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Another Deep Ellum Spot On The Way: The Free Man Looks To Mix Cajun Food and Dallas Music

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Deep Ellum is about to get yet another addition to its growing list of restaurants and music venues.

The Free Man, which will open as a Cajun style cafe in the space formerly occupied by Sol's Taco Lounge, will serve as both a restaurant and a venue.

The Free Man's owner, John Jay Myers, a longtime Dallas rock musician and, interestingly enough, membership director of the Texas Libertarian Party, describes the place as a typical New Orleans kitchen.

"It's a Cajun Cafe like on Bourbon Street," he says.

To help him put the menu together, Myers has brought in chef and former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Ricky Sutton.

"It's too bad he wasn't a Dallas Cowboy because that would pull a lot more weight," jokes Meyers.

But despite the thick Cajun atmosphere he hopes to attain with The Free Man, the live music will be more akin to the Dallas scene Myers has been a part of for over a decade. The first band to perform on the venue's August 1 opening be The Backsliders, a band Myers has sat in with on the drums in the past.

"It will be a good venue for people like The O's," he says. "It will be a small venue."

Myers has a concise idea for The Free Man's live music format: During the day, it will have singers and '40s standards. In the evening, there will dinner shows. And, at night, full-on rock band performances.

At the moment, Myers is hard at work making renovations to the space that was briefly occupied by a spot called Taco Lounge after Sol's Taco Lounge moved out. He's already installed a stage and a new bar. The place will also have new seating and a fresh coat of paint.

Myers, who runs a successful screen printing and embroidery shop, got the idea to open a place when contacted by Ben Tapia a few months back. The two attempted to purchase The Boiler Room, but were outbid by Drowning Pool's Stevie Benton.

After that, Myers had his eye on the space formerly occupied by Sambuca, but finally landed next door to Adair's Saloon.

"Right now, my business is successful," he says. "I just wanted to do something with my time that would produce something that I'd be proud of."

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