GvB premieres new song from Hunx and his Punx

Thanks to the peeps over at the Gorilla vs. Bear site for offering up some queer music for the day. How about some Hunx and His Punx for your listening pleasure? Gorilla vs. Bear posted “Lovers Lane” today from the band’s upcoming album Too Young To Be In Love. So far, I can’t stop listening to it. Its uber-gay tune is beautifully nostalgic in that K-Tel kinda way.

The band is also in the process of creating its own TV show, which sounds like a hot mess and by the sound of the band’s last tweet (their feed is as entertaining as their music), they wouldn’t mind a little financial scratch to help out. Take some of your intended KERA money and help a gay out by pledging. They are  halfway to their $3,000 goal.

—  Rich Lopez

Danny Sikora

One gay Dallas man helps bring the 75-year-old bakery that has been a family’s favorite into the digital age

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

DIGITAL DELIGHTS  |  Danny Sikora went from business manager for his father’s medical practice to marketing consultant for Aston’s Bakery. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
DIGITAL DELIGHTS | Danny Sikora went from business manager for his father’s medical practice to marketing consultant for Aston’s Bakery. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Aston’s Bakery on Lovers Lane is a third-generation family business.

Danny Sikora said Aston’s baked his parents’ wedding cake and that family tradition was to have an Aston’s seven-layer cake for each family member’s birthday.

Sikora said that earlier this year, Aston’s approached him to work with them.

“They needed help getting the bakery on track,” Sikora said. “My role has turned into development.”

Until his dad died last year, Sikora managed his father’s medical practice. He said that he’s still getting requests for records from patients for a variety of reasons. Some just have new doctors but others need to prove to insurance companies that they are not covering pre-existing conditions.
But as that demand on his time has been slowing down, Sikora was looking to reinvent himself. The medical practice was a family business and he was not looking to go to work for another doctor.

He’s been in business for himself before with a wholesale business, and he had a florist shop, with locations in NorthPark Center and on Henderson Street.

But with the economic downturn, Sikora decided the time to open another new business wasn’t right.

Aston’s Bakery has been around since 1934. Its first location was on Lemmon Avenue near Douglas Avenue. Then the bakery moved to Preston Center where it remained for 50 years.

For the past seven years Aston’s has been on Lovers Lane.

Sikora said one problem the bakery had was the lack of a mailing list. After seven years, former customers are still just finding them.
“All orders are still taken with paper and pencil,” Sikoa said.

Now, he encourages the bakery to also get e-mail addresses, and Sikora markets Aston’s on Facebook and texts special offers like two-for-one clearance on Saturday afternoons.

A recent promotion on GroupOn brought in 480 orders. That included more than 100 new customers.

“That was 17,000 petit fours,” Sikora said.

Most of the bakery’s business is special order.

“This is slow food,” Sikora said. “We’re using 75-year-old family recipes.”

Aston’s gets more orders for its champagne cake than for anything else.

Sikora described it as a chiffon cake with a hint of orange and champagne whipped cream between the layers, all covered with shaved white chocolate.
While the classics remain unchanged since Aston’s first began baking in Oak Lawn, Sikora has encouraged the bakery to update some of its styles for the cakes, cupcakes, cookies and bread on display for sale in the store.

“We’ve added new products,” Sikora said, describing a cream cheese-maple-bacon frosting-covered carrot cake cupcake that Aston’s is currently experimenting with.

Sikora said the bakery’s been around so long that the family just thought everyone knew about them. Until Sikora began marketing the company this year, Aston’s didn’t even have a website.

But while social networking has worked well in bringing in new customers, Sikora is not above marketing the old-fashioned way, too. He’s walked up and down the carpool lanes at Highland Park schools handing out coupons.

While Sikora said everything at Aston’s is baked with whole ingredients — no preservatives, no mixes, nothing artificial — he’s experimenting with putting in a few products that meet those standards but are baked elsewhere. He recently talked to Mark Shekter about adding Ruthie’s Rugaluch for the holidays.

Aston Bakery, 4342 Lovers Lane. 214-368-6425.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 22, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Best bets • 10.01.10

Friday 10.01

Shakira
Shakira

They are still pretty ticked off
Just when you thought you were out, Israel Luna pulls you back in. The local filmmaker screens his controversial Ticked Off Trannies With Knives for two midnight showings. If you missed all the hubbub over the film, now’s your time to catch up. And what better way to see a throwback exploitation film than late at night on the plushy sofas of the Inwood?

DEETS: Inwood Theatre, 5458 W Lovers Lane. Through Saturday. Midnight. $10.

…………………..

Friday 10.01

The hips don’t lie, but they shake
We never hear much about Shakira. Unlike many a pop star, she sidesteps the usual fame trappings and lets the music speak for her. That doesn’t mean she’s any less fabulous. Her rollerblading and motorcycle riding in her video for “Loca” is steamy, sexy and fun — just like the non-diva diva she is.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 8 p.m. $20–$160.Ticketmaster.com.

………………….

Sunday 10.03

Nothing secret about these gardens
The Rainbow Garden Club brings back its third annual Garden Tour 2010. Travel to the six gardens of members and friends of the group. Just don’t snip any flowers for yourself. Not cool.

DEETS: Various stops at residents’ homes. Noon. $10. Visit RainbowGardenClub.com for details.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 01, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Dallas Bears give big

Steven Pace, center, executive director of AIDS Interfaith Network, accepts a check from the Dallas Bears during the group’s annual banquet in June at Celebration Restaurant on Lovers Lane in Dallas. The Bears distributed $38,000 raised from the Texas Bear Round-Up (TBRU) held in March. Of that, $19,000 went to Youth First Texas, and $9,500 each to Legacy Founders Cottage and AIDS Interfaith Network. The 2010 TBRU not only set an all-time record for attendees (more than 1,200 people), the $38,000 raised is a club record for beneficiary donations.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 9, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens