The owners of a popular south-side sports bar who opened a restaurant in downtown Tucson last year are bringing three additional venues to downtown — including an indoor playground.
The Neighborhood Cocina and Cantina, 3940 E. 29th St., will be moving into 61 E. Congress St. with street tacos and micheladas.
Its owners, Daniel Cordova and German Fuentes, have also taken over the former Cafe Poca Cosa at 110 E. Pennington St., to remodel for their La Chingada restaurant, which will move in and offer expanded patio seating.
The current La Chingada location at 31 N. Scott Ave. will become a mariscos and oyster bar dubbed La Cruda.
At 125 E. Congress St., they will open Antojitos, a raspados shop with an indoor playground to give families with young children a downtown destination.
The duo appeared before the Rio Nuevo Board on Tuesday to ask for $450,000 in financial assistance to remodel the buildings, which are within the Rio Nuevo boundaries and benefit the district with sales taxes. They have already invested about $3 million in the downtown venture.
The board unanimously approved the request.
“This is a huge investment in our downtown,” said Fletcher McCusker, the board’s chairman. “I think you’re going to change downtown forever.”
The projects are expected to be completed later this year or early next year.
Despite the pandemic, the owners opened their La Chingada restaurant downtown in December 2020 and have had wait times of over an hour to get a table.
“It’s a great atmosphere they’ve created,” McCusker said of the eatery with Sonora-style offerings.
The new La Chingada will also have a small convenience store with “Mexican munchies” Cordova said.
New Tucson restaurants and bars opened in summer 2021
Bella's Gelato Shoppe
Bella's Gelato started as a local food truck but now has a stand-alone shop at 2648 E. Speedway Blvd.
The menu of a dozen gelato and sorbet flavors, plus smoothies, coffee and floats, should cool down anyone in search of a summer treat.
Noodleholics' first shop opened on Grant Road back in 2018 and has since opened an Oro Valley location at 7850 N. Oracle Rd.
The new Oro Valley spot has a larger kitchen and a patio dining area for noodle-lovers in the area who might not want to make the trek down to midtown.
Maria Bonita Mexican Kitchen
After its original location closed in 2011, Maria Bonita Mexican Kitchen has returned to Tucson, this time at 2708 E. Fort Lowell Road.
The menu features popular Mexican dishes like quesadillas, chimichangas, tacos and desserts like flan and tres leches cake.
Gallery of Food Bodega
The Gallery of Food Bodega, at 2522 E. Fort Lowell Road, had its grand opening this June, despite technically first opening back in October 2020.
This store, run by Kristine Jensen of the Gallery of Food catering company, sells locally-sourced products and offers grab-and-go meals, all of which can also be bought online.
Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink
You may be familiar with Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink's popular downtown location at 101 E. Pennington Street, but now you have the chance to grab a pie and a cocktail up north.
Reilly's second location opened Aug. 1 on Tucson's northwest side at 7262 N. Oracle Road.
La Estrella Bakery
La Estrella Bakery opens its third Tucson location on July 31 at 901 N. Grande Ave.
The Franco family, who opened their flagship bakery in the '80s, is putting this new location in Barrio Hollywood where their Tucson roots began.
This new pizzeria "born in Tucson, inspired by Detroit" at 4603 E. Speedway Blvd. comes from the minds of William and Travis Miller, the brothers behind Tucson's Serial Grillers.
The duo opened the doors of Transplant Pizza this summer right next to Craft, A Modern Drinkery, a taproom which they also run.
Salad and Go
Salad and Go has over 30 locations in Arizona and now Tucson's first is open at 5501 E. Speedway Blvd.
Although the name says "salad," you can also grab breakfast burritos and seasonal soup there. Another Tucson location is planned to open later this year at Tucson Marketplace.
This luchador-themed spot at 919 N. Stone Ave. had its grand opening at the end of August, which featured a car show and live wrestling.
Buena Vida's menu offers a variety of tortas, loaded "Lucha Fries," Sonoran dogs, and salads with a Mexican cuisine-inspired twist. They have indoor and patio seating and offer carry out as well.
The popular Oro Valley gastropub, Noble Hops, opened up a new location this summer at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way.
Noble Hops's new spot offers mostly the same menu items as the original location, in addition to craft beers and cocktails.
Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at email@example.com