A date has been set for Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden, the Arizona-based bar-restaurant that's opening on the fringes of Deep Ellum: October 12. It's going into the former Allied Printing Co. space at 505 N. Good Latimer Expy., directly across from the Deep Ellum train station, and will be the third location in the country of this nascent chain.
Bottled Blonde comes from husband and wife Les and Diane Corieri, who founded it in Scottsdale in 2015. They opened a second branch in Chicago in 2016.
They serve contemporary Italian food, especially pizzas, and a big selection of local craft beer in what they describe as a "high-energy setting." Consulting chefs Jared Porter and Joe Absolor have created a from-scratch menu using locally sourced ingredients when possible, with all items made in-house including pastas, pizzas, sauces, and salad dressings.
A marriage between a classic Italian kitchen and German bier garden, the Dallas location comprises an expansive 10,000 square feet. The former impenetrable brick facade has been reconceived, with glass garage doors providing the illusion of al fresco dining throughout the space. There's a landscaped covered patio with exterior garage doors that will allow the space to be used year-round.
The relaxed décor is further complemented by communal-style seating. A "gourmet stone oven" has been installed for the pizzas, and there are TVs for sports viewing.
The Corieris bought the property from previous owner Robert Miller, who tried to market the vintage space to Eatzi's, but couldn't get a bite. But that was before the Epic project came along. The Epic is the huge mixed-use complex being piggy-backed onto the the white Union Bankers building, aka the former Knights of Pythias Temple.
"We looked at this building over two years ago," Les Corieri says. "We'd also looked at Henderson Avenue, but one of the factors that led us to Deep Ellum was the Epic project. That represents a big infusion of people. That entire area is changing."
The Deep Ellum space also lent itself better to their idea of doing two contiguous concepts, with Bottled Blonde in front, and a space in the back called The Backyard where they'll host live country music. The Deep Ellum space also has a rooftop patio.
It's part of the DNA of Bottled Blonde to have multiple concepts, and that includes a late-night staff that dons more revealing uniforms.
"If you go in for lunch or dinner, they're not dressed racy or sexy," Corieri says. "That doesn't come in until 10 pm, when we change into more sexy outfits. It's not Hooters. It's more of a burlesque, pinup-style concept."
They'll do weekend brunch and serve food all the way until 2 am. "Food is an important element of what we do — we are a restaurant," he says.
Their pizzas are thin-crust, with toppings such as BBQ chicken, pepperoni, and the carnivore. There are wings in three flavors: Calabrian chile, traditional, and dry rub; frozen margaritas; and 24 beers on tap, with 20 craft offerings, half being local. "We push local breweries very hard," Diane says.
She says that their strategy is to surpass people's expectations. "Our philosophy is that people think they're coming into a sports bar and they're going to get bar food," she says. "We want to surprise people who realize that the food is way better than they thought it was going to be."