Adam Lowenstein and Justin Herrick started their Ann Arbor hospitality careers with BTB Burrito, an 8-seat takeout burrito joint. Over the last 13 years they've opened 5 other bars and restaurants, including Good Time Charley's and The Last Word. Now one of their concepts, BTB Cantina, is getting a makeover. Originally conceived as "BTB but with tequila", Cantina is expanding on those roots and begin taking on its own identity.
The process started with a one-off dinner event at Cantina in August with two-time James Beard nominee Magdiale Wolmark. The group was inspired by the success of that partnership, and looked for ways the collaborate further.
“It was a very organic conversation that sparked after the Sabado Gigante pop-up dinner and we were just really excited to explore partnering with Magdiale on a larger scale,” stated co-owner Justin Herrick.
The three of them began meeting to explore what that new identity could look like. With Wolmark’s background in farm-table dining, the concept quickly shaped into handcrafted taco menu with a focus on bold flavors and local sourcing.
Now, after months of planning, Cantina reopens with an enhanced vision and menu.
Patrons can expect more than just a change to the food menu, the drink menu is also getting an update to include craft and Mexican beer buckets and a Margarita Soda, a carbonated margarita on tap contributed by the bartenders at Last Word.
Interior design changes were overseen by Lisa Sauvé and Laura Roberts of Synecdoche Design Studio, whose firm was chosen by the Ann Arbor Art Center to partner on their Pop-X exhibit. Their previous work includes Spencer, The Lunch Room, and Duo Security's offices.
One thing the owners are won’t be changing is the successful Taco Tuesday. “It’s one of the things that inspired the menu change” says Lowenstein.
Cantina's hours will be Monday through Friday for lunch 11-2:30pm, and Tuesday through Saturday 5-10pm for happy hour and dinner. Nightlife at Cantina will continue with regular nights such as Tina Tuesday and DJ’s Thu-Sat.
To keep up with all of the updates and a behind the scenes look, be sure to follow Cantina on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.