Stephen Tanner and Chris Young from The Commodore have been spending these humid summer days in Bushwick at their newly opened two-story Mexican tiki bar El Cortez. The team went retro kitsch downstairs with a wall covered with a giant picture of a Mexican temple, leather backed bar stools, and an alcove decked out with palm frond wallpaper. Upstairs things get a bit tiki, plus there’s a somewhat scary looking (possibly stuffed?) alligator mounted on one of the walls.
Expect your drinks here from Young to come with fruity garnishes or in a totem pole glass, perhaps even with an umbrella. The kitchen team, which includes Dennis Spina from River Styx and Roebling Tea Room and Yvon de Tassigny, the opening chef of St. Anselm, is keeping the food here simple: the menu includes tacos, nachos, a burrito, and a cheeseburger. Some smoked meats will likely join the menu once the team settles in.