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.
“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.
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.