With years of experience delivering VIP experiences to celebrities in Las Vegas nightclubs, Gabe Sanchez opened The Black Swan Saloon to provide VIP-level service in a neighborhood setting. He wanted to create a place you’d have to be “in the know” about to visit — but, once you’re there, you’ll feel welcome right away.
Since opening in 2010, The Black Swan Saloon has become a favorite of Dallas locals, tourists, foodies and even bartenders, garnering glowing reviews and winning awards from Dallas Observer and D Magazine. Famous for its craft cocktails made with house-infused fruit liquors, it’s been described as a hidden gem — it literally has no storefront signage. Sanchez selected Deep Ellum to open his business because of what he had learned about its history and uniqueness.
“There has been a deep-seated love affair in the city of Dallas with this neighborhood, and these three streets [Elm, Main and Commerce], going back three or four generations, to the early 1900s,” Sanchez explains. “People love this area because of the free thinking, visual arts, music, and obviously the booze… people feel, down here, there is more freedom to express yourself.”
The Black Swan has no menu — instead, bartenders mix custom concoctions on the spot, using local, in-season ingredients whenever possible. Simply share your favorite spirits and flavors, and prepare to be amazed. Sanchez buys fruits and vegetables from neighborhood markets, chops them by hand, and mixes new batches of fruit-infused liquors each week. His favorite flavors?
“Watermelon and mint make an awesome combination. We also do a peach-infused bourbon, and some really cool old fashioneds and juleps. Every week I drain the last batch, and refill the containers with fresh fruit.”
Gabe doesn’t have one favorite drink, but has a preference for small batch, family-driven mescals and tequilas, and Japanese whiskey. “It’s like this bottle of Yamakazi — when I get this stuff, you have to come in and drink it right now. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
The Black Swan Saloon may be tough to find — but it’s well worth the effort.For a listing of all the great places to enjoy a drink in Deep Ellum click here.