It’s easy to look at a quickly gentrifying part of a major city and long for grittier, more authentic days, but Deep Ellum, just east of downtown Dallas is anything but a recent phenomenon. With roots that stretch back to the 1800s, Deep Ellum has lived through cycle after cycle of rebirth, explosion and decline, bursting onto the scene in the 1920s as a hub for jazz musicians, a reputation that laid the foundation for the area’s current music credibility.
After another burst of popularity in the 1990s, a perceived increase in local crime tempered the flow of visitors before, you guessed it, the cycle started anew with another round of development and investment that has carried through to today. And make no mistake, there are a number of glossy, high price tag bars and music clubs in the area taking advantage of that popularity, but there are also some gems that have seen a cycle or two, and will likely live to see a few more.
The itinerary below suggests starting at Deep Ellum Brewing
, partially because of the geographic advantage of grabbing a cab to the southern tip of the neighborhood and working your way north, and partially because the brewery’s decision to open this location in 2011 was one of the catalysts for renewed growth. From there, a handful of breweries and dives dot the area, with the unquestioned king Adair’s Saloon
beckoning as the night capper (especially considering its diverse menu that ranges from amazing hamburgers to a single egg).
No matter the path, Deep Ellum is the kind of neighborhood that offers a little something for everyone, and for us, that means breweries, dive bars and a few cheap eats to keep the ship moving forward.