Two Denison restaurants are joining together as the first local tenants in the Gateway Village retail development. CJ’s Coffee Roasterie and Lettuce Indulge announced plans to open a combined location in the new Shops on the Boulevard retail space just west of the Hilton Garden Inn.


“We strive to create spaces for the residents and visitors of North Texas to have unique experiences”, Covenant Development CEO Tom Johnson said in a news release. “We believe the local roasting of CJ’s Coffee beans combined with the farm-to-fork concept Lettuce Indulge has created brings an ideal addition to what we’ve envisioned for the master-planned healthy lifestyle community of Gateway Village.”


This marks the third location for CJ’s Coffee in Texoma and the first brick-and-mortar location for Lettuce Indulge. CJ’s Coffee is best known for its flagship downtown Denison location and a second location was opened in Sherman in 2018.


Lettuce Indulge entered the Texoma restaurant scene in April when it opened as a food truck serving fresh wraps, salads and smoothies. While the food truck does travel, it can often be found in the food truck park in downtown Denison.


“For a majority of our hours, Monday through Friday, we are at the food truck park,” Marketing Manager Hunter Principe said Friday.


Despite the differences in their menu, Principe said the two restaurants had a lot in common. Where Lettuce Indulge sources many of its ingredients from the local community, CJs will roast its coffee beans on site.


“We believe this will give our guests an opportunity to become part of the story, part of what we are doing,” CJ’s Coffee Owner Nancy Gentry said in news release. “Additionally, our partnership with Lettuce Indulge is something we’re very excited about. We share the same core values and beliefs. We are looking forward to working together to serve our community.”


Principe said the change to a brick and mortal location is both exciting and scary, but he felt it could help the company reach out to a greater audience in the community with its fresh food and healthy menu. With Gateway Village also focusing on healthy living, with walking amenities and its proximity to Texoma Health Foundation Park, he felt the location is a good match for the business.


“The focus on life activated has been a primary building block for Lettuce Indulge from the beginning. With our true farm-to-table concept, we see the life activation through all stages from seed to fork,” said Aimee Dennis of Lettuce Indulge in the release.


The two restaurants will share space on the southern portion of the building, which was approved by Denison P&Z in the first meeting of 2019. Covenant Development Marketing Director Melanie Medina said there has been high interest in the other portions of the retail space. About 2,000-square feet of the building has yet to be claimed, but this could quickly change due to the high demand, she said.


Construction on the retail space is ongoing , with a completion date some time in the first quarter of 2020.