In the near future, Denison could be getting a new upscale bar with outdoor patio seating. The 1880 Ice House, a high-end bar with an outdoor patio and a focus on a more affluent customer base, is hoping to open in downtown Denison by spring 2020.

Site owner Bill Kennedy told the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission he was very excited for the project before the board approved his conditional-use permit for the establishment. The City Council will still have to consider the permit before it is final.

“This is a building that has a lot of character,” Kennedy said a P&Z Tuesday. “We're expanding on that. This is not a college bar or a biker bar or anything like that. This is a higher-end facility with the outdoor scene.”

Kennedy said his bar would be called 1880 Ice House tying it into the historical context of Chestnut Street.

“I think it is going to be a great addition,” he said. “The area needs this. It is going to cater to a higher-end customer. It is also a place where you can bring your dog or the kids.”

When asked what he means by high end, Kennedy said it relies on the outdoor patio seating and landscaping.

“It is similar to Katy Trail Ice House in Dallas,” Kennedy said. “It is a patio venue with indoor-outdoor options — family options. It's a place to bring your kids and your dogs to enjoy a beverage. We're bringing in Fannin Tree Farm who is bringing in trees to provide shading. It should be a nice, neat vibe in the downtown area and we're really excited for that.”

City Planner Bill Medina said the building was already zoned for central district but the conditional-use permit was needed to allow for the sale of alcohol on the site. The city staff recommended the issuance of the permit as the business fits the culture the city is aiming for in downtown with live music.

“Our target market are citizens here in Denison that are looking for a nicer patio alternative than what is maybe presently available,” Kennedy said. “A place where they can get a nice glass of wine or a nice mixed martini or a cold beer but also enjoy a family atmosphere. We're not necessarily catering to the college atmosphere.”

Kennedy had already been given approval for the changes he intended to make to the site from the Denison Historic Preservation Board last month. He said the goal is to be open by March 2020.

Are you looking forward to a patio bar with outdoor seating in downtown Denison? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by sending an email to He can also be reached on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.