There’s a fresh wind blowing through Deep Ellum, a renaissance underway. The neighborhood has been a music mecca since the 1920s, but other than Tracy Miller’s chic restaurant, Local, there wasn’t much more than basic chow to its dining scene a few years ago. The edgy landscape just east of downtown made a jump when Cane Rosso, Filament and Pecan Lodge opened. More venues are following suit, led by real estate developer 42 Deep Ellum, which is putting the area on the map—not just for music, but also for food. “The vision,” says Scott Rohrman, 42 Deep Ellum’s managing general partner, “is to have great food by great operators, in a mix of casual to sophisticated, without losing the Deep Ellum vibe.”
Case in point: Stirr, housed in a two-story structure where the Blind Lemon nightclub (named for the famed blues artist Blind Lemon Jefferson) once stood. From the street, the venue’s 18-foot-tall windows present a cosmopolitan air; the Coevál Studio-designed interior is a casual mix of warm brick, raw cement and stylish tufted seating; and a marble bar wraps around a staircase in the center of the ground floor. Above is a 3,000-square-foot covered deck with lounge seating and huge retractable windows that open westward, offering a glorious view of the downtown skyline.
Stirr’s proprietors also own Uptown hot spot Citizen, so cocktails are a must. The Babe’s Old-Fashioned knocks it out of the park with bacon-infused Rittenhouse rye, chocolate liqueur, orange bitters and smoky notes of torched caramel. The Prohibition classic Bee’s Knees ($9) is a buzzy gin, lemon and honey sipper. The spacious bar makes for comfortable dining, with a view of beverage preparations and conversations with amiable barkeeps.