I was rather hoping to see a few monkeys when I stopped by 3 Monkeys Cantina, the new Mexican restaurant that owner Alex Waters opened yesterday in the former Bistro One space, which he closed four weeks ago after a four-year run at 1294 South Broadway.
No monkeys, no trees. But the new quarters, which no longer resemble Bistro One in the slightest (save for the bar), now lay claim to neon beer signs and a pool table, a jukebox and video games -- and a new, compact menu that pimps Tex-Mex staples.
"I think the neighborhood wants a more casual restaurant -- a place to have a good time -- and since I've worked in a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, I feel at home with this cuisine," says Waters, adding that the menu, which currently includes guacamole, nachos, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, a burrito and a chimichanga, will continue to evolve, as will the margarita roster.
Waters hosted a quiet soft opening on Saturday night, and has spent the past few days putting the finishing touches on the space -- and the side patio, which faces Louisiana, and has its own bar and several tables. "We're hoping to open the patio today. With Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend, it's margarita time," Waters declares.
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And a good time to play hooky.
3 Monkeys Cantina is open daily beginning at 4 p.m.