ANDERSONVILLE— By next summer, fans of the former T’s Bar patio in Andersonville will once again be able to gather for food and drinks on the corner of Winnemac Avenue and Clark Street.
The much-anticipated modern Mexican restaurant Cantina De La Granja is slated to open in March of next year, well before the summer patio season begins.
Jacqueline White, of the SoFo Tap and Crew Bar and Grill team who took over the space last year, said the the cantina will have outdoor space.
White said construction has begun on the new restaurant, which will also feature a rooftop garden and a "preservation" kitchen — which will focus on food grown locally.
Over the past few months, chef Diana Davila and the ownership team have been visiting farms within 200 miles of the city, where most of the restaurant's ingredients will come from. So far, the group has built relationships with more than 50 farms.
"I wanted to find a way to recreate these authentic flavors that I've had a romance with since childhood in a Midwest frame, with the use of local ingredients from Midwest farmers," said Davila.
To bring the farm-to-table concept even closer to home, the restaurant will have a 14-square-foot rooftop garden which will be used to grow prototype vegetables. When Davila decides she wants to use a certain vegetable from the garden, it will be sent to a local farm to be mass produced.
Co-owner Mark Robertson said Cantina de la Granja will be a perfect fit for Andersonville — adding to the overall "passion for all things local, sustainable and eco-friendly."
As for what customers can expect at the restaurant, Davila said she "really can't stop menu writing."
Davila said she is particularly excited about the ceviches she is creating — one has perch, pear, brown butter and radish. An updated taco will include eggplant on a marrow-flour tortilla.
"Although it may be limiting being a true farm-to-table concept, I feel it forces you to be creative with what is grown here," she said.
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