A recent TCU graduate will be opening a Venezuelan-Mexican restaurant on University Drive in the beginning of fall 2013.
Frank Sigala, an alumnus of 2013, took over the lease of the Mexican restaurant Red Cactus in April. A born native of Venezuela, Sigala is renovating the commercial property and hopes to have his new restaurant – named Sol De Luna – open by no later then September.
Sigala said he was an avid customer of Red Cactus while he was in school and tried to join the ownership group of Red Cactus for two years. After being unable to join the group, he said he jumped at the opportunity to take over the restaurant’s expired lease.
The 25-year-old is now the sole proprietor of the lease and restaurant.
“Somehow, buying Red Cactus seemed to be a good idea to me,” Sigala said. “I tried hard to partner up with the owner, but it never worked until the very end.”
In April 2013, Red Cactus was closed by the original tenants for “technical difficulties,” as per a notice on the front door. Sigala did not comment on why Red Cactus’ ownership group left, but building owner David Aldrich said the tenants left on good terms and good faith.
According to documents from the Texas Secretary of State, Sigala formally filed with the state as an LLC on April 17.
Aldrich said he had confidence in giving a lease to Sigala because of Sigala’s business plan and ability to bring in talented managers and restaurant support.
Sigala, who graduated with a degree in communication studies, will retain a head chef and a cashier from Red Cactus to help run the restaurant. With the similar faces, Sigala said the menu at his new restaurant will be recognizable to Red Cactus fans, but feature more Venezuelan dishes and influences.
“I’m trying to open a fresher place,” Sigala said.
Some new dishes will be inspired from Sigala’s childhood in South America, such as fried empanadas and spiced pulled pork sandwiches, Sigala said. The restaurant will also have an espresso bar featuring South American blended coffees and a wet bar featuring draft beer, wine and margaritas.
The restaurant will also undergo some cosmetic and architectural changes. The interior has been repainted and multiple fixtures have been changed, such as light fixtures, tables, chairs and service areas.
Sigala said he has plans to renovate the back patio of the restaurant in December to make an enclosed outdoor eating area.