By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Last month, Dan Mojica celebrated the seventh anniversary of Dan's Silverleaf quietly and without much ado. But Mojica says that the anniversary "seems almost impossible to believe."
Especially because, when he closed the doors of Dan's Bar in November 2001, Mojica wasn't initially sure whether he'd ever open another bar.
Located blocks from where Dan's Silverleaf is today (103 N. Industrial St. in Denton), Dan's Bar opened in 1995 in the space that's now Dusty's Bar & Grill. But Mojica was forced to close the bar in the mayhem following the events of 9/11, oddly enough.
"I'll never be remembered as a good businessman," Mojica says. "But now I have two really cool partners that are incredibly good businessmen, and they help where I am lacking."
And Dan's has been able to develop quite the reputation in recent years.
"We're known for the Americana and the country, but we'll also have everything from jazz, classical, metal and punk," Mojica explains. It helps, of course, that the venue's also known as one of the nicest spots in town—a far cry from Dan's Bar, Mojica says.
"This place is a much nicer venue and a much better venue to see a show," he explains. "A lot of the same bands that played there have played here, like Slobberbone, The Gourds and Eleven Hundred Springs. I'm just a really big music fan, and I'm an older guy, but I'm fortunate that I get to hang out with a bunch of people a lot more young and vital than I am. Most people my age get stuck saying that if it's not Jefferson Airplane or The Beatles, then it's not any good. But I'm calling bullshit. I think the music of today is the best that it's ever been because the bands are able to build on the past."
Now, though, in addition to the music and the Denton Pub Quiz Apocalypse! the venue offers up each week, Dan's is offering "Fourth Wall Comedy Night" every other Wednesday, an event being organized by Bowling for Soup frontman Jaret Reddick.
"It's gotten to a point that people act like this is their house," Mojica says. "And that's kinda the point of this all, going back to the root of the word, pub. It's a public house, so I'm glad that people have taken a sense of ownership."
But why "Silverleaf," then?
"When I opened Dan's Bar, my grandma asked me what the name of it was going to be," Mojica recalls. "Her brothers used to have a bar up in Chicago called The Silverleaf, and when I called the first place Dan's Bar, she wanted to know why I didn't call it The Silverleaf, And I told her, 'Gram, if I open another bar, I'll call it The Silverleaf.'" —Daniel Rodrigue