Monday, March 7, 2011
Buffalo Cantina going into Taco Mundo space in Fort Worth
From Paul Willis, whose previous creations include Yucatan and Fuzzy's.
FORT WORTH Buffalo Cantina is a new Latin restaurant going into the space occupied by Taco Mundo near DFW Airport, from restaurateur Paul Willis, who conceived Fuzzy's, Yucatan Taco Stand, and Pedro's Trailer Park in Fort Worth.
Willis, who's working with a group of investors, says the new space will open in mid-March.
"The concept will have a Latin-influenced menu similar to what I used to have at Pedro's -- Mexican food, with some steaks and chile rellenos," Willis says. "It'll have a full bar with tequilas and margaritas, and a selection of south American wines."
There'll be a few Texas dishes but majority will be "Latin-fusion," says Willis -- "for people who are tired of Tex-Mex, it'll keep it fresh and new." He envisions items like tamales wrapped in banana leaf, wasabi guacamole, ceviches, "maybe even a Korean beef rib taco," he says.
He recognized the potential in the space Carolina Rodriguez saw when she opened Taco Mundo.
"This area in the mid-cities, if you're in Arlington, you have to go to Dallas or Fort Worth, but this corridor is developing into a nice area with a lot of white-collar up-and-coming 30-something people who want to go someplace nice," Willis says.
To that end, they're remodeling the space.
"The space worked for lunch but it was very cold, so we’re trying to bring natural earth tones back into the space but keep its contemporary look," he says. "The whole front of the building was glass, so we've added some sexy drapes to soften the front of the restaurant."
Willis says he sold his interest in Yucatan to the investment group with whom he opened the small chain, but continues to do "a little consulting" with them.
"I set it all up and design it, I do the food and train everybody and teach them how to operate it, and that allows me not to be stuck in a restaurant," he says. "I get to do what I enjoy which is being creative with food and décor."
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