Deep Ellum may be known for its excess of music venues and art galleries, but this weekend the neighborhood welcomes what’s being billed as new “gin joint,” called XXVII Antique.
The spot isn’t exactly brand new. Chef and owner David Anthony Temple, who Craft Cocktail Insider Eddie Campbell calls “the undisputed king of Dallas pop-ups,” recently traded his fly-by-night ways for a permanent fine dining establishment near the intersection of Elm Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. The restaurant, deemed Twenty-Seven, opened on January 29.
This Saturday, the restaurant debuts late night hours and transforms into an upscale lounge with the promise of live music a la Frank Sinatra and Amy Winehouse. Oh, and gin, eight different kinds to be exact.
“It’s like Rick’s place in Casablanca, that’s kind of the comparison here,” Temple says.
Although the restaurant is called Twenty-Seven — in honor of the class of musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin who passed at 27 years old — Temple bills the space as XXVII Antique between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., an ode to one of his favorite barrel-aged spirits, Waterloo Antique Gin out of Austin. In addition to the name change, tablecloths change from white to black and the curtain separating general seating from VIP is taken down to reveal the stage, Temple says.
Despite being a gin joint, the craft cocktail menu, created by Moses Guidry, includes a healthy mix of spirits. For whiskey drinkers, there are drinks like Southern Stark, made with Cutty Stark Prohibition, Ancho Reyes liqueur, grapefruit and lemon. For tequila lovers, there’s the Smoke Ring, a mix of mezcal, lime, egg white and cucumber. Cocktails range $11-$13. There’s also a wine list.
Visiting during “bar” hours maybe the only chance many get to see the space. The restaurant seats just (you guessed it) 27 diners at a time, twice an evening Thursday through Saturday, and offers a pricey pre-fixe menu. Dinner is also reservation only, aside from five seats at the bar, and “reservations fill up fast,” says Temple.
For now, XXVII Antique is only open Saturdays from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., though Temple hopes to expand hours soon. He also plans to offer bar snacks beginning in March.