Just hours after Christmas in 2017, Joey and Amy Hawkins received the shock of a lifetime. Their popular Denton coffee shop, Jupiter House, had burned down. Jupiter House had served as a staple in Denton for years, and to learn that it had caught fire overnight was heartbreaking for the husband-and-wife duo.
At the time, they tried to remain positive. They figured they could reopen within a matter of weeks. A year and a half later, the couple has finally reopened one of Denton’s favorite coffee shops.
Joey recalls the moment he first heard news of the fire.
“We were shocked,” Joey says. “My wife and I had planned to just sit in our pajamas with our kids that day because it was just a crazy holiday season. Then I had gotten a call from one of the managers at around 5 a.m. We turned on the news, we watched it, then 10 minutes later, I got up and drove to the square.”
Upon arrival, Joey was shocked to realize the damage Jupiter House had sustained.
“It didn’t seem real,” Joey says. “There were four water hoses shooting from the top of the building and one shooting from the front. There were only a couple of people on the square, there were firetrucks all over the place.”
At the time, Joey believed the damage to Jupiter House could have easily been reversed. However, because of the age of the material used to build the original shop, a lot more work needed to be done to bring the storefront up to code.
“It didn’t seem like a lot of damage was done to Jupiter House,” Joey says. “I didn’t realize what smoke damage meant, but it caused a lot of damage with asbestos let loose. I thought we’d reopen in a couple of weeks, but the whole building had to be gutted.”
To this day, Joey still does not know what caused the fire.
During the year and a half that Jupiter House was being rebuilt, Joey directed his energy toward his other ventures. He was a partner at a seafood restaurant called Hoochies and also owned a bagel shop, called Royal’s Bagels, with Amy.
Upon reopening Jupiter House, Joey and Amy merged Royal’s Bagels and Jupiter House, allowing the beloved coffee house to offer more food options.
“I think Jupiter House, now, is the place Amy and I always wanted to build,” Joey says.
Since Joey was 18, he has been collecting posters and ticket stubs from concerts. He has incorporated some of that memorabilia into the decor for the new Jupiter House. Joey also took into consideration some concepts created by University of North Texas students.
“There was a graduate design class at UNT whose final project was to create a presentation of what they thought Jupiter House could be, from demolition to opening the doors,” Joey says. “We were able to see 38 presentations. Each one was 10 minutes long.”
With the reopening of Jupiter House, Joey and Amy are using cleaner water, filtered with a Radiant Life purification system. They are also serving Distant Lands Coffee from Tyler, as well as La Minita coffee from Costa Rica.
Specialty coffee drinks include the Crazy Cosmonaut, which consists of almond, macadamia nut and hazelnut, along with the Jupiter’s Nectar, made up of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut. Both of these drinks cost $5 and can be ordered hot or cold.
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But with the addition of a new bagel enterprise, there's more to love on the food menu, too. One of Jupiter House’s notable food items is the #13 bagel ($10), an everything bagel with honey smoked salmon, tomato, capers and a garden shmear.
While the new Jupiter House may come with a few aesthetic changes, Joey and Amy hope to maintain the original, inclusive atmosphere for which the original Jupiter House was known.
“I think what’s always been neat about Jupiter House is any demographic could hang out here,” Joey says. “You could have a bunch of suits at one table next to a bunch of college kids studying for a test, or a band could be next door. That’s what we’ve always loved about it. That everyone is welcome.”
Jupiter House, 106 N. Locust St., Denton