Comfy, Cool, & Casual: The Dive Bar & Restaurant

Comfy, Cool, & Casual: The Dive Bar & Restaurant

Comfy, Cool, & Casual: The Dive Bar & Restaurant

by Steve Gamel

Lloyd Banks has a knack for catching lightning in a bottle. If you’ve been around Denton as long as he has, perhaps you remember venues like Groovy Mule, Rockin’ Rodeo, and The R Bar, all of which became “the place to be” by the late 1990s and in their unique way were shots in the arm for a college town that sorely needed a bar and nightclub scene. So when Banks, now 47, decided to pour that same magic into a neighborhood bar and restaurant called The Dive – which he hopes can be the go-to hangout for a slightly older age group – you can bet he got everyone’s attention.

“It’s funny because in all the years I’ve been in Denton doing stuff, for a long time there it seemed like I still had to beg for attention,” Banks said. “Even at Rockin’ Rodeo, we had some big acts – even some national acts – come through there all the time. But I could barely get anyone to do a write-up on any of it. “Now that I’m getting all this attention [for The Dive], it’s a pleasant surprise. I’m very grateful.”

Banks has been juggling media requests with working long days running the show at The Dive, which has received an incredible reaction from customers since it opened Nov. 9. Part of what has made Banks’ ventures so successful over the years has been his ability to fill a void. Back when he was 25, he felt like he knew what college kids wanted and set out to fill those needs with his bars and live music venues. That plan worked to perfection, but now that he’s older, he finds himself looking around wondering what’s out there for the older crowd?

Sure, there are places to go eat, but where can you go to eat, relax, have a few drinks, and be adults for a few hours? The Dive Restaurant answers that question. Located at 3350 Unicorn Lake Blvd., this is a place where customers can eat great food off a menu that includes a wide selection of burgers, wings, chicken fried steak, and blackened salmon. They can also enjoy a full-service bar, music, big-screen televisions, and a decked-out patio for those who want to sit back with a drink and watch the sunset on the lake with friends.

And because he doesn’t want to ignore his past completely, Banks has created a must-see dance floor similar to the Rockin’ Rodeo days for those customers who want to stick around and have even more fun after dinner. “And there’s still so much more that we’d like to do with this place,” he said. “There’s the nightclub vibe, the restaurant, the bar, and then there’s the patio. If you don’t fit into one of those, then I’m not sure what to tell you. I don’t know if The Dive will become ‘an institution’ like Rockin’ Rodeo or anything like that, but I sure would love for it to be here for a long time. I wanted to create something that literally could be cool forever.”

The Dive is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

940.320.3483 | 3350 Unicorn Lake | Denton, TX 76207

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