With two Mexican restaurants — La Mula Terca and Cafe y Chocolate — the entrepreneurial Arturo Lorenzo was looking to add a cantina to his group.

Meanwhile, Tim Lidiak and Adrienne Salvatore-Markey, who owned the Thirsty Soul, a bar across from Cafe y Chocolate at the corner of 16th Street and West Passyunk Avenue, were seeking a change in the concept.

As the coronavirus shutdown took hold, Lorenzo struck a deal, opening La Llorona just as outdoor dining relaunched in Philadelphia.

La Llorona Cantina has outdoor seating on the West Passyunk Avenue side as well as on 16th Street.
Anthony Caroto
La Llorona Cantina has outdoor seating on the West Passyunk Avenue side as well as on 16th Street.

“This is more of a city restaurant,” said Lorenzo, who was born in San Mateo, Puebla, grew up in Mexico City, and opened Cafe y Chocolate in 2007. Before opening, Lorenzo was a landscaper.

La Llorona — named after the weeping woman in Mexican folklore — boasts a bar that includes some hard-to-find tequilas and agave spirits, as well as beers, whiskeys, gins, vodkas, rums, and brandies. (A locally brewed, Mexican-style lager is on the way.)

Chef Opal Broderick, recently of Thirsty Soul and co-owner of the Rookery Bar in Brooklyn, turns out a menu of traditional cantina food, such as tacos (from a tortilla machine), ceviche, and wings in mole, plus a few larger plates.

Taco al pastor at La Llorona Cantina.
MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
Taco al pastor at La Llorona Cantina.

Lorenzo is bullish on the Newbold neighborhood, having moved Cafe y Chocolate onto Snyder Avenue last fall from its longtime home at 21st Street and Snyder Avenue. Lorenzo opened La Mula Terca across the street from Cafe y Chocolate in 2016.

La Llorona opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

Owner Arturo Lorenzo inside La Llorona Cantina.
MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
Owner Arturo Lorenzo inside La Llorona Cantina.