Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue is getting a new bar at the top of Cortez

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Cortez is a compact space with understated contemporary decor accented by tropical plants on windowsills and banquette upholstery as blue as the Sea of ​​Cortez on a sunny day.

jleonard@newsobserver.com

Coastal Mexican restaurant Cortez from Charlie and Hector Ibarra and chef Oscar Diaz will open an upstairs cocktail bar on Glenwood Avenue this summer.

Cuya takes its name from mayacuyá, the Spanish word for passion fruit.

“It’s basically a sister cocktail bar to Cortez,” Charlie Ybarra said.

The change of season sometimes said goodbye to popular cocktails before Cortez diners were ready for them. Ibarra said Kuya could offer a landing spot for drinks like the tamarind margarita and others.

“Guests keep coming back for their favorite cocktail, and Cortez’s seasonal focus means we’re always changing the number of drinks,” Ybarra said. “Kuya will give Cortez the favorites a chance to live a little longer.”

Cortez opened in 2017 and has been one of the city’s top restaurants for the past five years with chef Oscar Diaz, a two-time James Beard Best Chef: Southeast Semi-Finalist. The menu features fire-kissed oysters from the North Carolina coast, red snapper ceviche, charred octopus, whole grilled fish, and the famous bread and butter option with baguette slices served with seaweed butter.

Bar Cortez has always paired the coast with Raleigh’s Glenwood neighborhood, serving up bright and refreshing drinks that can pair with the sand between your toes. Ibarra said there won’t be a food menu, but Kuya will continue the beach vibe and take it up a notch.

“We’re keeping that tropical focus,” Ybarra said. “We always think that tiki drinks need more places to live. We love mezcal and tequila. These will be our main spirits and rum will be a big part of the menu.”

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Cortez is a compact space with understated contemporary decor accented by tropical plants on windowsills and banquette upholstery as blue as the Sea of ​​Cortez on a sunny day. Julie Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Cuya opens in a former office space that became available during the pandemic. Ibarra said Kuya will always present a fresh playlist and DJs.

“It’s obviously a nightlife district,” Ibarra said. “There will be more noise and people moving around at night.”

Ybarra said Cuya will open in late September and will eventually add a balcony to the building.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.



Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue is getting a new bar at the top of Cortez

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