Children and stoners of East Dallas rejoice — neighborhood favorite Hypnotic Donuts is opening a new joint next door, this time vending a wider variety of sweets.
“We live near the doughnut shop, and I know there’s nowhere to get ice cream,” says owner James St. Peter. “The joke, and I hope it stays a joke, is that I’ll be paying $900 a scoop, but I will have my ice cream.”
Scores of sugar junkies of all ages queue up outside the hippie-themed store on Garland Road every weekend to scarf the shop’s signature doughnuts and chicken biscuits. The new place, called Hypnotic Emporium, will be much bigger and have a menu that includes ice cream, a soda fountain and candy. The atmosphere will be vintage 1920, complete with bow ties and paper hats for employees. No music, no television and no murals of Jerry Garcia on the wall.
St. Peter knew he wanted to expand after his landlord offered the space next door to his iconic doughnut shop, replacing a beauty supply store that was on a month-to-month lease. After that, he had to decide what to sell.
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Hypnotic Donuts has a sister store in Denton that is nearby to Beth Marie's, a homemade ice cream parlor. After numerous trips for his ice cream, St. Peter finally asked the owners if they wanted to go into business together. They agreed, already seeing a demand from Dallas for their sweet stuff. “I thought, 'Well that was easy,'” he says.
A year-and-a-half later, the construction has just started. The plan is to use 400 square feet to vend hard-to-find candy and store-made chocolate. One focus will be Pez. “I have an employee at the doughnut shop that collects dispensers,” he says. “He’s got 4,000 Pez dispensers. So this was a nod to him. I just got off the phone with the distributors and we’ll be getting Star Wars dispensers. We just won’t be able to push them in time for opening weekend.”
The new store will mean longer hours for Hypnotic Donuts, which will stay open later to better cross-promote the new store. “Maybe people waiting on line will look in the windows,” St. Peter says.
The new store is on track to open mid-January or February, but the tantalizingly under-construction website is live.