Nuevo León's staff and ownership have kept busy since last month's fire that destroyed the popular generations-old Mexican restaurant in Pilsen. Management on Friday opened Cantón Regio at 1510 W. 18th St., across the street from their old restaurant. Canton Regio serves an all-new menu, one that restaurant owners say can only be appreciated by those who know their "history, tradition and roots."
"Same owners, different concept...delicious food, you won't be disappointed," a Facebook post read.
The menu, posted on Facebook, features recipes from Regiomontanas. It's unclear if that's a reference to the place, which is in the Monterrey region of Mexico, in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. Or perhaps it references the Regiomontanas restaurant that once stood at the same address.
What does it all mean for the food? Cantón Regio's menu features more steak and chicken compared to Nuevo León's. A Facebook post written in Spanish mentions that the recipes come from the "wisdom of their ancestors": "Without forgetting our origin and with a clear direction we follow in the same," the translated Facebook post read.
The stealth opening leaves the meaning to that Facebook post open to interpretation, and attempts to reach ownership have been unsuccessful so far. Soon after the fire, they told reporters they were interested in reopening, but at another nearby space. The GoFundMe page to assist their employees the went up after the fire is gone. Meanwhile, Nuevo León's website opens to a page that says "coming soon" at the same address.
No matter what happens to the old space, right now Pilsen has a new spot to explore buoyed by tradition and run by some familiar faces.
Cantón Regio, 1510 W. 18th St., (312) 733-3045, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Tuesday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
UPDATE: In an interview with DNAinfo, ownership says they plan on rebuilding a smaller version of Nuevo León at the original site which city officials have recommended to be razed.