A popular Mexican restaurant in The Heights will soon have new operators, a new name, and a new chef. Night Moves Hospitality has claimed the space currently occupied by Calle Onze for Chivos, a new Mexican-American concept.
Led by Night Moves partners Greg Perez and chef Lyle Bento in partnership with Calle Onze owner Chris Manriquez, Chivos joins Space Cowboy at the Heights House Hotel and recently opened cocktail bar Trash Panda Drinking Club as the third concept Night Moves has opened this year.
To bring Chivos to life, Perez and Bento have hired chef Thomas Bille, the Los Angeles native who earned a CultureMap Tastemaker Award Best New Restaurant nomination for Belly of the Beast, his short-lived contemporary taqueria in Old Town Spring. Current Calle Onze chef Celi Perez will transition from the kitchen to a customer-facing, front of house role.
“Chivos is Spanish for goats,” Perez said in a statement. “The name is a play on the acronym G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) and personifies our concept and group’s ethos. We deeply admire anyone who aspires to be the greatest in their profession, so we strive to pursue the same greatness for our guests.”
Just as Belly of the Beast served food that couldn't be easily categorized as either Tex-Mex or traditional Mexican, Chivos will serve food that's best labeled Mexican-American. Look for tortillas and other corn items made with a traditional nixtamalization process as well as entrees like duck with fig mole. Sadly, Bille's signature birria tacos will not be on the opening menu, a representative tells CultureMap, but they could reappear at some point in the future.
Perez, who created Calle Onze's cocktails as its opening bar manager, will collaborate with bartender Leesly Valdez on drinks inspired by Mexican-American dishes and sweets that they enjoyed as children. Calle Onze always featured an extensive selection of agave spirits, and Chivos will go even deeper into beverages produced in Mexico.
“We’re excited to introduce a wide variety of Mexican spirits, from rum to gin to sotol and liqueurs,” Perez said. “We want to expose people to other Mexican alcoholic products besides tequila and mezcal.”
Calle Onze will close on October 1. Chivos will reopen shortly thereafter with new furnishings and other design elements.