In and around Denton’s town square, it’s not uncommon to see people strumming old guitars or playing harmonicas. Antiques vendors, bookstores, and record shops clustered nearby pay homage to days gone by, even as the city—and the University of North Texas—continue to grow. That is part of what drew musician Kim Nall to the eclectic town seven years ago. Nall taught herself to play guitar at 13 and honed her skills at open-mic nights while attending UNT. These days, she plays solo gigs and performs with the Dallas-based all-girl group The Blondettes. Nall describes her music as “country noir,” a description that also fits her vintage Western style. She put her wardrobe together by scouring thrift shops like the ones near Denton’s square. “All that Western stuff I got into by accident,” she says. “I was driven to it by a lack of funds when I was younger, but it just became about the thrill of the hunt for me.” Here, she shares her favorite places to find treasures new and old.
Shop the Barn
This antique interior storefront has a “Southern shabby-chic theme.” You’ll find recycled furniture, books, wall decor, and old jewelry. Plus, they paint custom frames and will sell you a mason jar of their signature color for touch-ups.
Dawa Juliet Sangmu travels the globe to create a local world market. “Sometimes she’ll make the jewelry,” Nall says, “and sometimes she’ll find a piece in a market in Nepal, or a handmade leather bag from Guatemala.”
The Dime Store
The Dime Store brings together North Texas’ Etsy vendors to tempt you with everything from handicrafts and homemade bath products to vintage clothing and furniture.
Recycled Books Records CDs
Once Denton’s opera house, it’s now a bright purple haven for books and music. In college, Nall frequented it so often that she was nicknamed “Tom Waits Girl.”
This shop “has vintage clothing from every era imaginable.” Nall’s prized possession? A red lace dress she bought for a college theater production and had altered for special occasions.
Mad World Records
“Never underestimate the importance of having a good local record store,” Nall says. If this one doesn’t have what you’re looking for, the friendly staff will help you track it down.
This open, outdoor bar has a huge selection of beer but is just as beloved for its pressed juices and unique coffee drinks. Coffee ice cubes in a Topo Chico are the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day.
When Nall needs a pick-me-up, she heads to Shift Coffee for “the best cortado of my life.”
An upscale but approachable haunt. Don’t miss the chicken and waffles with Sriracha butter.