Lexington Ky: New taco restaurant opening next to Goodfellas
For more than a year patrons of the bars and restaurants on the Pepper Distillery campus in Lexington have been watching for a new one to open.
Now that day is finally here: Desperados Cantina will have a grand opening Dec. 15-16, beginning at 4 p.m.
Co-owners Alex Coats and Eric Boggs, who also own Goodfellas Pizzeria next door, have been building the tacos and tequila concept for two years, taking over the space left empty when Middle Fork Kitchen Bar closed in 2021, and expanding it with a new garage-style bar with roll up doors and a covered porch area with a fireplace over looking the tree-shaded creek.
The result is a quick-service gourmet taco joint that looks to “disrupt the norm,” according to the restaurant’s motto.
What does that mean? Maybe leaning into tequila and mezcal in the middle of bourbon country. The idea, Coats said, is to give bourbon tourists a great option when they are done visiting distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and fill a vacant food niche on the campus.
Made-from-scratch tortilla chips and a 20+ salsa bar
Just like at their nearby Goodfellas Pizzeria, customers will queue up to order from a menu of different taco options including vegan options. They can order a platter of freshly ground and housemade tortilla chips and then select from an eclectic bar of more than 20 salsas.
Coats said that they will have traditional versions and then some surprises such as a pineapple apricot ghost pepper or black garlic habanero.
Plans to add brunch on weekends
After the first of the year, the menu will expand on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to include a Latin-inspired brunch, Coats said. Such as churro waffles with habanero cream cheese.
All of Desperados’ menu will be complemented by a bar full of more than 200 different tequilas and mezcals, he said. Besides craft cocktails they’ll have lots of fun options such as frozen espresso martinis, or frozen palomas.
To finish up, Desperados will have “crazy desserts,” Coats said, including an Instagram-worthy ice cream taco.
The inspiration for Desperados is a little bit California taco truck and a whole lot outlaw, Coats said, think motorcycles and vintage gas stations.
“The desperado is the western relative of the ‘goodfella.’”
Where: 1224 Manchester St. Suite 110 on the Pepper Campus in the Distillery District
Opens: Grand opening Dec. 15-16
Hours: Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-midnight, Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight, Sunday 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Closed Monday-Wednesday for the first few months.