Cantina 1511’s third — and largest — location will open soon, possibly in the next 10 days, according to Quantum Development CEO Dick Campbell.
Aside from the hearty Tex-Mex menu featuring favorites like enchiladas, tacos and freshly-made guacamole, there will be three surprises to look forward to once the new, 8,600-square-foot space opens on College Street.
Surprise #1: New menu items.
The menu and its big portions and reasonable prices will largely stay the same under executive chef Hugo Sanchez (not Gene Briggs as previously planned). But there will be some new items, with vegetarian options included. Try the cactus taco.
“You’re always trying to reinvent,” said Campbell, whose company owns the restaurant chain, which was originally opened and owned by Frank Scibelli in Dilworth in 2004.
Surprise #2: The completion of the hand-painted bar top.
Local artists Rachael Evans and Caiden Withey have been busy painting a depiction of the history of tequila on the bar top, with its bank of blue shutters that curves through the bar area of the new space.
Order a margarita and see if you can pick out the agave god giving tequila to the world, the agave plants unfurling their leaves, the agave nectar turning into a snake (with a bite), the three hands making the margarita to symbolize the multiple people who claimed they invented it.
Artistic elements are interspersed throughout the restaurant, from the mural at the main entrance featuring a twist on Frida Kahlo by artist Heidi Zimmer Cinker, to the entry wall of inspirational quotes, to the painted cactus wall in the private dining room in back.
“In the Uptown area here you’ve got more folks into the arts, the theater,” Campbell said. “We hope to get folks to come over here after they go to the show, or before the show, or if they’re in the show.”
Surprise #3: The patio.
Who says Uptown is just about rooftops? The bar area at Cantina flows into a patio space with glass windows that can be opened, accordion-like, to let in the College Street breeze.
As for people who already enjoy Cantina at Park Road Shopping Center or StoneCrest, Campbell said, “If they like Cantina, they’re going to like it better here.”
Cantina 1511 Uptown: 206 N. College Street