Dane Huguley closed Cafe|Bar a little over a month ago, but with a promise to reopen the neighborhood eatery with a new name and identity. His idea was an inexpensive, neighborhood taco joint with striking murals and simple food. Huguley's new restaurant, Grey Cactus Cocina Bar, is now open and serving margaritas, tacos and other Mexican fare from chef Chris Scott.
"If it doesn't fit in a food truck," states the owner, "it doesn't belong here. There's nothing over $10 on the menu."
Even though the turn-around time from Cafe|Bar to the Grey Cactus was short, Huguley says the restaurant felt lonely and empty during the interior renovation. "It's good to see people from the neighborhood again," he adds.
Scott, who started in the kitchen just before Cafe|Bar closed, just got back from a culinary trip to Mexico; Huguley says Scott has been making tacos for everyone he knows, honing his skills while the restaurant got a facelift. A big part of the new look includes murals from artist Robin Munro, aka Dread. "I worked at Snooze when he did the graffiti there," says Huguley. "With very little direction, he came up with exactly what we needed."
Tacos, chips and guacamole and a range of other antojitos and soups highlight the new menu. Cocktails start with margaritas made with a house sour mix, but the list includes other traditional and newfangled cocktails, some made with simple syrups flavored with agave, coconut and cilantro. The idea, says Huguley, is to "get drunk and eat and get out of here for under $30."
Photographer Danielle Lirette stopped by to capture some of the food and drinks as well as those stunning new murals.
Keep reading for more photos of the Grey Cactus.