A sandwich shop with great cocktails is going into the former Vagabond space on Greenville Avenue. Called Knuckle Sandwich Company, it comes from legendary cocktail king Eddie "Lucky" Campbell and partner Andrew Brimecome, the team behind the successful Parliament bar in Uptown Dallas.
They describe it as a hybrid deli concept with a sophisticated bar that will also do delivery to the neighborhood. Given Campbell's credentials, the bar program will obviously be serious. But Brimecome says that the food should not be overlooked.
"We will have the best sandwiches in Dallas," Brimecome says. "We mostly eat sandwiches, and we love them."
Campbell says that their inspiration is a sandwich place in Arlington, Virginia, called the Lost Dog Cafe.
"I grew up near this sandwich shop with unbelievable gourmet sandwiches and beer," he says. "My family is involved; we've been talking about doing a sandwich shop and deli for 30 years. We're doing it, with craft cocktails."
Campbell's numerous accolades include his award as CultureMap Tastemaker Bartender of the Year 2015; Parliament won Tastemaker Bar of the Year 2015, and it was named best new bar in 2014 by CultureMap readers. Knuckle Sandwich capitalizes on his history in the neighborhood and experience in the delivery world.
"Long before I was a bartender, I was a pizza delivery person and a bicycle messenger for eight years in Washington, D.C.," he says. "I know that industry. We want to do delivery, and sandwiches are perfect for that."
The Vagabond opened in 2014 in the former J. Pepe's with big dreams of being a restaurant, bar, and live-music venue. Founder John Kenyon recruited a high-wattage lineup that included singer-songwriters Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Terry Allen, and sports announcer Eric Nadel. It closed in August 2015.
"I did their opening beverage program," Campbell says. "John Kenyon is a good friend. When he knew that the Vagabond wasn't going to work out, he asked if I knew anybody who might be interested in the location."
Campbell loves the neighborhood, having lived there for several years. "My first job when I came to Dallas was on Greenville Avenue — I was a bar back," he says.
"I knew the crowd at J Pepe's. It was a dive, but they had the awesome regulars, these real characters, who would hang out at the bar. We'd love to serve them some cooler stuff."