The deal to place a branch of New York City's Calexico at 16th and South Streets is dead, as you may know, but all is not lost to those hankering for Mexican food and drink.
Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico - of The Cambridge, a block away at 1508 South St., and Hawthornes, at 11th and Fitzwater Streets - have snapped up the space and plan to open it as Tío Flores, a bar-restaurant they describe as a comfortable spot whose energy will match the neighborhood.
"It's not going to be uber-modern or uber-divey," said Annechiarico, who says the menu will be cooked from scratch.
Expect a full complement of beers as well as margaritas made with fresh squeezed juices.
They hope to open in late summer. Some of the preliminary utility work had been completed in the new building, at 1600 South St. Calexico also had an agreement to open a second location at Frankford and Girard Avenues in Fishtown, in part of the Penn Treaty Market. That space is now advertised for rent.
Fetfatzes and Annechiarico also are in the beginning stage of planning Grace & Proper, what they call a "classy neighborhood taproom," in a long-empty deli at the corner of Eighth and Carpenter Streets (941 S. Eighth St.) in Bella Vista.
That project is about a year away, they said, adding that they soon will be sitting down with neighborhood groups.