Across the way, on the section of Franklin street that continues on the other side of Southwest University Park that overlooks the Union Plaza district resides a humble building. A building that used to be a laundry mat. The southwestern evoking weathered tan façade with little to no flourish and the slightly faded sign that could have been there for decades, reads: Blackbird Cantina Deluxe
Like something out of a Robert Rodriguez film, the cantina is unassuming but piques your curiosity just the same. General Manager, Eddie Cruz told us, “We want people to come in and find whatever they want, whether it’s just a Bud, a cocktail or a craft beer.”
At the heart of the Blackbird Cantina Deluxe is a team that truly cares about the idea. “The idea is essentially being classy without being pretentious. We felt there’s no reason we shouldn’t have what people deserve,” Eddie said.
The design did not coalesce until construction of the building was completed. Converting a former laundry mat into a cantina took some time but was purposeful. “We wanted a place next to the stadium that was not cookie cutter,” said Eddie.
Standing out among the handful of strong downtown businesses can sometimes be challenging but the Blackbird Cantina Deluxe succeeds in leaving an impression.
After construction was completed the design came together quickly with one element inspiring another. “While the design was in the making, everything just became so beautiful,” said Eddie. The copper top bar and Spanish overhead lighting are just enough to leave an impression without feeling over-trendy. As a cantina the Blackbird succeeds in keeping the ambiance minimalistic and rustic enough to keep its namesake.
Besides well-balanced design the service is genuine and friendly. “We wanted a place where being a bartender is taken seriously and treated as a professional job,” said Eddie.
The staff is new and trained from the bottom up to nurture a synergistic attitude that cares while not having to get staff to unlearn bad habits according to general manager, Eddie Cruz. “We take pride in what we do, so it’s as much for ourselves as it is for the public, so we try our best because we can,” he said.
Find the Blackbird Cantina Deluxe on 533 W. Franklin st. behind the ballpark.