Romancing the Revolting
"Join the revolution," the Web site implores. The capstone of this movement is a 10,000-square-foot nightclub, lounge and restaurant where Costa Rican lush gardens and a dining room serving Latin cuisine pay homage to "Che," the cultic Argentinean communist revolutionary and grist for the film The Motorcycle Diaries. Che opens in June on Technology Boulevard. You mean Ernesto Che Guevara, the totalitarian who directed Fidel Castro's firing squads? That's him. The Che who meted out thousands of death sentences--many for young boys--without evidence or trial and then forcibly paraded the victims' families before their blood- and brain-spattered bodies? The very one. You mean the Che described in the Black Book of Communism as dogmatic, cold and intolerant and who preached the "extremely useful hatred that turns men into effective, violent, merciless and cold killing machines"? Sí. Is this the same Che who established Cuba's concentration camps where thousands of innocent dissidents, democrats, gays and artists died? Yep. The Che who taped shut the mouths of his victims before execution so they couldn't shout their sneering defiance, yet upon his own capture whimpered, "Don't shoot. I'm Che! I'm worth more to you alive than dead"? Bull's-eye. How does this Che merit a nightclub? Well, he dripped charisma and physical magnetism and posed for a nice photo once. You mean if a certain German dictator had high cheekbones and better facial hair, we might now be swooning over the Brown Shirt Diaries and dancing at Club Führer?
The storied and frequently vacant space at McKinney and Monticello avenues, which most recently was Michael Costa's Vino & Basso and before that Toscana, will open in mid-June as Tijuana Bar & Grill. Tijuana is the work of businessman Dante Picazo, who is positioning the restaurant as the first of several in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Picazo has secured chef Ted Reemtsa, a transplant from Littleton, Colorado, who is developing the restaurant's Latin menu rich in Cuban and South American influences...In an adjunct to the Latin trend that seems to be bubbling through Dallas, Coconuts Island Grill launched a re-grand opening last weekend to introduce new chefs, owners and menu. OK, it's not really thoroughbred Latin. "We're more of a Tex-Mex with an island or tropical flair," says manager Amy Hawks. The Lower Greenville space, which was once 2100 Tapas Lounge, Daxx and 214, was purchased from Lizard Lounge owner Don Nedler by Shane Jenkins and Larry Olsen, who operate a cell phone tower construction firm called American Wireless Supply. Chefs Will Beverly and Javier Velez, formerly of Earl's, are crafting things like warm lobster tacos.
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