A new destination for Japanese whisky cocktails and late night dim sum has arrived in Deep Ellum.
Neon Kitten opened quietly earlier this month at 2805 Main Street, in the former Beauty Bar space. The cocktail lounge focuses on Japanese spirits and small bites like sushi, dumplings, and izakaya-style food.
The bar is a project from newly-minted Dallasite Bhuvanesh “Bob” Khanna, who initially landed in the city in 2019 to help open the Hall Arts Hotel in the Arts District. During the pandemic, Khanna began to dream up his own spot inspired by his many travels. In a press release, he said he was specifically inspired by the laid-back drinking dens he found in Hawaii. “You could eat dim sum at any time, Japanese spirits were used in abundance in cocktails, and always served in a casual, fun, and welcoming environment.”
Certain aspects of Neon Kitten were designed with the pandemic in mind. The bar’s patio features a number of cocktails on tap as well as a canning system, allowing drinks to be sold to go or for on-site consumption. Drinks include the Fukuoka, made with Nikka whisky, vanilla and soya sauce; and the Sapporo, a citrusy cocktail with mandarin liqueur, lemon, Nikka, and Michter’s Bourbon.
Food-wise, expect dishes like prawn and pork siu mai, shrimp har gau, and all manner of dumplings, including pumpkin, mushroom, and edamame. Bites, which are also available for take-out, range from $6-12, and cocktails range from $12 to $20 for the higher-end drinks.
Once Neon Kitten finds its groove, Khanna also plans to open a speakeasy bar behind the main lounge. Called Blackbird Society, it’ll be reservation-only, and will serve flights of cocktails and Japanese whisky. Blackbird society is expected to open in the middle of October.
Right now, Neon Kitten is open 5 pm to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and until 10 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are recommended via Tock.