Hash Over

Under new management

Alfredo Hinojosa, owner of the Latin night spot Club Babalu on McKinney Avenue, has decided not to move his club to the vacant Arcadia space on Greenville Avenue. Instead, he'll recast the Arcadia, most recently run by bad-boy club operators Steve and Bruce Kahn, as an upscale English-Spanish dance club dubbed Liquid at The Arcadia. "It's under new owners and new management," says Hinojosa, obviously trying to separate himself from his predecessors. "Please clarify that, because there were a lot of problems before." Hinojosa is the same guy who operated the Arcadia Discotech, a Tejano bar, in the same spot before he sold it to the Kahns. The brothers Kahn were subsequently chased off following assorted entanglements with Texas liquor regulators and a bankruptcy filing. But Hinojosa swears things will be different when his new club opens December 1. He plans to draft a menu and serve food -- just in case there are a few folks on Lower Greenville who shun liquid diets.

Mixed hash

Twentysomething restaurant hotshot and former Cool River Café managing partner Tristan Simon just snagged Cool River bar manager Greg Kalina for Cuba Libre, the Caribbean taqueria Simon plans to open at Henderson and Willis in early December. Kalina, a onetime manager of Humperdink's in Las Colinas, drove annual sales in Cool River's "right side -- the space holding the main bar, cigar lounge, and gaming area -- to $5 million in its first year. So to make Kalina's Caribbean experience just as sweet, Simon broke off a piece of taco for Kalina, making him general manager with an equity stake...Maybe Ildefonso Jimenez is exhausted from flamenco, but he sure isn't tired of tapas. After helping his now ex-wife Donica open the Spanish tapas bar Café Madrid a few years back, Jimenez launched the flamenco and tapas bar Ketama in Deep Ellum. But after a few months, Jimenez was cash poor, and he began swapping rent checks for equity with his landlord, the Delphi Group Inc., whittling his interest (and his enthusiasm) down to practically nothing. So with Ketama in his wake, Jimenez is set to open yet another Spanish tapas bar: ¡Hola! which should debut in late November on McKinney Avenue at Monticello. Similar to Café Madrid in its rusticity, ¡ Hola! will feature an open kitchen, a huddle of curing hams and sausages hanging above the bar, and a menu that departs from the standardized Spanish tapas fare he's been propagating at his other spots around town.

Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at markstz@flash.net.


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