Raleigh, N.C. — The signs might still be up outside, but Jibarra is in the midst of a major transformation. From the decor to the menu, this contemporary Mexican restaurant in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh is changing its concept and name.
Jose and Sons is expected to open next week.
Charlie Ibarra, whose family owns the restaurant, says the name is a tribute to their father and the concept will honor their family's Mexican-Southern upbringing.
"(We want it to) reflect who we are," Ibarra said.
In addition to traditional Mexican dishes (the guacamole and ceviche are still on the menu) Ibarra said there will be Mexican takes on Southern staples - chicharron and waffles and shrimp and grits made with masa (corn dough) topped with chihuahua cheese.
Ibarra also said executive chef Oscar Diaz is also incorporating Southern staples like collards, sweet potatoes and okra onto the menu. And they are working on a mac and cheese dish.
Fans of their margaritas will be happy to know that the drinks will still be on the menu, including a few new ones like a spicy pineapple margarita featuring grilled pineapples.
Also at the bar, there will be more hand-crafted cocktails. They are also making their own bitters. They are working on a mocha bitter featuring mocha from Larry's Beans.
As for beer, there will be balance of regular craft beers and seasonal offerings. Their neighbor's, Tasty Beverage, will be controlling one of the taps.
Ibarra said working with their neighbors is all part of their concept to become a community restaurant.
Jibarra moved to the Warehouse District seven years ago before the Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center. Ibarra said their new concept will reflect the area's change into a "cool, creative district."
The restaurant was undergoing cosmetic changes on Tuesday. Tables were being refinished and the outdoor patio tables were set to be replaced by old whiskey barrels. The goal is to create a farmhouse-feel, Ibarra said.
They hope to be open as early as Labor Day. They will serve dinner and brunch.