No Brewpub for You

Brewpub is out, butcher shop and restaurant in for shuttered Tex-Mex space

Brewpub is out, butcher shop/restaurant in for shuttered Tex-Mex space

El Cantina Ritual exterior
Work has begun to transform The El Cantina into Ritual. The Heights Life/Facebook

Delicious Concepts, the company behind Pink's Pizza, Lola's, and two other restaurants, has a new plan for the space formerly occupied by The El Cantina Superior. When he closed the Tex-Mex restaurant in August, owner Ken Bridge announced that he would be opening a brewpub in the space, but those plans have been scrapped. 

On Monday, Bridge revealed a new direction for the space, which will now be known as Ritual according to multiple media reports. Since the building lacked sufficient room for all of the brewing equipment, Ritual will serve American cuisine and feature an in-house butcher shop. Work has begun to transform the space, which is slated to open in March.

Former Dosi chef Jordan Asher — who worked with Delicious Concepts in 2015 to transform Witchcraft from a burgers and craft beer spot into a small plates and cocktails concept until Bridge scrapped the idea and opened the Korean-influenced Republic Diner in the space — has signed on as executive chef.

Delicious Reconcept jokes asides, the most interesting aspect of Ritual is the involvement of Black Hill Ranch owner Felix Florez with the restaurant and the butcher shop. The sommelier turned rancher is making his return to restaurant life with Ritual. In addition to providing meat for the restaurant, Florez will be working with Asher on the menu. 

"I was ready to get back in the game," Florez tells CultureMap. The concept certainly sounds similar to nearby Revival Market, but Florez thinks he'll have plenty to offer diners.

"(Revival owners) Ryan (Pera) and Morgan (Weber) have their own style and we have ours," Florez says. "Plus I've never been big on doing what's already been done. I always make sure of that . . . We will be working with whole carcasses, beef, lamb, goat, pork, etc. from Black Hill and other small Texas farms and ranches. Heavy focus on creative cuts not often seen everyday, full butcher room, dry aging room, charcuterie room."

Beer fans shouldn't worry either. Brewmaster Erik Ogershok, who left craft beer favorite Real Ale to join the project, tells the Chronicle that he's still involved with Delicious Concepts and will be both picking the beer for Ritual. He's also still working towards leasing a space for a new brewpub that will be called Four Phantoms.