[Editors Note— The date opening date of Los Chingones has been updated from the original post to reflect a newly announced delay. They will now open Monday, June 26 instead of Saturday, June 24.]
Los Chingones is on the rise this summer. Last month, owner Troy Guard announced they would close Sugarmill to add more space to the Los Chingones in RiNo, and this Monday, June 26, the TAG Restaurant Group team will open the third Los Chingones outpost in Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center.
The self-proclaimed “bad-ass Mexican street fare spot” opened its first location in RiNo in 2013, followed by another in the Denver Tech Center in 2015. The extension into Stapleton is a special one, as owner and executive chef Troy Guard lives in the neighborhood.
“I’ve worked at all three Los Chingones locations,” sous chef Nikki Yi Fiedler said. “The great part about the new one is that it has all of the best elements of the first two combined into one place. The team has taken lessons from both of the originals to make a really incredible space here in Stapleton.”
For the interior design, Guard tapped into local architecture and design firm LIVstudio, which filled the space with elements familiar to the other two locations — bright colors contrasted against blackened steel and concrete blocks. The two-story restaurant has a bar on both levels with a staircase connecting the two. The stairs are lined with a 60-foot mural painted by Jolt — a local graffiti artist of GuerillaGarden.
If the mural doesn’t entice you enough to sit upstairs, the patio sure will. Although there’s also a 50-seat patio outside on the bottom, the real stunner is upstairs. It seats almost as many folks, but it has a clear view of the Rocky Mountains over the rooftops of the neighborhood.
Los Chingones has always been known for its bold flavors and creative protein options, and this location will be no exception. All of the cult-favorites will be in tow — from the seven salsas and creative guacamoles to more indulgent options like the chicken tinga taquitos with guacamole, pasilla-lime salsa, crema and cotija ($8) — Yi Fiedler’s favorite. And the margaritas, of course.
The street tacos pack a ton of flavor into two to three toppings. Our two favorites are the braised cumin lamb neck taco with onion, cilantro and chile pasilla-lime ($3.50) and the chicken leg taco with chingon slaw, guajillo ranch (with bacon!) and crumbled fuego takis ($3.50) — it’s dirty and delicious.
Our favorite pick off the menu is unique to the Stapleton location, though. The Achiote Wings with guajillo ranch, scallion and sesame seeds ($10) are marinated for 24 hours and pack a sweet-savory-earthy combo that anyone can enjoy.
Executive sous chef Eric Bartholomew — who also favors the wings — came on board in January and has trained in the RiNo location in preparation to help lead the Stapleton kitchen.
“We’re excited to bring a new vibe to Stapleton — the atmosphere, the food, everything that Los Chingones has to offer,” Bartholomew said. “We’ve been preparing for so long, now we just can’t wait to start serving.”
Los Chingones Stapleton is located at 10155 E. 29th Dr., Denver. After it opens on Monday, the restaurant will be open weekly Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 3:00-10:30 p.m., Saturday 12 to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 9 p.m. It does not accept reservations.
All photography by Rachelle Foos.