Deep Ellum offers off-beat entertainment in our backyard

Deep Ellum has a history of being a haven for musicians.

Deep Ellum has a history of being a haven for musicians.

The area got its start in the late 1800s as a railroad crossing of the Santa Fe and Central Tracks, east of Downtown Dallas. Because it was centered on Elm Street, it was called Deep Elm. Before World War II, it was a mecca for black culture, and blues and jazz musicians.

My experience with Deep Ellum began about eight years ago, when I opened Club Dada. Actually, my Deep Ellum experience began in the late 1970s as part of the Victor Dada Performance Ensemble. We performed at the 500X Gallery. And in the past decade, the area has grown tremendously and has become Dallas’ premier off-beat entertainment district – right in our backyard.

The energy of the area translates well between the blues of Blind Lemon and the Jazz of Earl Harvin. Music is the buzz.

Deep Ellum comes alive when the sun goes down. By day, the area resembles any nest of warehouse lofts. By night, it becomes a mix of music and fashion. You come to Deep Ellum to get caught up in the energy of the night.

What is going on in Deep Ellum? Well, there is Sun Engines, Spectro Photolabs, Unicam, Last Beat Records, MODA, Adair’s Salon, Art Bar, Deep Ellum Café, Sambuca, Sol’s Taco Lounge, Rudolph’s Market, Trees, Club Clearview, 2826, Club Dada, Deep Ellum Live, the Bomb Factory, Chumley’s, Tigger’s Tattoos and Elm Street Lotts – everything from car parts to body art. My fellow business owners are a blend of eccentric entrepreneurs. No formula concept establishments here.

For neighborhood residents, a 10 minute drive toward Downtown puts you right in the middle of all the action. Explore your backyard.

In addition to entertainment, the area is becoming a popular place to live. Practically every loft space built is occupied.

The City seems to be taking a renewed interest in this unique haven that grew up by its own volition. Take Live Oak west to Good Lattimer, turn left, travel through the railroad tunnel, and you’re there. Check it out.


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