UPDATED, Thursday, 8 p.m.: Sometimes the chat after the interview reveals the best info …


While talking Monday to Larry Rice, managing partner of The Silver Dollar, about Monday’s Kentucky Bartenders Guild fundraiser, I asked if there was any news to share on the purchase of the recently shuttered Avalon by Shawn and Vanessa Cantley.

Indeed there is.

The new place will be called El Camino (which means “the road,” for you courageous ones who took German and French instead of Spanish in school) and Rice said the anticipated opening date will be sometime in December.

The cuisine will be “Mexican street food” crafted by Jonathan Schwartz, executive chef at The Silver Dollar.

Not only is Schwartz married to a native Mexican, his mother-in-law, a businesswoman in Cancun, will spend two months in the U.S. consulting with him on the food.

“She’ll be using her grandmother’s recipes, and she’ll be here working with him,” Rice said, adding that the décor will be a tiki bar with a California surf-setting edge. “She’s going to make sure everything we put out is authentic.”

(Silver Dollar’s Mexican items on its weekend brunch are fantastic.)

Final financing paperwork is nearing completion, he said, but he said everything is on track for work to start soon after that’s done.

Rice, who will operate El Camino with Shawn Cantley and Schwartz, said to expect a significant overhaul, especially in the kitchen, which needs updating.

“Since it’s going to be quite a big build-out, we feel it’s better to start with a fresh look,” he said.

Since Avalon was such a well-known local “staple, we didn’t want to just open and run it, because people would say, ‘Oh, they’re doing that (concept) their way.’ You have to redefine the place.”