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Big Plans Unfold for Sister Restaurants Cultura and El Chingon

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One is now slated for an early fall opening, and the other will move by 2019

An elote special at El Chingon in Berkeley
David Lopez/Facebook

While construction has lagged on the new Cultura restaurant in the Sloans development, owner Lorenzo Nuñez Jr. says the project is still moving forward, with an opening date now planned for early fall.

Just last week, it looked as if the 4,000-square-foot space at 1565 North Raleigh Street might be repossessed by the property managers at Regatta Sloans Lake, one of five new residential communities between 17th and West Colfax Avenues, and Stuart and Perry Streets. Regatta Sloan’s Lake posted a notice on May 21 that Cultura owed around $27,000 in Common Area Maintenance and other outstanding charges.

Nuñez said the unpaid fees were a misunderstanding. As of late last week, he estimated construction on the restaurant would start in the next 30 days and take approximately three months to build out. He has also switched general contractors because of delays in the project.

When it finally opens in the fall, Cultura’s menu will span all of Latin America and Spain, highlighting three countries’ cuisines at once and then rotating. Between a main-floor dining area, mezzanine section, and outdoor patio, the restaurant will seat 275 to 300 patrons. David Lopez, Nuñez’s nephew, will serve as the executive chef and oversee the kitchens at both Cultura and El Chingon Mexican Bistro.

The family’s original, Berkeley restaurant also will undergo construction and a move soon. By early 2019, El Chingon will relocate from its 5-year home inside a converted bungalow at 4326 Tennyson Street to the third and fourth floors of a new building at 4337 Tennyson Street.

“Part of the charm of Chingon is causing a little bit of a bottleneck in terms of being able to serve our guests,” Nuñez said. “We’ve just come to outgrow our space.” The new building, now under construction, will fit most of El Chingon on its third floor, with a fourth-floor rooftop patio. More retail space will round out the other levels. As for Chingon’s current location, Nuñez will hold onto the coveted Tennyson space and turn it into something different. That concept remains to be announced.

El Chingon Mexican Bistro

4326 Tennyson Street, , CO 80212 (303) 248-3641 Visit Website