There’s one more culinary reason to venture downtown.

Central Mexico-inspired Penca opened last week in a fully stripped down and reimagined space at 50 E. Broadway.

Owners Ron and Patricia Schwabe spent more than a year building out the 1,800-square-foot empty shell of the 1920s building. Most of the materials the couple used was rescued from historic Tucson buildings they have restored through their company Peach Properties.

“We probably collect way too much and then we try to repurpose it in other projects,” said Patricia Schwabe, who runs Penca’s daily operations.

Penca follows recipes from Mexico City that feature a wide variety of chilies, many of them roasted, and a starring role for vegetables. Everything is made from scratch, including tortillas and salsas.

The menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner with prices running about $8 to $10 for breakfast, $10 to $12 for lunch and $10 to $20 for dinner. There’s a modest bar menu that includes an artisan cheese board with imported Mexican cheeses — no Cheddar here. The international bar pours a variety of tequila, mescal and other Mexican spirits.

Penca is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Call for dinner reservations at 203-7681.

Read the full story and more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.