Chef Hector Santiago’s La Metro to bring a taste of Spain to Ponce City Market

Tapas concept to take over former Biltong Bar space
Hector Santiago is opening La Metro in Ponce City Market. / Courtesy of La Metro

Credit: Courtesy of La Metro

Credit: Courtesy of La Metro

Hector Santiago is opening La Metro in Ponce City Market. / Courtesy of La Metro

Longtime Atlanta chef Hector Santiago is set to open his second Ponce City Market eatery this summer.

Tapas bar La Metro will open in the former Biltong Bar space in the Central Food Hall of the mixed-use development, near Atrium and Spiller Park Coffee. The restaurant will also be close to El Super Pan, the Cuban and Puerto Rican sandwich bar that Santiago opened in 2015. Biltong Bar, which also opened in 2015, closed late last year.

La Metro will “channel the liveliness and energy of Spanish cities like Madrid, León, Barcelona, and Bilbao,” according to a press release. The all-day menu will feature dishes displayed behind a glass partition. The counter-service eatery will also offer a full bar and the option for guests to order to-go boxes with a variety of small bites.

The menu will offer fresh, cured, and tinned seafood, a selection of vegetable-focused dishes, charcuterie and cheese and several meat and rice dishes. Pintxos (individual, bite-size snacks) will include artichoke spread with bread and almonds, Padron peppers with majon, and bite-sized sandwiches called montaditos.

The tapas section will feature small plates like patatas bravas, croquetas, endive with anchovies and grilled mushrooms. Bigger plates called raciones – like bocadillos (sandwiches), canelones (stuffed pasta rolls), lamb with olives, fidua (paella made with pasta), and seasonal paella – will also be available throughout the day.

As far as beverages, an emphasis will be placed on Spanish cava, wines, and ciders as well as selections from Portugal and the United States. Spirits will include staples in Spain like sherry and vermouth and classic cocktails with a Spanish spin, like the Daiquiri Amontillado with sherry, rum, sour orange and caster sugar and a Negroni with rum, vermouth and amaro. Beer will be sourced from Atlanta and Spanish breweries.

La Metro’s design “will give the place the look and feel of a storied, yet updated, tapas bar that’s been around forever,” according to a news release, with design elements including white-washed wood with accents of greens, blues and pinks, stained glass, and an old wooden liquor display.

Santiago, a native of Puerto Rico, moved to Atlanta in 2001 and opened the now-shuttered Pura Vida in Atlanta’s Poncey-Highland neighborhood. He was a three-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Las Vegas.”

In addition to his El Super Pan at Ponce City Market, Santiago owns a location in the Battery Atlanta at Truist Park and El Burro Pollo in the Coda at Tech Square development in Midtown.

La Metro will join more than 20 other food and beverage concepts at Ponce City Market, including Vietvana, Punk Foodie, Bibi, Minero, LaRayia’s Bodega and Botiwalla.

Developed by real estate investment and management firm Jamestown, Ponce City Market is located on the Eastside Beltline and is home to restaurants and retail, residential lofts and office space.

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