On Thursday, Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina will officially opened its doors at the north end of the Saint Louis Galleria.
Chef Chris Swinyard comes to St. Louis from the Charlotte, NC, Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, and from San Francisco before that.
He said the restaurant is a culmination of his 37 years in the restaurant industry.
"We want to have great food, great margaritas, things that make it a great restaurant, but at the end of the day we want it to be fun," he said.
"We use the freshest ingredients we can get out hands on," he said. "We make each order of guacamole to order. When the order comes in, that's when the quac gets made.
"We grind down the onions, the cilantro, the jalipenios all together, release the esential oils, toss the avocados in that, then start adding the other goodies."
"Come in here. It's tequila, it's beer, it's tacos. It's hard not to have a good time when you come into a place like this."
The 8,000 square-foot, 263-seat restaurant features custom art work, an all-American play list and a showcase bar that hosts the restaurant’s more than 100 tequilas.
Amy Carson is the bar manager and St. Louisan Drew Graefe is the operating partner.