We can credit the Noma pop-up in Tulum for planting the seed for this more casual spinoff of LoHi’s popular five-month-old Señor Bear in the minds of chefs Blake Edmunds and Max Mackissock. There, they enjoyed dinner with Zeppelin Station’s director of hospitality, Justin Anderson. “Max and I have always wanted to do a project with the Zeppelins,” Edmunds says. They finalized the deal for Mister Oso to enter the 100,000-square-foot creative space about a month ago.
While Mister Oso will have the same Pan-Latin slant as Señor Bear, Edmunds is taking a “street food style” approach tailored to the market hall environment, focusing on items that are more grab-and-go, handheld, and sharable. His menu will feature two sections—tacos and “sanguiches” (things between bread, like tortas)—with three to four selections in each, as well as sides, desserts, and a couple alcoholic beverages. (Vendors at Zeppelin Station can sell their own boozy creations; Mister Oso is seizing that opportunity by installing a frozen drink machine.)
Mister Oso’s Peruvian “anticuchos” (meat and seafood skewers) will certainly be a draw, but the menu’s pièce de résistance is “El Pollo Bronco.” You may have tried the dish at Señor Bear, where charcoal- and white oak-grilled chicken is served alongside tortillas with pickled onions, salted cabbage, charred pepper salsa, and house habanero-garlic hot sauce. Or you may have eaten the original at El Pollo Bronco restaurant in Tulum, Mexico. If not, get ready for a delectable experience—Edmunds plans to make the dish a headliner at Mister Oso.
That chicken will, however, get stiff competition from Mister Oso’s al pastor tacos. Edmunds & Co. are “trying to design a custom grill with an al pastor spit attached,” where they’ll cook 12-inch rounds of guajillo-chile-and-garlic-seasoned pork next to a hot fire, slicing the al pastor to order in front of customers.
Mister Oso is joining Au Feu, Vinh Xuong Bakery, Aloha Poke Co., Fior Gelato, Dandy Lion Coffee, and three yet-to-be-announced vendors at Zeppelin Station, which is scheduled to open before the end of the year.
Bonus: Culinary Creative, a spinoff of Tap and Burger Concepts from Juan Padro, Katie O’Shea Padro, and Max Mackissock, has another exciting project in the pipeline: In its first partnership licensing deal, Culinary Creative will team up with Blatty Concepts to bring a version of Bar Dough, called Sophia, to New Orleans. “We’re dipping our toes into it for the first time and we’re going to see how it goes,” Padro says.
Additionally, there is an unconfirmed Denver project in the works, which we’ll report on as more details come to light.