Downtown Dallas hotel to reopen underground bar with cocktail king

One of the most popular food & beverage professionals in Dallas is back behind the bar: Gabe Sanchez, formerly Black Swan Saloon in Deep Ellum, is on his way to Joule Dallas. According to a press release, he will lead the reopening of Midnight Rambler, the hotel’s underground bar, while expanding the hotel’s cocktail program as a whole.

Sanchez sold the Black Swan Saloon, a Deep Ellum institution and a leading light in the local cocktail scene, in November after nearly 10 years.

Virginia Acosta, general manager of The Joule, said in a statement that they contacted Sanchez as soon as they heard he had closed his bar.

“Talent like him is rare and we are very proud that he was brought onto our team with so much creative enthusiasm to bring Midnight Rambler back,” she says.

Midnight Rambler, named for a Rolling Stones song, made its debut in 2014, taking over the cool underground space previously occupied by the dazzling PM Lounge, which closed in 2012. The Rambler has always been a craft cocktail temple and has won numerous local and national awards.

It is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 but is available for parties, cocktail classes, and other private events.

Sanchez’s background includes Las Vegas nightclubs like Baby’s at the Hard Rock Hotel, Tao at the Venetian, and Rain Nightclub at the Palms Hotel and Casino. He was recruited by W Hotel as part of the opening team at Ghostbar in 2006 before opening the Black Swan Saloon.

He will be General Manager of Midnight Rambler and will work to redefine the cocktail program with a view to reopening in Spring 2021.

According to SideDish, some of these cocktails may be reminiscent of things he did at Black Swan. But his priority, he says in a statement, is to focus on service, and he praises Midnight Rambler for its like-minded vibe.

“Of course the cocktails themselves are important, but I think the most important part of a bar experience is making people feel comfortable and wanted,” he says. “With bartenders, it’s part of the whole process – an intimate kind of give and take.”

In addition to Midnight Rambler, Sanchez will create cocktail programs for other The Joule outlets, including the Lobby Bar, CBD Provisions, and Sassetta, which will take over the old Americana room and which will be the next downtown dining experience according to the publication.

Before the spring reopens, Sanchez will host a limited number of private cocktail classes. The first – rye whiskey – is already sold out, but more will follow. Sign up for email updates at to be added to the first-time access list for future ticket classes. To reserve a private event, send an email to [email protected]

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