By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 26, 2022 at 11:01 AM

As Odd Duck settles nicely into its new digs at 939 S. 2nd St. in Walker’s Point, there’s something new to enjoy beginning later this week in their former Bay View location.

Tulum Latin Gastropub –a restaurant and bar offering a menu of dishes from South America and Mexico – is slated to open to the public on Thursday, April 28 at 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. 

Tulum's exteriorX

The restaurant, which is nearly ready to welcome its first guests, features an interior that mixes both old world elements like mahogany trim and cream city brick, with a bright, vibrant aesthetic featuring local art, plants and multi-colored furnishings.

Dining tables and chairsX

About 50 seats will be available in the space at a combination of two and four-top tables. Some feature bright velveteen chairs. Some offer more lounge-like couch seating in lieu of the more traditional banquette.

As the restaurant prepares for its first customers, vibrant art is slowly filling the walls, offering a pop of color against the neutral brick backdrop.

dining room and art at TulumX

Meanwhile, an Instagram-worthy wall of greenery at the back of the restaurant will be hung with a neon sign that summarizes the spirit of the new venue in two words: “Good Vibes.”

Speaking of art good portion of (growing) current art collection showcased at the restaurant will be from local artist Joshua Tayler, and all pieces will be available for purchase. Moving forward, general manager Juan Magdaleon says the restaurant will aspire to showcasing art from additional local artists, as well as hosting gallery night events.

Unhung art X

Additional art, including these pieces yet to be hung, include the work of Ciserón, a Honduran artist who is currently one of the most influential artists in Latin America.

Magdaleon says the restaurant also expects to offer al fresco dining on the restaurant’s well-appointed back patio, likely starting sometime in June.

Window seatingX

At the bar

At the bar, guests can choose from a variety of house cocktails, including a house margarita and pina colada, along with palomas, mojitos, caipirinha, pisco sours and cantaritos, the refreshing Mexican cocktail made with tequila, sangrita and Squirt and served in a traditional clay vessel.

Cantaritos at TulumX

Other options will include both domestic and Latin beers and a wine list which focuses on selections from Argenttina, Chile, Peru and Spain.

After 10 p.m.. guests can also indulge in Tulum’s hooka menu featuring flavored tobaccos that vary from sour apple and strawberry to gummy bears and mint.

From jalea to enchiladas

Heading up the kitchen is 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. And his inaugural menu offers a range of items that diners can enjoy for both lunch and dinner.

Guests can stick with familiar appetizers like Tulum wings (marinated, fried and served with a choice of sauces including bbq, Buffalo, mango habanero and garlic parmesan), guacamole and nachos (with a choice of steak, chicken, shredded beef, pork or shrimp).

But they can also delve into Mexican aguachile featuring large Tiger shrimp marinated in guest’s choice of mild green or red sauces with English cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and avocado (served with chips or tostada shells) or leche de tigre, Peruvian ceviche featuring fresh fish marinated in citrus with peppers, onions and house seasonings.

Peruvian dishes including jalea (a medley of fried seafood topped with bright fresh lime-marinated onion salad);  and arroz chaufa, Peruvian fried rice made with a choice of chicken, pork, beef, seafood or vegetables and lomo saltado, stir-fried beef with blistered onions, tomatoes and crispy French-fried potatoes.

Meanwhile, Mexican offerings will include quesadilla frita, a deep fried quesadilla with guests’ choice of meat topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and sour cream; enchiladas filled with guests’ choice of meat and a choice of house (rojas, verdes or mole) alongside rice and beans; or Tulum’s molcajete estilo Mexicano, featuring a hot stone mortar filled with chicken, steak, pork chops, rib tips, chorizo and cactus in house sauce and served with rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and a choice of corn or flour tortillas.

Sandwiches and burgers

Casual pub-style fare will include American appetizers like wonton-wrapped mozzarella sticks, panko-breaded onion rings and Tulum jalapeno poppers.

Guests can pair those up with a classic Cuban sandwich (ham, roasted pork, Swiss and mustard on Cuban bread) or a Mexican torta ahogada (a soft Mexican roll filled with meat, sauce, crema, avocado and salsa) dipped in house sauce.

Tulum will also feature a menu of burgers made with seasoned 80/20 ground chuck. Options will include signatures like The Tulum Burger (aged Swiss, jalapenos, chipotle aioli, lettuce and tomatoes on brioche); the El Ranchero (aged provolone, jalapenos, pico de gallo, avocado and an over-easy fried egg); and Tulum’s Paradis with grilled pineapple, honey ham, Swiss, lettuce and tomatoes.  All are served with a choice of house salad or fries.

Beginning Thursday, April 28, Tulum Latin Gastropub will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.  Dinner reservations are highly recommended; you can make yours by calling the restaurant at (414) 808-0048.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.