Antiguo Lobo bringing multi-regional Mexican food, tequila to downtown Chamblee

Enchiladas verdes from Antiguo Lobo. / Courtesy of Antiguo Lobo
Enchiladas verdes from Antiguo Lobo. / Courtesy of Antiguo Lobo

Antiguo Lobo, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar from restaurateur Jesús Oñate Jr. is slated to open this spring in downtown Chamblee.

Meaning “old wolf” in Spanish, Antiguo Lobo will be located at 5370 Peachtree Road and will offer multi-regional Mexican food alongside an agave-based beverage program for lunch and dinner Tuesdays-Sundays.

The restaurant will pay homage to Jesús Oñate Jr.’s father, Jesús Oñate Sr., who came to the United States from his hometown Jose de La Paz – a small village in the state of Jalisco in Mexico – in 1971. He opened his first metro Atlanta restaurant in Chamblee, eventually owning five locations of Monterrey restaurant, El Sombrero, the Lazy Donkey and eight El Ranchero restaurants throughout Georgia before he died in 2018.

Jesús Jr. started managing Monterrey #2 in Smyrna when he was 20.

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“I’m honored to carry on my father’s legacy with this new restaurant, which is a homecoming of sorts as my father opened his first restaurant in the U.S. in Chamblee,” Oñate said in a prepared statement.

The menu will “blend Mexican cuisine inspired by the food Jesus Jr. grew up eating with dishes he discovered throughout years visiting and eating in the country,” according to a press release, with many ingredients sourced locally.

The restaurant’s signature dish, Molcajete El Monstruo, will be served in a volcanic rock mortar -- ‘molcajete’ in Spanish -- and offer a choice of steak, grilled chicken or shrimp, green onion, grilled queso fresco, tomato, nopal cactus, tomatillo cream salsa, rice and beans.

Margarita from Antiguo Lobo / Courtesy of Antiguo Lobo

Margarita from Antiguo Lobo / Courtesy of Antiguo Lobo
Margarita from Antiguo Lobo / Courtesy of Antiguo Lobo

Other menu items will include enchiladas verdes with tinga, tomatillo cream, rice, refried black beans, crema and cotija and pollo al mole with mole poblano, rice, refried black beans, toasted sesame seeds and cotija.

The menu will also offer a variety of small plates, salads, soups and “Old South Tex-Mex” items like nachos, burritos and street tacos.

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A certified master mezcalier, Oñate will oversee the beverage program, which will focus on agave-based spirits and cocktails made using infused tequila and mezcal. House-made margaritas will be made with fresh juices and agave nectars.

Located in a building that was formerly a vintage antique store, the restaurant’s design will mirror the Mexican restaurants where Oñate grew up working. The interior will feature “a black distressed tin ceiling, exposed brick walls and concrete floors,” according to a press release.

A mural dedicated to Jesús Sr. will feature images from his life, including a 1977 Pontiac Can-Am, the first car he bought in the United States. Other design elements include booths, sarape accents and a vintage bar. The 1,265 square-foot dining room and bar will seat approximately 60 people at full capacity, along with a large patio at the front of the building.

Antiguo Lobo will be Oñate’s fourth restaurant, along with Zapata in Norcross, Taqueria on Broad in downtown Atlanta and Monterrey of Marietta.

Antiguo Lobo will implement coronavirus safety measures including limited capacity, socially distanced tables and masks required for staff and guests when not seated at their tables.

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