Downtown News

Chic new black-owned restaurant-cocktail bar lands in downtown Dallas

Chic new black-owned restaurant-cocktail bar lands in downtown Dallas

International Smoke cocktails
The cocktails promise to blow your mind. Photo courtesy of International Smoke

A food & beverage veteran from Houston is opening a plush new restaurant and bar in downtown Dallas. Called True Kitchen + Kocktails, it will open at 1933 Elm St. the historic Hart Building in downtown Dallas behind the Majestic Theatre, with comfort food, craft cocktails, live music, and DJs.

According to a release, it'll open in summer 2020.

Owner is Kevin Kelley, who had a hand in Taste Bar + Kitchen, a similar concept in Houston (the + sign gives it away). His goal: to differentiate from traditionally modest comfort food restaurants by creating a first-class facility with a high of level service and atmosphere.

He's also emphasizing that the restaurant is black-owned and will be culturally diverse.

The menu will feature nicely plated Southern classics with a twist, including:

  • fried chicken and lobster tails
  • shrimp and grits
  • oxtails

Sides will include greens, black eyed peas, and candied yams. Desserts will include peach cobbler, lemon cake, and banana pudding.

The release describes the cocktails as "mind-blowing," presented in a distinctive over-the-top manner with a flair unlike anything seen before at a comfort food restaurant. We are totally ready for our minds to be blown.

In 2017, Kevin Kristian 2612, LLC acquired the historic Hart Building and the adjoining property currently operated as Club Medusa. The restaurant is now in the final stages of a "7-figure" renovation.

"We began the development of 1933 Elm with the intention that it be leased to an outside entity," Kelley says. "However, it became apparent that Dallas deserves a black owned restaurant in the central business district. We are committed to not only presenting fantastic flavor profiles notwithstanding providing the best of facilities and feel for not only blacks, but every single demographic in Dallas."

"In time, we hope to be an all-encompassing, one-stop experience that boasts food, nightlife, and entertainment, also courtesy of the neighboring Majestic Theatre," he says.

It's also their hope to provide inspiration for others in food and beverage to develop and support black-owned concepts.

"Our general manager is Hispanic, our manager is black, our chef is black, and our bar manager is white," he says. "We are committed to representing the diversity that all restaurants in Dallas should. Not just in the kitchen but in management and other positions. We will be that model of restaurant diversity and opportunity, and because of that we hope to have the support of every person of every ethnicity and every background."

"Not only do black lives matter, but so do black businesses," he says. "We hope the public supports that we are not only black owned, but also that we’ve collected a diverse dream team of talent to ensure that this concept serves proper."