Although it initially looked a ways off, the 3,600 square-foot, 125-seat La Urbana could start pouring mezcal on Divisadero starting this July. As Inside Scoop reports, the massive complex inside the former Plant-It Earth corner spot at Grove and Divis will actually house three concepts: an 85-seat modern Mexican restaurant called La Urbana, a mezcal tasting room called La Mezcaleria Urbana and Mercado Urbano — a 40-seat daytime spot for tacos and street food that will become a lounge at night.
While the more casual mercado needs a couple extra months for the buildout, the dinner-service restaurant and tasting room will open this summer, barring any unforeseen holdups with the permitting process. Managing partner Alessandra Bonisoli tells Inside Scoop that the mezcaleria will seat about 10 or 12 and operate like a wine bar with about 40 or 50 hard-to-find bottles available in tasting flights or cocktails.
"We want people to want this food every day of the week," Bonisoli says of the menu, which is apparently still in the works. Chef Benjamin Klein will be handling the cooking duties with Chef de Cuisine Julio Aguilera overseeing the rest of the food operation.
The restaurant's design is being done by partner and architect Juan Garduño of Garduño Arquitectos and, judging by the renderings over on Inside Scoop, looks to be a little bit more sparse than the restaurants you'll currently find in the neighborhood. The "clean and modern" look follows the current trend of contemporary restaurants in Mexico City that have Mexican roots, but eschew the colonial style. Think: a traditional cantina style with contemporary furniture and a lot less colorful.
For now, the space is guarded by a wall of plywood and a really delightful Zio Zegler mural that sort of has a nice Aztec look to it. Meanwhile, across Grove Street, Da Pitt BBQ (which was either great or terrible, depending on who you asked) struggled to pay the rent and was eventually evicted by their landlord.