By Amy L. Schubert Food Writer Published Nov 17, 2006 at 9:44 AM
The Bay View neighborhood welcomed Riviera Maya, 2258 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., last night in the former location of Scott McGlinchey’s failed Q American BBQ. Riviera Maya is the new incarnation of Xel-há, the popular Bay View eatery which came from the same launch pad location on the corner of Howell and Lincoln that spawned Taqueria Azteca (now on Chase and Oklahoma) years before.

Named after another famous Mexican destination spot, Riviera Maya’s new space has been transformed into a bright, fun eatery, and the menu looks to feature many old favorites as well as some new additions.

Bay View welcomes the space back as Xel-ha’s unceremonious closing took many residents by surprise (there was no immediate indication that the restaurant was reinventing itself across the street and many regulars mourned its assumed passing.)

The new location puts Riviera Maya in one of the neighborhood’s most happening triangles, kiddie corner from nightlife queen Lulu Café and Cocktails, right next to Harry W. Schwartz and Babe’s Ice Cream and Desserts, and a block away from Joe Katz’s happening Highbury Pub.

Bay View’s dining scene continues to evolve with the impending opening of Hector’s on Delaware, 3040 S. Delaware Ave., and Classic Slice, 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., continuing Bay View’s reputation as a destination for Mexican (the aforementioned Riviera Maya, Taqueria Azteca, Hector’s on Delaware) and Italian (Mama DeMarini’s, Dom and Phil DeMarini’s, Tenuta’s, Pietro’s and Classic Slice) selections.

Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.

The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.

Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to