When Kevin Morrison, owner of the Pinche Tacos wagon, called to break the news that he was thisclose to signing a deal that would give him a new brick-and-mortar taqueria, I did what any devout taco slut would do and offered to be his taco pimp.
Morrison, who ruffled a few conservative feathers earlier this year when he rolled out the Pinche Tacos wagon, whose name is Spanish slang for "fuck," has spent the past several months hustling his street tacos at local farmers' markets, the Justice League of Street Food parties and Civic Center Eats, and now he's got himself a space where he can sling tacos alongside pours of whiskey, beer and tequila. "I'm calling it Pinche Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey, and it's a grown-up version of the taco wagon," says Morrison, who plans to open the restaurant next spring.
But while the wagon is currently taking a winter siesta, the new restaurant, which is being built at 2301 East Colfax, is moving full steam ahead. "When I saw the space, it just spoke to me," reveals Morrison. "It's an awesome historic building with a bad-ass layout, and while we're doing new construction, when we get finished with it, it'll look like it's been there forever."
The bricked quarters, bedecked with hardwoods, soaring ceilings and a takeout window, will seat sixty, with additional space on the patio facing York Street, says Morrison, adding that when construction is completed and the architect does his magic, "it'll look very Colfax-chic."
And while the floor-to-ceiling chalkboard menu will mimic the board from the taco wagon, Morrison points to several factors that will differentiate the restaurant from the pavement version -- specifically, a liquor license, two daily happy hours, a kitchen that serves a full menu until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and double the number of taco choices. "The menu will be an expanded version of the wagon, with shrimp cocktail, a few appetizers and salads and ceviche on the weekends, but the focus will still be on tacos," says Morrison, who plans to offer fifteen to twenty variations, including linguiça and lobster. "We'll still have all the staples on the menu, but we're definitely going to do some cool stuff, and everything will be super-fresh."
The drink syllabus, which will draw from forty different tequilas coupled with an additional forty whiskeys, will be just as important as the menu, promises Morrison. "We're putting the same emphasis on the bar menu as the food menu, making our own grenadine, using fresh ingredients and putting a lot of thought into our cocktail menu."
Morrison will continue to toss out tacos next year from the wagon, and while he's putting the restaurant together, he'll continue catering, too. If you can't wait until next year to get your taco fix, call him at 303-898-2905.
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