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Pelham Residents Ready For Opening Of Modern Mexican Taqueria

Brenan Hefner, left, and Clayton Bushong, right, partners in Cantinas Lobos in Pelham, stand by the  eatery's garage door.
Brenan Hefner, left, and Clayton Bushong, right, partners in Cantinas Lobos in Pelham, stand by the eatery's garage door. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
The tabletops at Cantinas Lobos in Pelham are made by
The tabletops at Cantinas Lobos in Pelham are made by Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Cantina Lobos -- which roughly translates to Wolf's Bar -- is coming to Wolfs Lane in Pelham this week.

Co-Owner Clayton Bushong, who's known locally for his day job as Director of Programming, Marketing, and Theater Management of Pelham Picture House, said he felt like the town was missing a "fast casual" Mexican taqueria. And so, he and his fellow Pelham residents John Gallagher and Brenan Hefner have created the kind of place they always wanted for their families and friends -- a moderately priced eatery with tacos, Mexican inspired small plates and entrees and a host of cool tequilas and flavored margaritas.

Lots of local hands have been involved with the Cantina's creation, namely Pelham resident Frank DelPonte of K.O. Construction, located in the Bronx, and New Rochelle’s Ottavio’s Studio which oversaw all of the interior finishes.

Along with the wood trim, bar and booths, Ottavio’s, a family-owned business located in New Rochelle and run by Pelham resident John DeVivo, also designed and built the innovative, exterior garage door which sits to the right of the front entrance. The garage door will open and close according to the weather and lends an airy ambiance to the breezy space. It should be noted, too, that much of the wood Ottavio’s utilized for the bar and garage door is vintage lumber reclaimed from an old tenement on New York's Lower East Side.

Another original Cantina Lobos décor feature is its custom, hand painted tabletops on the restaurant’s booths. The production team from GRACIE -- a 117-year-old, Manhattan company specializing in hand painted wallpaper, Asian art and antiques, and lacquer furniture and run by Pelham resident Mike Gracie -- created one-of-a-kind artwork for each table inspired by traditional Mexican sugar skulls.

The space, meant to accommodate both large and small groups (communal tables line the mid-section of the room), also hopes to be known for its creative Mexican cuisine led by Executive Chef Dennis Cruz, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and an alumni of restaurants such as Gotham Bar & Grill and The Four Seasons.

"Cruz's simple yet inventive menu items will utilize locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients and fuse the traditional flavors of Mexico with a modern, fresh twist," explained Bushong. "The bar will also offer innovative cocktails, an extensive tequila menu, and a well-curated beer and wine list."

The restaurant, which offers a kid's menu and hopes to do special deals with the Picture House down the road (even events!) will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Cantina Lobos is located at 217 Wolfs Lane, (914) 380-8644, www.cantinalobos.com/ .

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