In 2014, downtown diners got to know chef Chris McKinley as the up-and-coming talent behind the short-lived restaurant The Local. During its six-month run, the restaurant earned a reputation for serving fun but elevated fare unlike anything else in the area — McKinley created dishes including bone marrow with lamb bacon, house-made pastas, and Pig Ear Pad Thai that became instant classics with the restaurant's fans.
Now, he back. And this time, he's taking things south of the border.
Later this year, the chef will oversee the opening of Chico Malo, a Mexican restaurant planned for downtown's CityScape development. The restaurant, the name of which translates to "bad boy," comes from Culture Shock Hospitality group; McKinley will oversee the development of the menu and the restaurant’s launch.
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The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. The menu's inspiration started with Mexican street food, but encompasses flavor from all over South America including ceviche, street corn, chilaquiles, and tiraditos, a Peruvian crudo. Diners will also be able to build their own guacamole and order from a lengthy lineup of tacos.
Chico Malo is expected to open in December. The restaurant will be located at 50 West Jefferson Street.