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Staff give a big cheer as the doors open Friday for customers during a soft opening at Jupiter House. The coffee shop was renovated after it was heavily damaged from a fire that ravaged the Downtown Mini Mall next door in December 2017.

The red doors are open and new red velvet rope lines lead visitors inside the newly renovated Jupiter House.

The iconic downtown coffee shop opened for business for the first time in a year and a half Friday afternoon, debuting a new interior after the space was badly damaged in the December 2017 fire next door at Downtown Mini Mall.

“It’s amazing, it really is. It feels complete,” co-owner Joey Hawkins said as he watched a small group of customers move through the shop. “All Amy [Hawkins, his wife] and I did was build the place that we’ve always dreamed of building. We’ve been together 26 years.”

The couple did a surprise opening Friday afternoon, posting on social media minutes before they opened the door for business.

Linda and Monty Naylor were already inside waiting to claim the title as the first customers.

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Jupiter House co-owner Joey Hawkins, second from left, teaches staff how to prepare cinnamon rolls Friday during a soft opening.

The pair live next door to the Hawkinses, and watched as they had to move items from the shop into the garage, and eventually to storage. Not to mention the mountains of paperwork Joey Hawkins maintained to try to keep things organized throughout the renovation, Linda Naylor said.

“It was just a nightmare, and we felt so bad for them,” she said. “But here we are, [Friday], May 10 at four in the afternoon, and it’s so exciting. I know they’re excited to get this behind them.”

In the remodeling process, the couple were able to add a kitchen to accommodate a new food menu, add bathrooms and even a second floor that can hold 30 people and overlooks the downtown Denton Square.

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Customers place their orders during a soft opening Friday at Jupiter House on the downtown Square in Denton.

This means the menu from their previous restaurant, Royal’s Bagels and Deli — including their famous cinnamon rolls — is available in the store. Plus all of the Jupiter House favorite coffee drinks, smoothies and baked goods like scones and cookies are making a comeback.

New lighting, flooring and a bar made from old bowling lanes also mark the space, making the interior nearly unrecognizable from the shop’s previous layout.

There’s also a big attention to detail to make sure the shop reflects the couple’s personalities.

The space includes concert posters with ticket stubs lining a wall and framed renderings from a class at the University of North Texas that was tasked with creating new design concepts for the shop.

“My favorite thing I think is was reusing a lot of the materials we had, and I love all of the quotes,” Amy Hawkins said. “Like this Alan Watts quote: ‘The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.’ That so describes us right now. That’s all we could do.”

There will be a few more “pop-up parties” at the space next week to make sure all of the staff is adjusted and things go smoothly before the shop opens for regular hours.

The shop at 106 N. Locust St. will have a grand opening Friday, May 17, and then be open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“Denton’s community hangout is almost back,” Joey Hawkins said. “We missed this more than we had any idea we would.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @jennafduncan.

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