Friday the 13th is big business at Deep Ellum, the hipster paradise hidden in plain sight on the east side of downtown Dallas. Because whenever that infamous date hits, large lines of people materialize here at midnight.
The cause of their arrival is artistic, not obscure: Every Friday the 13th, without fail, the beloved local inking establishment Elm Street Tattoo opens its doors for 24 hours, decorating Dallas locals for just $13 apiece.
the Elm Street Tattoo Marathon is a perfect distillation of this diverse neighborhood – a melting pot of invention, music and art that positively crackles with friendly creativity. Often compared to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg or San Francisco’s Mission District, it’s bohemian yet urban; a bold enclave with a big heart and big aspirations.
Originally nicknamed “Deep Elm” (a nod to its main thoroughfare, Elm Street), it was pronounced “Ellum” by early residents 150 years ago, and the name eventually stuck. Today, it’s the mural capital of Texas, with more than 150 carefully painted compositions splashed across its old brick buildings, as well as the epicenter of Dallas’ live music scene.
Deep Ellum has long been famous for its iconic concert halls, like the now closed Bomb Factory and Canton Hall, and Trees (where Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain infamously got into a fight with a bouncer onstage before storming Elm Street, mid-concert). But in recent years, it has also become an important place to eat. Add a thriving rooftop cocktail scene, a collection of cutting-edge art galleries, an ever-growing list of quirky stores and artisan boutiques, and a newly opened and worthy Kimpton Hotel. amazed, The Pittmanand you have a neighborhood with a faster pulse and a deeper soul than anywhere else in the Big D.
Where to shop
Deep Ellum is Dallas’ most walkable neighborhood, making it perfect for a laid-back day of shopping. A good starting point is Chip stylea beautifully curated emporium of new and vintage clothing and homewares, with an airy “Texafornia” vibe and a dedicated hat bar where you can choose, modify and customize your very own Stetson.
A short walk down Commerce Street (which runs parallel to Elm), you can find Deep Ellum Denim, a mecca for jeans lovers, selling the best selvedge denim from around the world, with a cold beer always on hand. Complete your look at Sneaker Policya painfully cool new arrival at a former recording studio on Main Street selling some of the rarest and most sought-after sneakers in the country.