Kevin Morrison didn't set out to build a taco empire; in 2010 the chef just wanted to jump into Denver's restaurant scene with something fun and casual. Burgers were his first choice, but the city saw an influx of burger joints that year, so he went with his second choice — tacos. That's how the Pinche Tacos food cart was born, and the following year he opened a brick-and-mortar Pinche Taqueria
at 1514 York Street, snagging our award for Best New Restaurant
Eight years and a name change later, Morrison is launching his third taqueria, now called Tacos Tequila Whiskey
, in Denver. The new outpost opens tonight (Friday, March 2) at 215 East Seventh Avenue, serving a menu familiar to fans, plus a drink menu that includes cocktails unique to the new location.
The new Tacos Tequila Whiskey was built on a former parking lot site.
Pork belly, pork carnitas and lamb barbacoa tacos.
Putting the whiskey in Tacos Tequila Whiskey.
The house margarita will be familiar to regulars of the other two locations.
Lamb, pork and vegetarian taocs.
Juicy lamb tacos are one of many options on the menu.
The new tile-clad bar at TTW.
Morrison says that the name change came after he encountered potential issues with liquor licensing (government officials were never thrilled with "pinche," a Spanish swear word) and an out-of-state restaurant with a similar name. But regulars still call the place Pinche Tacos — and tacos are still the main draw, whether at the original, the West Highland
cantina (which opened in 2013) or the newest member of the family. Morrison also opened another Tacos Tequila Whiskey in Phoenix last year, and launched Fish N Beer on Larimer Street in late 2016. "It's our third restaurant opening in fifteen months," the restaurateur adds, "so we're taking all of 2019 and half of 2020 and just kind of living in our own skin."
Tacos and tequila are part of the name — but there's also whiskey. Be sure and ask about special bottles, like a brand-new product from Jim Beam called Little Book (a spinoff of Booker Noe's) that may be lurking on bar shelves. The restaurant also offers 24 tequila lockers that customers can rent and decorate for $200 a year; proceeds go toward an autism foundation based in Arizona.
The new TTW will be open for dinner this weekend but will soon add lunch and brunch. Call 720-475-1337 or visit the Tacos Tequila Whiskey
website for more details.