School's Out For Summer

Thousands of students graduated from Denton's two universities two weekends back. Others went home for the break or took a vacation. Some bands headed out on tour, meanwhile, as others have been forced into "a break" while a certain member gallivants around in European coffee shops.

When school lets out for the summer in a college town like Denton, many of the city's businesses feel a noticeable decrease in, well, business.

Born and raised in Denton, Brian Denny is accustomed to the seasonal ebbs and flows of business in a college town. In 2005, he founded D.H.S. Entertainment, which now handles most of the booking for Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, but he's also a former bartender and manager of Cool Beans Bar & Grill.

"I've bartended here and been in bands in town for a while now, and we enter some sort of a dead zone after classes get out," says Denny. "People head home or go on a vacation, and all the bars and clubs have to suffer through it."

To make shows stand out from the rest, Denny says that, over the summer, D.H.S. books more event-style gigs (like the upcoming annual Rock N Roll BBQ). "They are more like community events, where it's about more than just taking shots and seeing a band—more an occasion than bar hopping."

Things pick up a little after the mini-mester is over (which is after the first weekend in June), but, says Denny, "things stay kinda crappy until September when the fall semester starts."

Student-frequented local businesses expect the seasonal waxing and waning.

"The first three weeks of summer you definitely feel the hit," says Rubber Gloves owner Josh Baish. "But that's to be expected in a college town because of the semesters. It's all cyclical. And I know how the numbers will look at the end of the year."

Time Bandits owners Lisa McCullough and David Townsend say that they've also already noticed a slowing down in business. "We're already feeling the pinch," McCullough says. "But we expected it this year and tried to prepare for it."

Though many businesses, bars and venues around town feel the scholars' exodus, Dan Mojica of Dan's Silverleaf says his club manages to escape the brunt of the decline in patrons.

"At Silverleaf, we do get a lot of students, but we also cater to an older crowd, so we don't get hit as hard as some of the other venues," Mojica says, citing events like Denton Pub Quiz Apocalypse! "Business does soften up a little bit, but not as much as places in town that just cater to the students. We do well because we cater to the professors too." —Daniel Rodrigue