After months of controversy leading up to its arrival, Arizona export Bottled Blonde is officially open in Deep Ellum. At its Chicago location in River North, the chain is fighting to keep its liquor license while facing allegations of racism due to its dress code.
But here in Dallas, nestled across the street from the railway on Good Latimer, Bottled Blonde is attempting to cater to the Deep Ellum masses as the place offering a little bit of everything to everyone.
The entrance to Bottled Blonde gives guests a good inclination of what’s inside via the large glass facade bordered by a small concrete patio. Wood paneled doors emblazoned with various beer insignias lead to an entryway of polished concrete. The focal point of the restaurant’s branding is the sign hanging in full view of the dining room - it’s a blonde 1950s pinup reclining seductively on an oversized beer bottle.
Chaos seems to be Bottled Blonde’s aesthetic. The restaurant embraced pattern mixing but stepped it up a notch: wood and concrete floors vie for space, fabric-covered booths are intentionally mismatched, floral patterns compete with geometric architecture, and large artificial ivy walls stand proudly in random spots.
Amid this cacophony of styles, over a dozen flat screen TVs are suspended from the ceiling - around the bar, over booths, and on accent walls, blasting nonsense in crazy unison that feels a bit like an acid trip. It’s assumed that the TVs will play regular channels during dining hours, and switch to more club-like ambient visuals as the evening approaches. Normally this isn’t an issue, but it makes the establishment feel a lot like a Buffalo Wild Wings.
With a seemingly mile-long bar of beer, liquor and mixers, the hope is that no one will wait long for a drink. The concrete bar sits at the center of the establishment, its long rectangular shape is uninterrupted so that bartenders have to duck under a specific section of the bar to work their shifts.
The main bar is accompanied by two smaller bars, one located near the back edge of the restaurant (which converts to a dance floor later in the evening by removing the seating), and one upstairs on the covered patio. The patio space is open, airy and equally sizeable to the downstairs bar area with patio chairs and booth seating.
The food at Bottled Blonde is attempting to cater to Deep Ellum crowds as well, with affordable prices and a focus on local purveyors and seasonal menu changes. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Sean Hill, previously of Sugarbacon, who boasts that menu items are made in house. “Nothing comes in premade,” Hill says. “The only thing in our freezer is ice cream.”
Bottled Blonde is located at 505 N Good Latimer Expy. The bar is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the doors open at 10 a.m. for brunch.