Having triumphed as a brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is expanding its footprint with an onsite restaurant called the Taproom + Kitchen, set to open in late April.
The crew has already executed a major renovation of its taproom with the addition of a kitchen and a redesign of the outdoor beer garden. Manager Ethan Minshew says it's an extension of what they've already been doing.
"We've always had food trucks, and we were able to watch the way our customers would come and go," he says. "Not having a food option was a gap. We talked about building a food truck but finally decided that, if we were going to do it, let's just build a kitchen."
That said, they're not aiming to reinvent the wheel. "We just want to offer a menu that allows you to sit and snack, while keeping the focus on showcasing our beers," he says.
The brewery issues at least a dozen beers a year, from its popular Dallas Blonde to cool limited-run releases such as sweet milk stout and American sour ale.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. was ahead of the curve when it opened in 2011 at a time when the neighborhood still felt a little abandoned. Its fun tasting events, spilling out into a landscaped outdoor garden with food trucks at the ready, not only launched Dallas' craft beer scene but it drew people back to Deep Ellum. The area's now enjoying an epic revival, and restaurants make up a big part of the game.
DEBC's menu will include burgers, sandwiches, meat and cheese boards, and small bites. And they're definitely going to go local.
"The cool thing about having a kitchen in the heart of Deep Ellum is that you have local businesses to draw on right there," Minshew says. "We can get proteins from Rudolph's Meat Market and cheese from the Mozzarella Company. We can walk it down and throw it on a board. And we can get produce from the Dallas Farmers Market."
They'll start small, with a limited menu and hours. Eventually, they intend to be open every day with late hours for the club crowd and the essential weekend brunch. They're still finalizing their menu but they'll certainly incorporate some of DEBC's beer, perhaps in something like a beer cheese queso.
"We'll launch periodic features inspired by our seasonal releases," Minshew says. "By no means do we want a static menu. And the price point will be nice.
"We hope it'll give people a chance to know us and our facility," he says. "The brewery has been successful, it's a powerful brand, and the kitchen is an additive to it."