Contigo Cocina Latina, the long time Tucson favorite that closed in May 2015 will reopen in early February in the former Poppy Kitchen space at Westin La Paloma.
The pan-Latin restaurant reopens with original owner Deborah Tenino at the helm. The original dinner menu and cocktail menu will also return with classic favorites, such as bacon wrapped dates, paella, Pisco Sour, and the Poquito Picante.
Tenino wasn’t actively looking to reopen Contigo but after a series of conversations in which she was sought out to fill the space, she said she saw the potential.
“To be sitting out on that patio with friends, paella, and wine,” said Tenino, “I thought, why wouldn’t we do this?”
Fans of Contigo can expect a much more robust version of what they remember at the original location. The new space is roughly 3,000 square feet and seats 120, as opposed to the 1,800 square foot River Road location that sat 45. In addition, Contigo will gain a freezer, a walk-in refrigerator, and a chef’s line double the original’s length.
“There was a certain amount of relief when we closed (in May),” says Tenino. “But it’s exciting to be reopening. A lot of our former guests are excited, too.”
Tenino will also gain a hand in running Contigo with long time colleague and new business partner, Nicholas Kreutz. Kreutz brings years of wine knowledge as District Manager at Young’s Market, as well as General Manager at Hacienda del Sol. With Kreutz – and the additional storage space – Tenino says the wine list will most likely expand to around 120 bottles, as opposed to the original location’s 22.
When asked if Tenino will take on a more back-of-the-house role with the additional management help, she shrugged off the suggestion, stating that there will be a lot of shared responsibility. Also, many of the original staff members are returning.
For those not familiar with Contigo, or that assume it’s a Spanish tapas restaurant, it’s actually “pan-Latin,” says Tenino. “It’s Mexican, South American, and Spanish. I lived and studied food in Barcelona, Italy, and San Francisco.”
Look for an opening date in early February. Contigo Cocina Latina will be open for dinner daily from 4pm to 10pm.
For more information, keep an eye the Contigo Facebook page.