After three years in business, Dane Huguley and Nick Coffin quietly closed CafeBar in mid-October. A little over a month later they launched Grey Cactus Cocina & Bar, a neighborhood cantina.
To reinvent (and reinvigorate) the space, the duo hired an all-new waitstaff, promoted Edwin Canche to head chef, and had three Dia de los Muertos-style murals painted. The Mexican street fare theme continues with a taco-, tostada- and sope-filled menu and tequila-stacked bar options.
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The new concept was a smart move—West Wash Park has been lacking a vibrant taqueria since El Diablo closed in spring 2013. (Equally important: the service at Grey Cactus is significantly better than it was at CafeBar.) Other highlights from a midweek dinner included the chicken tinga tacos, house-made salsa tour, and the Hombre-Hattan—a tequila-laden riff on the classic Manhattan.
Whether or not Huguley and Coffin’s new digs will become the neighborhood stronghold CafeBar never quite matured into is yet to be seen. In the meantime, you’ll find me and other neighbors taking advantage of Grey Cactus’ tacos and cocktails.
Follow digital associate editor Jerilyn Forsythe on Twitter at @jlforsyt.