The seriously trending-up Deep Ellum will soon see another eating-and-drinking establishment called Armoury D.E. It is going into one of the most enviable addresses in the neighborhood: 2714 Elm St., the space formerly occupied by Kettle Art Gallery (which moved to Main Street last year).
Named for an old sign stenciled on the inside brick wall, Armoury will be a restaurant-bar with craft beer, cocktails and crafty food from a quartet with nearly a dozen years of experience in the service industry — and with emotional ties to the neighborhood.
"My partners and I grew up in the '90s and loved coming to Deep Ellum," says co-owner Peter Novotny. "I always said that if I were ever going to open a place, that's where I wanted to do it."
The crew also includes Dan Murry, Johnny Brown and Abram Vargas, who collectively have worked at well-known spots such as the Fillmore Pub in Plano, Vickery Park, Goodfriend, Libertine, Cedar Social, Bottle Shop and Londoner.
Armoury D.E., which sits next-door to the newly opened Off the Record, is targeting an opening in late November or early December. "It's a little ambitious," Novotny says.
The menu will be seasonal and constantly changing. They'll keep it small, with a few upscale entrées and small plates to make it affordable.
"It's probably more of a bar with really interesting food," Novotny says. "We like the idea of eclectic dishes, the snout-to-tail deal, with a lot of different cuisines. We will always have a burger on the menu, and a salad or two. I'm Hungarian, so I hope we'll have a goulash there or chicken paprikash."
The bar will have local brews, but also some European and world beers. "Johnny's experience at Bottle Shop will help in this department," Novotny says. "He’s talking about trying to bring in microbrews from around Texas that might not be distributed here. We'll even drive to go get them."
But don't rule out the less trendy beers. "We'll have a light beer, and maybe cans, like Schlitz and some of the old-school brands."
They're in the midst of a renovation that includes the installation of a kitchen as well as the construction of a patio in the back where they'll set up a small stage for some low-key live music. The whole place won't seat more than 100. "I'd rather have a full small restaurant than a huge empty restaurant," Novotny says.
The Armoury name is a spin-off from Armours, the meat-packing company. A large stenciled sign on the wall, which Novotny says dates to the late 1800s, includes references to Armours and the Reid Brothers, who worked with Armours and had what he calls a checkered history. And the "D.E." stands for Deep Ellum, silly.
"We really wanted to be on Elm Street and liked the idea of incorporating the history of the building," he says.