Departing from his signature Latin-Asian fusion, Joe Knoblich will soon introduce the Riverfront Park community to Chuey Fu’s Baja Cantina, a California-inspired neighborhood eatery. Opening Thursday, August 23, this is the third location of Knoblich’s quickly expanding empire, growing from a single taco truck in 2014 to three brick-and-mortar locations now scattered around the city.
Just west of the Millennium Bridge, Knoblich took over the space that previously belonged to McLoughlin’s Restaurant & Bar, 2100 16th Street. He’s looking to add casual, coastal fare at an affordable price point to the neighborhood.
A 40-seat patio out front ushers diners into a sprawling, “funky” space with a sizeable bartop and scattered four- and two-top tables, crafted from reclaimed wood and metal. Knoblich says the graffiti-style art originally painted on his Chuey Fu’s truck will follow with Baja flair into the new bar and restaurant. Multiple TV screens will play local sports.
The menu will continue to feature the burritos and tacos fans have come to know Chuey Fu’s for, but exchange the Asian spin for an emphasis on seafood. Highlights include al pastor fish tacos, beer battered fish tacos, oysters on the half-shell, and peel-and-eat shrimp. For meat eaters, chicken tinga tacos and carne asada also make an appearance. Happy hour will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. daily, featuring a secret menu item and $3 tacos.
Last fall, Chuey Fu’s took over the corner space at 2950 South Broadway, in Englewood, featuring two patios and garage doors.