Behind a wooden door on Elm Street that's flanked by patinated metal sits one of Deep Ellum's newest bar and restaurant concepts. It's called Armoury D.E. and it specializes in, well, a little bit of everything according to the owners.
Armoury is the product of a partnership between four locals who worked together in various service industry jobs before deciding they'd rather work for themselves. There's Peter Novotny, who brings cocktail know-how; Johnny Brown and Dan Murry, who helm all things beer; and chef Abram Vargas, who's in charge of the kitchen.
Together, they're "four knowledgeable guys who tried to open a bar," Novotny laughed during a recent phone conversation.
And when he says that, he means it quite literally. The project was a year-and-a-half in the making, and once the brunt of construction was done, Novotny and company did all the finish out themselves. The team reinvented the old Kettle Art Gallery space into a rustic chic tavern, with bullet casings as tap handles and whole lot of liquor adorning the custom-built shelf behind the bar.
Armoury D.E. opened in mid-July and has already begun food service. The owners plan to roll out brunch in another couple weeks. In order to fit a kitchen in the design plans, the owners also acquired the adjacent space where head shop Sunshine Store resided.
Novotny described the menu as an eclectic mix of eats that includes some Hungarian dishes, such as Mama's Gulyas (Hungarian beef soup) and Csavargo, a sandwich with pork belly and Hungarian scout sausage. Chef Vargas, who Novotny says is "able to make anything delicious with whatever he feels like," plans to rotate menu offerings, but for now there's also charcuterie, sandwiches, a handful of entrees and unique sides, like cactus fries and octopus. (See full menu here.)
Late-night eaters rejoice -- the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m., though it may offer a limited menu, Novotny said.
Armoury boasts 12 draft beer taps and about 60 bottles, in addition to six red and six white wine options. But all that liquor I mentioned earlier doesn't go to waste.
Novotny described Armoury's cocktail selection as riffs on classics with a price point as great for people who like to drink on the cheap.
"Nowadays, there aren't a lot of original ideas out there. It's about coming up with your own version," he said.
Right now, the Armoury can hold about 45 people in its 2,000-square-foot interior, but the owners are building a patio out back with a small stage for live music that they hope to have open by the time the weather cools off. They expect the addition to double Armoury's capacity. And because the patio will have direct access from the parking lot, it will also be a dog-friendly spot.
Armoury D.E. is open Monday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Once the kitchen starts serving brunch, the spot will be open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
2714 Elm St., Dallas. armouryde.com.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the chef's name.