The grand makeover of the former Gracias Corazón is almost done. As a result, designer Agostino De Riggi will unveil Socialito, his new Mexican restaurant with Asian influences, sometime in April. The 60-seater has taken over the bygone Colombian diner at 75 Saint-Viateur Ouest, as well as the space next door. "We changed everything," confesses De Riggi. "It's all new, from floor to ceiling. Décor-wise we initially went for a Mexican country vibe, but then it evolved into something else. The ambiance is very urban. There's a mural done by Jason Botkin. It's quite interesting — it has this Mexican Asian graffiti with gold leaf, and copper leaf. It all looks really sharp, and I think it fits well with the neighbourhood."
Socialito's build has been plagued with a lot of the usual problems and construction delays, but is about two to three weeks away, De Riggi estimates. "Everything's basically done, we're just waiting for some kitchen equipment, the back door, the front part of the restaurant." The refurbished space will sport an 11-seat bar and counter, a mix of tables and banquettes, an open kitchen, and two tantalizing additions. "We're going to have a takeout window in the lane that looks on to the kitchen action. And there's also the possibility of a big terrasse in the back, with 40 seats. We're talking to the city about it now."
On the menu at Socialito, expect a few starters, seven tacos, seven "non-taco mains", as De Riggi calls them, and a couple of desserts. Vegetarians will have plenty to enjoy, reports the owner. The restaurant will carry some wines, but the emphasis will be on beers (Molson will supply a house draft), and cocktails. Some of the dishes will depart from traditional Mexican fare, with a few Asian ingredients in the mix. Check out a few Instagram previews of the new restaurant.