Bartender Shuffle

Veronika Groth Leaving Poppy for Chino’s, a New Mexican-Taiwanese Concept on Capitol Hill

Expect a menu of tiki and classic cocktails at the casual bar and eatery opening this October.

September 21, 2011

Veronika Groth bids Poppy adieu.

Photo: Facebook

Poppy bartender Veronika Groth has made a name for herself as the neighborhood bartender for North Broadway. But soon she’ll moving on to the Pike Pine corridor, where she’ll manage the bar at Chino’s, a new Taiwanese-Mexican concept taking over the 1,700 square-foot space at 1024 E Pike Street that once housed Oasis Cafe. (We first learned of Chino’s from Seattlest back in June).

Owners Walter and Mari Lee live about a block from Poppy, which is how they got to know Groth. Their new restaurant, originally conceived as a food truck, combines the cuisines of their youths (his family is from Taiwan, she’s Mexican-Canadian, both grew up in LA). The signature dish is traditional gua bao (pork belly buns) and Mari Lee is excited about serving furikake popcorn as well.

The cocktail menu will be half tiki, half classic—expect to see a mai tai on the list, but also an old fashioned and an aviation. As Lee points out, tiki originated in Southern California. She wants Chino’s to feel like those storied old spots in LA where "you drink a mai tai while you eat your moo shu pork."

The Lees hopes to open Chino’s just after Halloween.

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