The Museum of Glass will have a new cafe next month, and the operators are familiar to local restaurant watchers. By mid-January, X Group restaurants will open Choripan by Asado, a café featuring "an approachable take on Argentine street food." The cafe will be an extension of the concept at the restaurant group's Sixth Avenue Argentine restaurant, Asado (sister restaurant Masa is across the street, and the group also owns Engine House No. 9).
X Group Executive Chef Joel Mertens told me by email he currently is designing the menu. So far, photos of quinoa bowls and other street style Argentinean dishes are posted to Choripan’s brand new Facebook page.
Choripan by Asado will replace Gallucci’s Catering, which has operated the café at the Museum of Glass for four years. The contract for Gallucci’s expires this month. Museum officials said they expect Choripan by Asado to open sometime around Jan. 11, but there will be a week transition between Jan. 4-11 where the café will go dormant. The museum is looking at continuing coffee service for patrons during that dark period. Museum communications manager Susan Newsom said via email, “Our contract with Gallucci’s is up at the end of this year, so we posted an RFP (request for proposal). We were very impressed with the unique menu proposal submitted by X Group. We hope that Choripan by Asado will become a downtown lunch destination.”
As for Gallucci's exit from the museum, Adrielle Flinders, who handles sales and marketing for Gallucci's (and also is daughter of Cloverleaf Pizza owner Debbie Manke), said, "We’ve been there a long time, and we decided it was time to try some new things." One of those new things is an extensive catering contract with the Olson Mansion in Maple Valley. Gallucci's also will continue catering events for the Washington State History Museum and plans to cater events at Tacoma Art Museum.
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As soon as Mertens shares details about the Choripan by Asado menu, I’ll pass along the information here.