Fast-Casual Peruvian Restaurant Criollo Headed to Old Carvery Space
After The Carvery closed Downtown in January, neighboring business owner Guillermo Perez, of Si Señor, saw an opportunity. Construction on the Rhodes State Office Tower on East Broad Street has filled Lynn and Pearl Alleys with scaffolding, hurting business for the restaurants that operate there, including Si Señor. Perez said The Carvery’s closure initially gave him the idea to move Si Señor out of the construction zone. But, unable to escape his lease just yet, he’s opted for a new concept altogether. Si Señor will remain in the alley, and Criollo, a fast-casual Peruvian restaurant, will open in The Carvery’s place within the next two months.
The changes to the space, located at 51 E. Gay St., are cosmetic and minimal. When Perez first stepped inside, he saw the layout was perfect for the kind of Chipotle-style restaurant they are going for. Different from Si Señor, Criollo aims for a speedier lunch service that can get people in and out with their food.
Along the length of the building is the counter where Criollo’s lineup of ingredients will reside. Guests will start with a base, such as cilantro rice, white rice or quinoa. From there they can add a protein, like Peruvian-style beans, sautéed mushrooms, cilantro beef stew, jumping beef, chicken in walnut sauce, pork, or roasted Peruvian chicken. For toppings, Criollo will offer yuca, plantains, cucumber, and radish salad. And to finish it off, there will be a variety of mild and hot sauces, including aji amarillo sauce, rocoto sauce, and a spicy green sauce.
Once open, Perez said he plans on applying for a beer and wine license. Not looking to run a bar, Perez said Criollo will likely be limited to a couple of taps for those who want that Friday afternoon beer with lunch or during happy hour.
At first, Criollo will operate for lunch only, closing at 3 p.m. daily. With the addition of their beer and wine license, those hours will likely extend to 8 p.m.
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