Michael Murray-John plans to spice up Wabasha by opening a new Mexican restaurant.
Murray-John, who opened Vinifera in Wabasha last year with his wife, Debbie, is now cooking up Loco Gringos Cantina on Pembroke Avenue.
“It is going to be a family-oriented restaurant serving authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine, and we’ll have a full bar,” says Murray-John, who is the executive chef.
It will serve residents from Wabasha and nearby communities, while Vinifera’s fine dining from a wine country concept attracts food fans from as far away as the Twin Cities.
“The Vinifera market is a bit limited, especially in the winter time,” he says. “With the laid-back Loco Gringos, we are trying to capture the lunch crowd and the late night crowd.”
They are targeting the opening of Loco Gringos for the week of Oct. 19. It should seat 30 in the dining room and 30 in the bar area.
He plans to offer 50 to 60 types of tequila.
Somewhat like Vinifera, which offers wine samples for people interested in buying a bottle, Loco Gringos will have hot sauces for tasting and for purchase by the bottle.
Murray-John will offer two versions of most of the dishes on the menu — the American version and the Mexican version. The American version will include more shredded lettuce and grated cheese, while the Mexican version will feature more cilantro and onions.
While many of his 10 employees from Vinifera also will work at Loco Gringos, “we will definitely have to bring in more people to cover it,” he said.