When replacing a legend, your best move is to just be yourself -- fans assumed Roger Moore was no Sean Connery, and he wasn't, but in time they grew to love his smoothness of manner and of chest. Stepping into the shoes of a Henderson Ave Tex-Mex institution, The Hacienda
Helmed by the Vickery Park/Slip Inn/Lotus guys, Hacienda's a total overhaul of the nearly century-old estate house once occupied by Cuquita's; it's now a relaxed, rustic-toned space with an entry foyer freshly mural'd with a Mexican beach scene, a ruby-lamped bar, dark hardwood flooring/tables/chairs, faux leather booth seating, and an expansive covered patio sporting a blue- and orange-tiled wall fountain just begging for your wishing pennies/desperation Sacagaweas. The menu brings together Tex Mex (enchiladas, fajitas, nachos), continental Mexican fish-based dishes, and creative embellishment like tuna crudo in cilantro-jalapeno vinaigrette, achiote-rubbed carne tampiquena topped w/ julienned poblanos & seared asadero cheese, and a horseradish/cilantro/pepper-sauced Mexican shrimp cocktail poached in Dos XX Amber, making these the most interesting prawns in the world. The bar's armed with 12 taps (Guinness/Miller/Heineken to St. Arnold's/Fireman's #4/Franconia Wheat), 30 tequilas (El Jimador, Cabo Wabo Blanco, Herradura Selección, Milagros house-infused w/ strawberry, pineapple & habanero), and 10 house cocktails -- from the "El Jefe" house margarita w/ your choice of seven liqueurs (Chambord, Gran Gala, Midori...) to the Milagro/SoCo/lime/blackberry "Purple Haze" sangria -- a great drink for dates, but be careful lest the wind cries marry.
Like Cuquita's, Hacienda'll be open till 4a Fri-Sat starting in late August, with a separate, out-there late night menu featuring the likes of a mac-and-cheese chimichanga and a peanut butter-and-banana cinnamon taco fried in butter, making you The Man with the Golden Gut, who has long since given up on Octopussy.