Bad boy Mexican restaurant Chico Malo opens in CityScape

After a wait of over four months due to construction delays in December, Chico Malo will open Friday. (Celeste Rojas/DD)

Look out downtown, a new bad boy is in town.

After a wait of over four months due to construction delays in December, New Mexican restaurant Chico Malo will open in CityScape this Friday. As part of the opening, the restaurant will be premiering its Mexican flavors accompanied by $5 margaritas all night from 4 p.m. to midnight.

This new restaurant is the first of Culture Shock Hospitality, a restaurant group that was formed to open Chico Malo, which means “bad boy” in Spanish. Teddy Myers, a partner of the group, said they hope to help make downtown Phoenix a walkable destination. He said the group wants to invest in Phoenix because they believe the city has a lot of potential to become a lively urban center.

Myers said he and other group members wanted to create a story within the restaurant, and base the menu and decoration on the story. The story begins with a globe-trotting playboy that inherited his late fathers’ fine dining restaurant.

“What would he do of it?” Myers asked in reference to the story.

Myers pointed at the wooded walls tagged with white spray paint by a local artist and the metal rooster next to the host stand. The rooster is a symbol of strength in Hispanic culture, and Chico Malo’s was tagged with red paint and made in Mexico. He believes the story behind the restaurant ties the cuisine, beverages and décor together.

Chico Malo will be premiering its Mexican flavors accompanied by $5 margaritas from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday. (Celeste Rojas/DD)
Chico Malo will be premiering its Mexican flavors accompanied by $5 margaritas from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday. (Celeste Rojas/DD)

Tara Shaver, a supervisor at the restaurant, said the décor includes a mural painted over more than 1,000 books that were donated by the community and glued together to create a 120-square-foot piece of art referred to as the “library booth.” Artists J.B. Snyder and Tato Caraveo worked on the “library booth” piece.

Shaver helped put the shelf together and said it was one of the best art pieces in the restaurant, despite the difficulty it took to create.

The menu will also be a unique part of the restaurant. What began with Mexican food evolved into a mixture of Mexican food combined with elevated cooking techniques from around the world. Food options will include tiraditos, a Peruvian dish with raw fish similar to ceviche, as well as carne asada, crispy avocado and duck carnitas tacos. The restaurant has an in-house tortilleria, in which fresh tortillas are made every day to accompany the dishes.

The restaurant also promises to have drinks made from scratch. Myers said everything is juiced in-house and the liqueurs and vermouth for one of their signature drinks is, too.

Their beer selection varies from Mexican brewed beers like Dia De Los Muertos hefeweizen to beer from Oskar Blues Brewery.

The staff is ready and prepped for the grand opening, and a hostess said they have been taking reservations for a few days. Doors will open at 4 p.m. Friday.

Contact the reporter at Celeste.Cruz.1@asu.edu.