The founders behind the forthcoming Toma Detroit tequila tasting room and restaurant in Corktown have announced another project to open much sooner in Mexicantown.
To be called Peso, partners Tony Lopez (Cabresto Tequila) and Eddie Vargas (former general manager of El Barzon and currently Vertical) have teamed up with Jacques Driscoll of InLaws Hospitality to open what is expected to be more of a fast-paced eatery and bar inside the former location of the restaurant group’s previous concepts, the Huron Room and the short-lived Fist of Curry at 2547 Bagley Ave.
A soft opening is expected at the end of February and a grand opening is supposed to take place in early March.
The entrepreneurs conceived of the idea to collaborate last fall during a Toma Detroit pop-up event held at the location.
Driscoll’s InLaws Hospitality operates the popular Green Dot Stables and Johnny Noodle King. Most recently the group’s Fist of Curry occupied the space, but only for a short while between February and last summer before closing its doors. Before that, the location house the Huron Room, an Up North fish ‘n chips-inspired eatery.
Other partners involved in Peso include Jose Maldonado, Carlos Diaz de Leon and Corey McIntosh.
The menu will feature Mexican-inspired fare using fresh ingredients from local vendors and will be offered three different ways: as a burrito, a torta or la carte. A full bar will focus on a variety of tequila-based cocktails like margaritas, cantaritos and palomas featuring among others, Lopez’s family-owned brand Tequila Cabresto, as well as sangrias. Special weekend menus will include other Mexican comfort food like pozole, birria and micheladas.
[UPDATED 4:24 p.m.] Maldonado tells Tostada Magazine that the aesthetic will be an homage to his and his partners’ upbringing in Southwest Detroit in the 1990s. Commissioned to design a mural on the back wall will be local street artist Freddy “SW Freddy” Diaz, whose works can be found in public spaces throughout the neighborhood. The interior will also incorporate the work of photographer Erik Howard, who’s also the founder of Inside Southwest Detroit and who’s been documenting lowrider culture in Southwest for decades. The bar will be covered with thousands of peso coins that Lopez has been collecting during his travels to his family’s home state of Jalisco.
“I lived in the neighborhood my whole life and don’t remember ever hanging out there,” Maldonado says of the location, which sits across the street from Mexican Village Restaurant — the city’s oldest Mexican eatery.
Maldonado wants to change that.
He says the team is looking to appeal to residents in the neighborhood as a low-key hangout for happy hour or weekend brunch, blue-collar workers in need of a quick bite and the influx of young professionals who are expected to make their way to the area once Ford Motor Company takes home inside the nearby Michigan Central Station.
The team behind Toma Detroit announced plans last fall to open their tequila bar and restaurant inside a former Irish pub in Corktown, prior to competing for and winning $50,000 in the 2018 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest.
Toma Detroit will specialize in Latin-inspired cuisine, rare mezcals and tequilas, and will serve as a tasting room for Tequila Cabresto, a brand founded by the Lopez family, longtime Detroiters who own an agave farm in the highlands of Jalisco. Maldonado says the partners own the building but are considering further funding options before next steps are taken.
This article was made possible by the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, that’s working to increase quality journalism and help better inform communities.
Author: Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning journalist based in Detroit. She specializes in reporting on issues that intersect food, identity, and culture.
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