Cho77, which opened in the spring of 2015 at 42 South Broadway, will be taking a brief hiatus before reopening in a new format next to its sibling restaurant, ChoLon Modern Asian, on the 16th Street Mall. But chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma and his team aren't giving up the prime Broadway real estate. Instead, they're expanding the BorraCho Tacos concept from its fast-casual beginnings at Avanti Food & Beverage to a full-service cantina with a bigger menu.
Symensma says the Broadway strip between Alameda and Second avenues has evolved into a casual nightlife zone over the past several years, so he thinks tacos and tequila will be a better fit for the neighborhood. And he also says he expects Cho77 to blossom as an all-day eatery (think breakfast dim sum as well as greatest hits from the restaurant's original menu) for downtown denizens in search of a quick bite to complement ChoLon's high-end appeal when it reopens at the end of the year.
Chef Kevin Chu has been with Symensma for several years, working at both ChoLon and Concourse (in Stapleton) before being tapped to head the BorraCho team, in part because of his upbringing in the midst of the global Los Angeles street-food scene. Some of that influence can be seen on the new menu, which includes a Korean BBQ taco and another called the Tipsy Thai, made with shrimp satay and sriracha mayo.
Most of the menu, though, will focus on more traditional south-of-the-border fare, including housemade carne al pastor and whole rotisserie chicken, both of which can be seen spinning in a new rotisserie oven that was installed in place of Cho77's wok station. Not to be missed are the Marisol's tamales, named in honor of a longtime ChoLon Restaurant Concepts chef who often brings homemade tamales to feed her co-workers, and the Chupacabra quesadilla stuffed with Colorado goat. To make the quesadillas, BorraCho brings in whole goats, quarters them and confits them until the meat is shreddable; goat cheese and salsa verde provide additional zing.
Cocktails range from classic margaritas and palomas to house creations like a mole margarita, a mango-chile margarita and a mezcal Negroni.
BorraCho Tacos opens for dinner tonight (Wednesday, October 3) at 4 p.m., with happy hour running from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The original Avanti F & B location of BorraCho will remain open through next spring, at which point Symensma will re-evaluate to see if he wants to test another concept there. He's also working on a French/European eatery called LeRoux that will open alongside ChoLon and Cho77 later this year.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.