Deep Ellum News

New bar sows secret garden in Dallas' emerging new entertainment zone

New bar sows secret garden in Dallas' emerging new entertainment zone

Ivy plants green
Step into my garden, sweet thing. Courtesy photo

The Good Latimer corridor heading into Dallas' Deep Ellum is shaping up to be the next hot bar zone, and here's a new one to add to the list.

Called Wishful Drinking, it's the newest concept from the Syn Hospitality Group, owner of popular bar-restaurants such as Social House and America Gardens in Fort Worth.

Wishful will be a European-styled bar and restaurant with loads of greenery including flowers and lavish gardens — a welcome departure from the shiplap-paneled rustic trend that's overtaken restaurants and bars.

It'll open in fall 2019 at 2511 Swiss Ave., a vintage brick building that was previously loft apartments. Only recently, this neighborhood was a sleepy, semi-industrial area with parts supply stores and the like.

But then Bottled Blonde, the nightclub juggernaut opened in 2017. Meanwhile, The Epic mixed-use complex is under construction at Good Latimer and Pacific Avenue, bringing along flashy Miami sushi concept Komodo and Biscuit Bar.

Uptown bar Citizen Dallas is relocating to the space next door to where Wishful will go. And the Clutch Group, owner of Concrete Cowboy, intends to open not one but two concepts in the same block.

This neighborhood is changing rapidly, and Syn Group co-founder Shawn Rao says they wanted to be part of it.

"The landlord wants to build a 'Good Latimer district,' and I feel like it's a good place to be," he says.

For Wishful Drinking, they've conceived a European secret garden that's lush with greenery, inside and out, including an 8,000-square-foot outside space.

"Our vision is to have tons of greenery, with patio archways, like a European secret garden on the outside, with bougainvillea and flowers and ivy on the walls," Rao says. "We just want to pivot away from what everyone else is doing right now."

Inside, they'll continue the European vibe with a bar that resembles a train station, boasting a green quartz bar top and terrazzo floors, with flowers and greenery on the ceiling.

In addition to a full bar, they'll serve a menu of common dishes but with an elevated twist.

"I know everyone says that, but we have some interesting things we're working on," he says, hinting at what's to come with dishes such as French fries with caviar.

To help devise the menu, they've recruited Adrien Nieto, part of the team from dinner pop-up company Frank's Underground and a one-time competitor on TV cooking show MasterChef.

"We'll be doing sharable plates, and we haven't finalized the menu, but we're just hoping to go outside the box," he says.

Their outside-the-box approach extends to an eight-screen video wall that will skip from games you can play to displays of art. "The goal is to make it be pleasing to the eye," he says. "You're in the middle of Deep Ellum, but it'll make you feel like you're completely away from that."