Friday, December 16, 2011
Urban Crust in Plano to get Mexican sibling called Urban Rio
Slated to open in spring 2012.
The restaurant is part of a four-story complex that will also comprise a bar, caterer, and chef cooking-class/demo spot, and is slated to open in the spring. Break it down for us Eater-style, Nathan.
"The first floor is our new Mexican concept, Urban Rio," Shea said. "It'll be on the first floor, along with a catering kitchen for Urban Crust, and on the second floor, where we'll also have a bar. In the front, we'll have a gelato and coffee shop. The third floor is office space, and the fourth floor is an event space with show kitchen for weddings, meetings, cooking classes, and chef demos."
Doing Mexican food seemed like a good idea because there aren't that many options in the area, Shea said.
"There's not a similar Mexican food place around there, especially one that's not a chain," he said. "The only one is Aparicio's, and they closed the one in McKinney and are reportedly looking to sell the one in Plano."
The "Urban" part of the name is easy to grasp; "Rio" symbolizes their food and location.
"The Rio Grande is the border between Texas and Mexico, and we're right near the tracks for the DART rail, which is a terrific location," Shea said. "We'll be Tex-Mex, but we'll incorporate some dishes from other areas east, west, and north of the Rio. There are those people who are willing to pay a little more for an interesting dish, but we know that we also have to have the $7.95 enchiladas. On a certain level, it's all about the chips and salsas and margaritas."
The building will have a rooftop patio, which left a floor for other possibilities.
"I had this crazy idea that I could turn it into an event space where we could host wine tastings, chef demos, and breakout rooms if someone wanted to hold a business meeting," he said.
One of the most interesting things about the building is the way it's been carefully built around the old Plano Ice House, which Shea painstakingly renovated in 2010.
"That little building changed hands a few times -- it was a mailbox place before we bought it, and also Urban Oil & Gas, but it was the original Plano Ice House where you would go and pick up your blocks of ice with the tongs," he said. "We've got old pictures of it, and we'll incorporate them here. The whole second floor bar is going to be decorated in that kind of mode, with the photos and icicle lights hanging from the ceiling. We want to keep the history just like we did with Urban Crust."
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