Off The Cuff promises to bring something different to Deep Ellum.
Off The Cuff in Deep Ellum will have sandwiches, such as The Phat Banh Mi. Courtesy of Off The Cuff
Alex Hines and Tan Mai, also known as DJ Phathead, began brainstorming bar ideas five years ago when they met at Primebar (now Clutch Bar) in Uptown. Hines was the general manager and Mai was DJing. The two became friends and decided that they wanted to open up their own place one day.
Hines previously worked at Fat Rabbit and Stirr and Mai owns Fresh Wok in Bedford. Experience in the restaurant industry, as well as a shared vision of wanting to own a customer-oriented establishment, was a catalyst in turning Off The Cuff from an idea into a reality.
The new bar (one of the few places that will show sports in Deep Ellum) takes over a prime space on the corner of Elm and Malcolm X Boulevard that’s seen a series of concepts open and close in it, including Craft Junction Kitchen and Kitchen LTO.
The phrase “off the cuff” means spontaneous or without preparation. And the new bar promises in its press materials, “that’s exactly what you’ll find here — a neighborhood bar as eclectic as the neighborhood it’s joining.”
Off The Cuff’s upside down burgers are already drawing some buzz. Hines tells PaperCity that he’s always eaten burgers this way. “It’s for efficiency,” he says.
He then did some research to justify the idea that upside down burgers prevent bun collapse. It’s a thing.
Besides burgers, the bar will serve sandwiches, including The Phat Banh Mi — marinated shaved pork with pickled carrots, cucumber radish, and serrano — and something called a Hippie Wrap. Chef Alex Lines consulted and created the entire food menu. Off The Cuff’s drinks include a massive, sharable 64-ounce Texas-Sized Mule. There will be a few large format cocktails like this. Happy Hour specials will run weekdays from 5 pm to 8 pm.
A Hot Neighborhood
There’s no question that Deep Ellum is growing rapidly and this is a reason Hines and Mai chose the area for their new spot.
“People that go to Deep Ellum are humble, chill, and laid back,” Mai says. The co-owners’ goal is to create “an upbeat environment where everyone feels comfortable and welcome.” “We want to know our customers personally,” Mai adds.
Off The Cuff will have a relaxed vibe with an industrial look.
“It’s going to have a warm feel, with soft white lights and darker earth tones,” Hines says. Freddie Trevino from Third Eye Gallery will be painting murals for the space. There will be TVs to watch sports and four eight foot by eight foot garage doors that open up to the street as well.
On weekends, the bar has a few DJs lined up. Mark Cutz from 106.1 Kiss FM is one DJ who has already committed, but many more are in the works.
“We’re going to have a range and want to play to everybody with all different genres,” Hines says.
Off The Cuff will be open from 5 pm to 2 am on weekdays and 11 am to 2 am on weekends. An official Grand Opening celebration will take place later in March.