Ouch?! The swank Thai-Latin eatery with huge Asian Foo Dogs out front is changing to a Mexican Bistro called Pancho Gringo. Okay, Talay was not perfect. It was a lot of splash with some issues on substance, and management could have been a little better. Also, fusion food is not really the trend these days and the food world is really going back towards authentic cuisine. The majority of new places that are not successful usually missed out on a few details and are behind the times in some way.
All that said, a high-end Mexican restaurant is a good idea, but we are a little disturbed by the name of it. Hey, we all know what the definition of Gringo is. So what are they trying to do here? Entice more Columbia students and food critics uptown or are they trying to scare them away (yes, the name is scary)? The new restaurants in town that are doing well have the food, decor, service and taste level in place. What many of the uptown entrepreneurs do not get is that the food scene is a Manhattan scene, so they must know what is going on downtown to be successful. It might be best to hire some consultants that have worked in successful businesses in other parts of Manhattan before fully getting into this one.
Finally, one should have a proper opening and not hang a fabric tarp on the front of the building to debut a new restaurant. Seriously, what does the huge dragon-like statue out front have to do with Mexican food? Photo by Ulysses