Taking its name from the Aztec word for “eat,” Kua Bistro and Bar is the latest venture by Ivan and Sonia Pichardo, and Ivan’s cousin Carlos Martinez.

The trio also runs Maiz and Mezcal on Magill Road, which is closed temporarily until Kua is off the ground. It’s no wonder given the scope of the CBD project; it will feature a dedicated dining area, rooftop bar and new laneway – connecting Gilbert Place and Peel Street – that runs through a soon-to-be defunct car park.

Set in a 100-year-old former horse stable, Kua has retained the heritage-listed façade on Gilbert Place and painstakingly preserved bluestone walls in the upstairs bar and rooftop. The trio has drawn on the expertise from interior designers Claire Kneebone (Press, Udaberri, 2KW), and Michael Hill, who also kitted out their Magill eatery.

Having grown up in Zacatecas in Mexico, Ivan prides himself on authentic Mexican fare that steers away from its “Tex-Mex” interpretations. “There’s a huge misconception about what Mexican food is,” Ivan says. “I didn’t even try nachos until I was 21.”

While Maiz and Mezcal is focused on street food, Kua will serve the kind of contemporary, high-end Mexican you’d find in Mexico City. Forget nachos and tacos.

As for the drinks, expect a left-of-centre take on the classics. Ivan recruited a team of Mexico-based mixologists – who have experimented with locally made spirits and their Mexican counterparts – to develop a tailor-made cocktail list.

Kua Bistro and Bar will open in late November and operate for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. It will be open for late night dining on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Kua Bistro and Bar
27–29 Gilbert Place, Adelaide