Cafe Salsera recently reconcepted its restaurant but continued operating as a nightclub without proper permits until the city shut down those events Saturday. The restaurant is still open for regular food service hours.
Cafe Salsera recently reconcepted its restaurant but continued operating as a nightclub without proper permits until the city shut down those events Saturday. The restaurant is still open for regular food service hours.
Kathryn DeBruler

Cafe Salsera started as a Latin restaurant in Deep Ellum, but in the last few months, it became known more for its late-night dance club atmosphere that transforms the quiet restaurant into a packed nightclub that has frustrated some of its neighbors.

In Dallas, nightclubs are required to have a dance hall permits, which Cafe Salsera did not have. On Saturday night, owner Casey Chan confirms, the city shut down one of Salsera's late-night parties. The restaurant is still open but will discontinue its nightclub aspect until obtaining proper permits, Chan says.

"It is true and a complete surprise that the city shut us down for permitting issues, as we have been in contact with them several times over the last year to ensure that we follow code compliance regulations," Chan says. "We are looking into the matter."

Several weeks ago, amid complaints from other Deep Ellum business owners, Salsera hired a new chef, ditched its Latin concept and became a New American restaurant. In an interview at the time, Chan said he hoped the changes would help Salsera refocus its energy on food, but the restaurant continued to host its unpermitted dance hall until the city stepped in Saturday night.

"We stopped advertising the bottle service and stuff; we really are trying to encourage people to come in early, grab some dinner and stick around for our late-night entertainment," Chan told the Observer in June. "We're not trying to come off in any way intentionally as a nightclub; it just so happens that people love that about us."

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