For four years, Brandon Castillo has been plugging away at his passion project—Deep Ellum. When he came back to Dallas, after years of living around the world, he was confused. “In Deep Ellum, we have the wide sidewalks with trees and shade and old, beautiful buildings, an absolutely walkable environment,” he says, “but there was no one on the street.” He didn’t wait for someone else to solve the problem. He started an outdoor market in 2010; in 2013, he remade the neighborhood’s postal center into Deep Ellum Postal & Grocer. “We’re providing a reason for people to walk around during the day,” he says. “But that’s also trying to change a culture.” Next up: a neighborhood-centric event-planning company. He’s working on that from Common Desk, a coworking space in (of course) Deep Ellum. These are a few of his other favorite spots.
2636 Main St. 214-785-8295
Four years ago, Castillo started a flea market in the parking lot behind Cafe Brazil. Once a month, dozens of vendors, each from within 150 miles of Dallas, descend on Deep Ellum, selling items ranging from house-made pickles and cookies to plants, soaps, jewelry, and clothing.
2639 Main St. 214-824-2185
More than 80 vendors fill this antique mall, which Castillo “can get lost in for hours.” He’s purchased jewelry for his wife as well as hats and toys for himself.
2944 Elm St. 214-741-4072
Paula Lambert opened her cheese shop in 1982. Thirty-two years later, she’s crafting more than 30 artisanal varieties (mozzarella, ricotta, Blanca Bianca, Texas goat cheese) and taking home awards by the handful.
2924 Main St. 214-749-0095
Castillo doesn’t have one yet, but when he can afford to throw down some cash on a toy, he’s headed straight to this electric scooter shop.
2540 Elm St. 972-863-9260
This men’s streetwear boutique carries everything from hard-to-find shoe lines to polka dot slacks and bucket hats.
Life of Riley
2646 Main St. 214-749-0509
This lifestyle boutique opened in June, carrying everything from furniture and pillows to artwork and candles, all a mix of vintage and new.
2928 Main St. 214-741-4206
Thirteen female-owned businesses compose this collective, like Madame Fiery, which sells clothing inspired by the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, and Incorrigible Dames, which sells hair flowers, fascinators, and hair accessories.
Dylan & Company
3104 Main St. 214-422-9375
They started with handmade soy candles and eventually expanded into natural and organic body products, including goat’s milk soap, bath gel, and even mosquito repellent, all found within this Main Street shop.