Banko Cantina, slated to open in mid-April in a historic building off South Olive Avenue, will specialize in Northern-Mexican cuisine.
The transformed 13,000-square-foot space will feature a 130-seat main dining room on the first floor, a second floor designed specifically for special events, and a 3,000-square-foot, partially covered rooftop with a 90-foot bar and seating for 150, along with a kitchen serving lunch and dinner from a special menu.
Co-owner Sam Sanchez is a Chicago restaurateur who was recently awarded Restaurateur of the Year 2015 from the Illinois Restaurant Association for his three Chicago-based establishments: John Barleycorn, Moe’s Cantina, and Old Crow Smokehouse.
This will be Sanchez' first South Florida enterprise, and much of the menu was inspired by his childhood in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
To ensure authentic fare, executive chef Seth Kirschbaum spent time researching regional dishes during a trip to Northern Mexico with Colectivo GN, a group of chefs who specialize in Northern Mexican regional cooking.
As a result, expect to find a number of regional interpretations with a menu that serves to highlight the country's ranching culture, featuring plenty of mesquite-grilled meats and skewers. There's also a list of specialty tacos — everything from braised chicken to fish and lobster — each made using tortillas imported directly from Mexico.
The restaurant will also highlight an extensive tequila bar with a focus on handcrafted specialty cocktails, sangria, and Micheladas, as well as a selection of both local and Mexican beer.
Banko Cantina is currently hiring for all positions, including servers, bartenders, bar backs, hostesses, line cooks, and dishwashers. To apply, send a résumé to Seth Kirschbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banko Cantina is located at 114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Visit bankocantina.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.