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Barcelona-inspired Chulo Tapas & Bar coming to downtown Penticton

Tapas coming to Penticton

Christopher Royal has decided to add some Spanish flavour to Penticton’s burgeoning food scene.

The managing partner of the wildly popular Pizzeria Tratto, Royal will soon be opening Chulo Tapas & Bar, a Spanish micro-restaurant that will offer small bites and tasty cocktails to a total of 28 seats inside and out.

“It is sort of designed as a go-between, but we’re going to open it up for tapas around five o’clock five days a week,” Royal says. “The idea being to provide an adult oriented environment, given the food style, for Pentictonites and be a local hangout between the breweries.”

Chulo Tapas is located on Estabrook Avenue in downtown Penticton, not far from Yellow Dog, Neighborhood and Slackwater brew pubs. Pierre Geronimo, who hails from the Pyrenees region of France, will bring his considerable talents to the head chef role, while Shawn Dalton will oversee the cocktail side of the venture. Dalton owns Marrow Vermouth and will design a vermouth especially for the restaurant.

“Barcelona’s got these really nifty cocktail bars, and they centre on gin, tonic and aromatics, and that’s going to be the hub of our cocktail program,” Royal says. “There will be four or five cocktails and a non-alcoholic cocktail section that we’re going to develop as well. There’s been a growing demand, and I don’t think it’s a fad. I think it’s here to stay.”

Royal says the inspiration for the micro-restaurant comes from Vancouver, where his friends, Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart, had similar ventures like Sardine Can, Pied-a-Terre and La Buca.

“All of their restaurants were 20 seats, maybe 30 max, and they were all unique and fantastic experiences in terms of the environment and service, not just the amazing food,” Royal says. “The inspiration for the one in Penticton started as an Italian tapas, or cecchetti bar, to handle the overflow at Pizzeria Tratto. However, the location didn’t work out for structural reasons. By that time, the cat was out of the bag and we needed to find a suitable alternative.”

Royal believes Pentictonites will love the kind of food Chulo Tapas and Geronimo will put on the plates.

“People are really going to find the food pretty nifty,” he says. “It won’t be fancy, it might seem a little foreign, but most will be things folks will recognize. Pierre is a very talented chef. We did a pop-up for Chulo at Tratto in May that sold out in 24 hours, and people raved about the food.”

The vibe is going to impress as well. The space is being designed like a little bodega or a wine cave, but with a modern touch. Old and new will coexist. There will be modern lighting, but old fir glulam beams will make up the bar top. The front of the bar will feature unique tile, while the industrial look behind the bar and in the kitchen will juxtapose that.

In addition to its own vermouth, Chulo Tapas will also feature a short wine list that will centre on Iberian Peninsula wines and B.C. wineries using those grape varietals.

More information about Chulo Tapas can be found on its website here and on its Instagram page.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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