Paloma Diez (left) and Brad Filleul are the pair behind Cantina Del Centro which will open on Baker Street later this month.

In the Centro of Nelson’s Baker Street

A new Mexican restaurant featuring a fusion of old world with the contemporary upscale will soon be opening on Baker Street

The word fusion brings to mind the best of all that is on offer. Whether it be dance, music or food, blending to create something new and fresh is an approach sure to translate well into business.

 

A new Mexican restaurant featuring a fusion of old world with the contemporary upscale will soon be opening on Baker Street.

When Cantina Del Centro throws open its doors at 561 Baker Street, patrons will find a space painstakingly redone from glittering chandeliers to a spectacular tile floor imported from Mexico.

“It’s a traditional floor from colonial times with Spanish influence,” says co-owner Paloma Diez. “It’s all handmade. Every tile is made of cement and hand painted.”

Diez, from Guadalajara, has teamed up with Brad Filleul whom she met in Mexico years ago. They decided to combine their energies and love of authentic Mexican street food in this new venture.

“This is a fresh Mexican approach that’s not the cliché,” says Diez. “People picture Mexico as being a certain way, but it is as contemporary as any other country. It’s all merging — the old Mexico and the contemporary.”

Menu items include authentic tacos, sustainable seafood ceviches served on tostadas and tortas, a Mexican sandwich with meat and vegetable filling served on a bolillo-style bun — all with homemade salsas on the side.

“It’s quick, what you would get on the street,” Filleul says. “We’re going to keep it fresh and authentic. We’re both in love with Mexican food, Paloma from living there and eating it growing up and I have travelled there a lot, taken cooking courses and learned the cuisine over years of being there. I definitely have the flavour for it as well.”

Fresh fruit waters, horchatas and Mexican beers will refresh alongside mescal “a rural spirit that the poor used to drink,” says Diez.

Mescal is a sipping spirit, rather than a shooter. The new way of consuming this old-world tequila is becoming trendy at upscale big city nightclubs.

“Mescals are having a resurgence right now trending into a more popular drink,” says Filleul.

There is a saying that “all mescal is tequila but not all tequila is mescal.”

Made from the heart of the maguey plant, a form of agave, the pina is pit roasted with oak and wood to give it a strong smoky flavour. Most mescal is made in the Mexican state of Oaxaca using techniques practiced for 200 years.

“The manufacture process is more artisan for mescal,” says Diez. Adds Filleul, “It’s more community based and more local.”

This philosophy is pervasive as the new local business intends to use as much local produce and products as possible in their operation. Another way fusion brings Mexican flavour to the Kootenays and the Kootenays into Mexican flavour.

Watch for Cantina Del Centro’s doors to open in the next couple weeks. Diez and Filleul plan to celebrate their official opening on Cinco de Mayo, May 5.

 

In other new spaces… After over a decade in their Nelson Trading Company location, Annie’s Boutique is moving into the former Strutters location at 601 Front Street.

“We are very excited about our move,” says owner Anne Cavicchi.

“The space has a lot of character, and we are looking forward to being able to better showcase our great fashions and swimwear for women, men, and youth. We will still have a lot of what our customers have come to love us for, plus a few new surprises.”

The businesswoman is eager to become part of the Front Street mix noting spas, hair salons, barbers and eateries in the vicinity.

“The neighborhood is vibrant and there is a lot going on,” she says.

Annie’s should be moved and open in the new location before May 1.

 

It’s time to move on and they’re not the only ones… Interohome is the fourth furniture store in Nelson to close in a little over two years, after Nelson Home Furniture, Lakeside Furniture and Mountain Modern Interior.

Daniele and Kasper Naef have been in business in Nelson for 23 years owning Interohome, formerly Country Furniture, for 12 of its 16-year existence.

Daniele says sales have gone down since 2008 while previously they’d been increasing.

“We don’t want to find out how much more it will go down,” she says of the reason the furniture store is closing its doors.

The economy isn’t improving, she says, and furniture purchases are down as people spend their money on needs rather than wants.

“We see this for what it is,” she says.

Taxes on small business, high per square foot rental costs and the lack of a new homes and new jobs in town are a further detriment to the furniture business in Nelson.

Daniele and Kasper will focus on the end of their business that is making money — a custom furniture and kitchen building. This they can do without the large space on Hall Street

“We felt like we were literally keeping a showroom and to keep a showroom open is too expensive,” she says. “We’re going to focus on what’s working and leave behind what’s not.”

Interohome will close its doors by the end of the month.

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