For Capitol Hill restauranteurs Javier Dalzell and Mariana Martos, it is finally time to put the struggles of a first-time buildout aside and enjoy the creation. Sur 16 is open — finally! — on 15th Ave E.
“All of the neighbors have stopped in,” Martos said of Sur 16’s quiet opening over the weekend. “It’s an amazing feeling. Some have come in for a drink, then had another, and ended up staying for dinner.”
After nine months of a sometimes overwhelmingly frustrating buildout challenged by the expenses and administrative overhead of the local permitting process required to create a restaurant in the big city, Martos and Dalzell’s vision of a restaurant flavored by the Mestizo “conflict and resulting clashes and harmonies between the Old World and the New World” is now a reality in the former home of the old Bagel Deli.
More simply, Sur 16 is a new, big Mexican restaurant that has taken the old deli and filled the enormous space once dedicated to wholesale bagel freezers and filled it in with a bar, an open kitchen, and a full dining room.
Sur 16’s menu includes takes on standards like chicken enchiladas with mole sauce and house-smoked steak tacos or a pulled pork torta with guajillo sauce for lunch. Martos says the menu will deepen further as the kitchen rounds into shape. For a taste of what comes next, try the ostiones — oysters on the half shell topped with huitlacoche corn fungus and cheese. Drinks, meanwhile, include margaritas and mezale-based cocktails.
Martos says she is looking forward to watching word spread about the new place to eat on 15th.
“People bringing friends. That’s how it starts,” she said.
Sur 16 is located at 340 15th Ave E. Final hours are being worked out but you can currently stop by daily starting at 11 AM for lunch through late for dinner and drinks, 10 AM on the weekends. You can learn more at sur16restaurant.com.