Chef Joshua Harmon knows his audience. A few weeks after launching a late-night bao cart in front of his trailblazing Deep Ellum restaurant Junction, Harmon is switching things up with a late-hours menu and a speakeasy that pays homage to the neighborhood's blues history.
Starting at 8 p.m. tonight, Junction "will be keeping doors open with new late night weekend hours complete with menu and drinks served in their main room, and seasoned adaptations on classic American cocktails in their new speakeasy," according to a press release.
To get to the speakeasy — appropriately named Leadbelly's, after Louisiana bluesman Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, who frequented Deep Ellum venues — guests will walk through Junction's kitchen and enter a backroom bar run by veteran bartender Michael Sturdivant of the Cedars Social.
"We love music here, any of our guests can attest to that," Harmon said in the release. "You will hear modern and indie-rock, then followed by Motown and early American blues. One of our partners wanted to pay homage to the Deep Ellum blues scene, which no one else touches on."
The menu looks solid, to say the least: deviled pork belly with house pickles, "Cheese Whiz," grainy mustard and crackers ($7); roasted duck heart and bacon toast ($9); a slider version of Junction's epic cheeseburger ($10) and Junction's famous Taiwanese sticky buns, to name a few dishes.
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The new hours and cocktail concept are a reflection of Deep Ellum, Harmon said.
"To meet the needs of our neighborhood without changing our formula, we have to listen to our customer's feedback," he said in the release. "People come to Deep Ellum because they enjoy options, and we aim to become a late night option with small plates and dope cocktails."
Leadbelly's will be open until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.
Junction, 2901 Elm St.