owns the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Argyle in addition another one in Sanger and one opening soon in Cross Roads.

In late July, the trio received town approval on a site plan amendment to convert the former fire station and nearby bunkhouse into a trio of restaurants connected by an open patio. The plans call for expanding and renovating the fire station at 427 S. U.S. 377 into a 4,534-square-foot pizza restaurant. A 1,200-square-foot dormitory building will be expanded to 2,345 square feet to house a coffee and ice cream shop complete with a drive-through window.

Both shops, much like LSA Burger Co., will have a unique look and feel to them, Watkins said.

The developers are expecting permits to begin construction work by early September with plans to open in the first quarter of 2015.

The pizza restaurant, which will be called Earl’s 377 Pizza Restaurant, will follow the theme of Earl, a fictitious volunteer firefighter who collects odds and ends including the John Deere tractor soon to be hanging from the ceiling. Unique items will fill the restaurant with an Argyle-centric décor while much of the framework of the former fire station — including the garage doors — will be preserved, Watkins said. Brick, stone and wood will combine to set the ambiance.

A porch facing the existing Fuzzy’s Taco Shop will be screened in with an old rustic door complete with squeaks as customers step in or out.

A large tree in back will be preserved as the centerpiece for an outdoor setting complete with a bar. The menu will be designed to cater to those looking for a quick lunch, a casual evening meal or delivery to an event at one of the two schools nearby.

“We will offer fast, high quality pizzas,” he said. The pizzas will be baked to order in a brick oven.

With the town’s love of sports and sporting events, the menu offers yet another choice for takeout before heading to a ballgame, Watkins said.

The bunkhouse will be reconfigured into a whimsical-styled eatery similar to The Tuck Box in Carmel, Calif., which sports a non-linear design with its uniquely-shaped roof and tall fireplace. The Tuck Box was designed by builder-designer Hugh Comstock in 1927. Mornings will offer coffee and breakfasts with afternoons and evenings devoted to ice cream, Watkins said. The shop, which will be called Kinzey’s Coffee and Cream, is named after a partner’s daughter.

The courtyard will be shared by Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Earl’s 377 Pizza Restaurant and Kinzey’s Coffee and Cream. The restaurant grouping will serve residents looking for a place to gather without driving eight miles in any direction to find a similar setting, Watkins said.

“We hope it becomes a real sense of community where people can come in and have some options,” he said.

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