It’s always good to see complementary business relationships evolve.
The old El Cantina Superior will once again be a restaurant. Chef Jordan Asher — whom we named a young, up-and-coming chef last year thanks to his work at now-closed Dosi — will be at the helm and Felix Florez of Black Hill Meats will have a venue to showcase his products. The name of the new place is Ritual and the concept is entirely different.
Yesterday, Ken Bridge of Delicious Concepts Restaurant Group (which also runs Pinks Pizza, Lola Diner, Shepherd Park Draught House and Republic Diner) announced the revised plans for the former EL Cantina space at 602 Studewood.
When we talked with Bridge after El Cantina closed, he said he was turning it into a brewpub. However, yesterday’s press release said that “the space was a bit too small and had other brewing-related challenges.”
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Ritual’s features will include a tap room and both a set and rotating menu that will inevitably hinge on Black Hill Ranch’s supply of locally raised meat. (Check out our profile story on Florez to learn more about his work.) This also hails Florez's return to skill sets he acquired after years of working in restaurants such as Brennan’s of Houston — wine and restaurant operations. Together, Asher and Florez will craft an in-house butcher and charcuterie program, which sounds like an excellent match for the two talented individuals.
After Asher was replaced as chef at Dosi Restaurant + Soju Bar, he worked for Bridge during Witchcraft Tavern’s conversion into Republic Diner + Sojubang.
One thing hasn’t changed about the original plan for the old El Cantina space, though. Former Real Ale brewmaster Erik Ogershok is still overseeing an extensive craft beer lineup.
Ritual is tentatively scheduled to open in March.