The best suburbs of Dallas are clearly great places to live, but should you want to visit them? D Magazine online editorial intern Ryan Jones was dispatched to make a day of it in each of our top-ranked cities.The challenge: he’s got only $5 at his disposal. He's already explored Parker, Highland Village, Colleyville, Southlake, Prosper, Highland Park, and University Park. Now comes Flower Mound, No. 8 in our 2010 rankings.
There’s a piece of history next to the Tom Thumb on Long Prairie and Flower Mound roads. To the ill-informed, it might look like nothing more than a mound of tangled wildflowers and overgrown grass, but this hill has a little more to it. It’s the Flower Mound, from which the town of Flower Mound takes its ultra-literal name. Spread out over more than 12 acres and rising as high as 50 feet above its surroundings, the mound isn’t really much to see, but the fact that it’s innocuous both in look and locale hides the otherwise interesting, unexpected story behind it.
That would become something of a theme as I made my way through Flower Mound, looking for ways to kill an afternoon on the cheap. Such a story exists inside a shop on Justin Road that stands out on name alone: Chicks Dig It… and Guys Do Too!
Amy Jenkins had a long history in the wealth management industry before she got sick of working for other people and wanted to start her own business. So, along with her husband Jeff, she opened Chicks Dig It in Whitesboro three years ago, and made the move to Flower Mound in 2009 to get closer to their Highland Village home.
The store sells décor for the home and body, ranging from clothes and accessories to furniture, rugs, and much more. Smaller items like picture frames, candles, jewelry, and greeting cards can not only be had for cheap, but are most often made by local artisans.
“There’s a small hometown feel to it,” Amy says. “We try to recognize everybody coming in.” That’s not to say every customer is from down the block. Clientele have come from as far as Norway, and they’re willing to ship to anywhere in the world, so long as they can find a box to fit the order.
Across town, Bill Turner’s Parker Square business holds a similarly unique history. Turner spent 10 years working at Flower Mound High School before he opened his restaurant, Turner’s Pizza Depot, in early 2010. One thing is pretty obvious — Turner invoked his time spent as a history teacher when decorating his pizza joint. Normally a restaurant overloaded with wall décor is a red flag that screams “chain!” You’re stuck staring at an assortment of presidential bobbleheads, old model Cadillacs, electric guitars, and mounted moose heads (there’s always a moose head) as you wait for an order of whatever poorly spelled concoction (Cheeze Stix!) you ordered to arrive at your table. But Turner’s is a bit different.
“This is my classroom,” Turner says, referring to the scores of historical memorabilia that once adorned the walls of his history class. From a colonial American flag to a World War II helmet riddled with bullet holes to a Robert E. Lee t-shirt with the slogan “Most Likely to Secede,” Turner has a theme and sticks to it. Instead of Sweet’n Low, you’ll find Trivial Pursuit cards in each table’s sugar caddie (“They get people talking,” Turner says), and Charlie Chaplin or the Three Stooges are often on TV to provide entertainment you don’t have to hear to enjoy.
The pizza ranges from the simple standards (I can vouch for the tasty three-cheese garlic pepperoni) to more exotic tastes like Greek and Hawaiian. But the daily specials are what stand out most. Slices are $1 on Mondays, and a 12-inch, one-topping pizza goes for $5 on Wednesdays. Tuesdays have live music, Thursdays are for board games, Fridays offer bingo and karaoke, and Saturdays have country western and swing dancing. Who spins the records, you might ask? Turner, of course—the man who’s been DJing since the ‘70s.
As you head out the door, you might notice that even the decals in the restaurant’s windows have a bit of a clever historical twist to them — one window on the side of the building shows an outline of Abe Lincoln. Underneath it is the accompanying line, “I think next time, I’ll order in.”