By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 22, 2022 at 11:01 AM

As Odd Duck prepares to re-open in their new digs at 939 S. 2nd St. in Walker’s Point, a new concept is percolating inside its former digs.

In fact, Tulum Latin Gastropub is slated to open at 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. later this spring.

The restaurant, which is owned by Ernesto Carmona, will offer a full bar plus a menu of dishes from South America, the Caribbean and and Mexico. 

What's in store

General manager Juan Magdaleon says the concept – which is named named for the lively tourist town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula – will offer a welcoming, casual vibe.

Work has already begun on the space, which will feature matte black walls set off against Mahogany wood trim, cream city brick. White accents will pop against brightly colored furniture and walls covered in artwork created by local artists. 

“The point of a gastropub is a focus on local,” notes Magdaleon. “We want to emphasize community and give back as much as possible through initiatives like a holiday toy drive and other locally focused events.”

On the menu

Magdaleon says the kitchen will be headed up by Chef Dario Nunez, a native of Chiapas, Mexico whose cooking style has been influenced by his travels throughout Mexico, including work in cities like Tulum.

Dishes will include offerings like Peruvian jalea de mariscos (fried seafood) and lomo saltado, a classic Cubano sandwich and Puerto Rican pinchos (grilled skewers of pork, chicken).

Mexican offerings will include dishes like shrimp aguachiles, a fresh ceviche-style preparation with origins on the Western Coast of Mexico which showcases shrimp mixed with fresh lime juice, chile peppers, cucumbers and red onion. Tulum’s will feature a choice of green or red sauce with tomatoes.

Soul warming soups will include pozole, Guadalajaran carne en su jugo (beef and bean soup) and birria, the famous chile-infused stew of Jalisco which inspired the recent taco trend.

There will also be molcajete featuring a combination of nopales, chicken, chorizo, and steak served inside the hot volcanic rock bowl of the same name. The dish will be accompanied by rice, beans, pico de gallo and house tortillas.

“At the end of the day, our goal is authenticity,” says Magdaleon. “When I go out to dinner, that’s what I’m looking for. And that’s what we want our guests to experience.”

Meanwhile, the full bar will feature a long list of cocktails from the michelada and paloma to pina coladas, mojitos, tamarindo margaritas and cantaritos, the refreshing Mexican cocktail made with tequila, citrus juices and grapefruit soda and served in a traditional clay vessel.

Local craft brews will be featured on tap and in bottles and cans. Meanwhile, Magdaleon says they will also be working with Ethan Keller of Cache Cider to incorporate some of his single varietal hard ciders, as well as a potentially unique collaborative offering.

Magdaleon says they are also excited to put their own stamp on the restaurant’s patio, where they will preserve the garden-like atmosphere to offer guests an atmosphere akin to a cozy beer garden.

“We’re also so grateful to Melissa [Buchholz] and Ross [Bachhuber] of Odd Duck,” says Magdaleon. “They made our transition into this space so smooth. They recommended us to Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic, and they’ve even offered to walk us around the neighborhood to introduce us to our neighbors.”

Ultimately, he says, they can’t wait to introduce themselves to the Bay View community.

“We can’t wait to welcome diners into the restaurant,” he says. “People are going to be so excited about the transformation.”

Once open, Tulum Latin Gastropub will serve both lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday (closed on Tuesday) with brunch on Sundays.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.