Seven years and lots of leopard carpet mileage later, Deluxe, Dylan Moore's (formerly) moody restaurant on SoBo, is getting a major makeover -- and a new menu.
Moore, who also runs Delite, the lounge next door, as well as Deluxe Burger and the Little Orange Rocket, closed on Saturday night after service and began tapping away at the plaster framing the ebony banquettes lining the north side of the wall -- and what he discovered was a pockmarked, decades-old mural (pictured above) inscribed with the words "The Barnes Commercial School," inked in salmon and evergreen. "It's like archeology," muses Moore. "My son starting chipping away at the wall, and once we saw that there was definitely something under there beyond plain brick, we worked all night to uncover it, and what we gained was a 1,000-square-foot piece of art."
Moore, who opened Deluxe in 2004, when South Broadway was still a relatively unseemly swatch of asphalt littered with smoky bars -- and shady characters -- built the restaurant using little more than his own hands, erecting, on a shoestring budget, a homage to California cuisine that soon became the talk of the town, if, for nothing else, Moore's masa-fried oysters and monsoon dumplings.
He's occasionally tinkered with menu, but the space has remained largely unchanged, something that's bothered Moore for several years. "I've been dying to remodel the space for years, and I'm doing it by the hair of my chinny chin chin, but it's time to invigorate the space, the menu and our customers" says Moore, who will reopen tomorrow night with a new paint job -- a creamy white -- sleek maple floors in their natural color state, a shiny coat of black trim, that remarkable brick wall and a fresh menu that won't -- dare we admit it -- include the monsoon dumplings.
"We're pulling the dumplings off the menu, which is going to freak a lot of people out, but we'll still have them available off the menu," promises Moore. Still, he says, he's bored with the current board. "I really appreciate that some of the things on the menu -- like the dumplings -- have been so popular, but I'm back to being a chef, cooking four nights a week, and I want to get back to my roots and have fun playing with the menu," he explains.
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When Deluxe unlocks its doors tomorrow night, the menu will still be tight and eclectic -- as will the new wine list -- but Moore says he's added several new dishes to the syllabus, including bouillabaisse; a vegetarian Thai curry; roasted chicken enchiladas blanketed with ancho chile sauce; what the calls a "really gorgeous hanger steak" with salsa verde sided with fries and a watercress salad; and a sizzling shrimp starter with extra virgin olive oil, whole garlic, fresh rosemary and Thai chile. "It's unbelievably awesome," says Moore, who will serve the dish with housemade focaccia.
Deluxe's hours will remain the same, from 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and after years of keeping one of the best-kept secrets in town, Moore is finally ready to admit that there's a hidden table at Deluxe, a curtained six-top that resides behind the kitchen -- and all you have to do to get it is book a reservation. "I added it six months after we opened, primarily so my son could hang out in there while I as working, but my friends loved it more than he did, and a few of our customers, who know that it exists, love the privacy of it and being able to walk through the kitchen to get there," reveals Moore.
To book it, call 303-722-1550.