Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.
Salsera opened in July 2015 as a Latin American restaurant, but it later became known more for its raucous late-night scene.
During early evening hours, Café Salsera looks like any other Deep Ellum restaurant, save for a smaller crowd than many of the dining hotspots nearby. But on weekend nights around midnight, the mild-mannered restaurant transforms into a packed nightclub, with patrons filling the dance floor until 2 a.m. On social media, DJs promote their events at the restaurant by advertising bottle service and nightclub-esque dress codes.
This duality doesn’t sit well with everyone in the neighborhood. Deep Ellum residents and workers have complained on social media about large, intoxicated crowds pouring out of Salsera late at night, disrupting traffic and starting fights, and a lack of adequate security to handle the overflow. Reviews of the restaurant on social media give a peek into the restaurant’s second life as a full-blown dance club.
Restaurant owner Carey Chan knows that Cafe Salsera has caused some friction in the neighborhood. This week, he announced some changes — changes that relate more to the restaurant’s food than its second life as a nightclub. Salsera is moving away from its original concept as a Latin American restaurant and re-concepting as a New American restaurant.
“The Latin American cuisine, it didn’t really work out,” Chan says. “It could’ve been many things. … Our previous kitchen management just didn’t execute it correctly. We’ve had a little bit of trouble…
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