By Kevin Collison
A mother-daughter team who relish their Latina heritage and look forward to serving cocktails, wine and tapas in a vibrant atmosphere are opening a new place in the West Bottoms this month.
“We wanted something that showed that culture,” said Kandi Kerns. “It’s all about the shared experience, sitting with friends and having drinks and food.”
Kerns and her daughter, Alexandria Snavely, are planning a combination bar called Fuego and speakeasy named Trago at 1412 W. 12th St. The new place occupies the corner of an 1880s warehouse at the foot of the 12th Street Viaduct.
For mother and daughter, their concept is a reboot of the former Trago bar and tapas they operated in the Liberty area for seven years before closing it earlier this summer. It was dedicated to serving food their Guatemalan grandmother, Neka, taught them to prepare.
Turned out, the tapas proved to be so popular that what they had envision to be a bar serving food became more of a restaurant.
“We wanted a new concept that was more about being a bar,” Kerns said.
Both women worked to build out the 6,100 square-foot space and built the attractive bar with salvaged wood. It’s stocked with 170 different brands of liquor as well as a huge selection of imported wine. Bottled beer will be sold as well.
For the time being, the only food offering will be a charcuterie board.
“We want to get the bar firmly established before adding more tapas,” Kerns said.
The Fuego bar area geared for walk-in customers will seat about 50 people and will serve Latin-themed cocktails including Amate Picante, Rocapulco Red, Mezcal Merengue and a Cuban Highball aka a Mojito.
The Trago speakeasy will require reservations and have its own entrance. The room seats about 25 people and will be separate from the adjoining bar.
Live entertainment including Flamenco dancers and music is planned on weekends. An open jam and drink specials aimed at employees in the food and entertainment industry are planned for Sunday nights.
As part of sharing their Latin heritage, Kerns also will offer a culinary class for up to a dozen people on Saturdays.
Both women say the West Bottoms is a great place for them to be because of its creative vibe. They’re also looking forward to some of the major redevelopment scheduled to occur in the coming years that will bring new residents and activity.
“We always wanted to be downtown, we’re city girls,” Kerns said. “We came across this space and it was a blessing.
“We didn’t know about the planned growth. It’s such a great opportunity.”
Opening day is scheduled for Sept. 15.
The hours will be Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m to midnight; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday, 5 p.m. to midnight. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
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