It started with one skinny taqueria on Swan Street in Richmond in 2011. Now restaurant group Fonda Mexican plans its sixth venue, on Smith Street in Collingwood.

The latest restaurant will take over the Mr Cheesecake shop on the Stanley Street corner.

“The building was in all sorts when Mr Cheesecake moved out, but there are some pretty cool aspects to the bones of it, including a stairwell, which we’ll carry over as a feature in the new design,” says Fonda co-owner, Tim McDonald.

Scheduled to open July 2016, the new restaurant will feature a courtyard, upstairs bar and retro-styled dining booths.

McDonald plans to incorporate back-of-house into the fit-out in an unusual way.

“A lot of places are doing open kitchens, but we’re taking this to another level. We’re actually going to put our dish room on show as well,” says McDonald. “It’s not a conventional approach, but we want all of our staff to feel valued and be among the action, so we’ll see if it works.”

An addition to the menu in Collingwood will be Sir Veza (a take on the Spanish word for “beer”, “cerveza”) Fonda’s new, original brew.

Fonda Mexican opens at 236 Smith Street, Collingwood in July 2016, and will be open daily. Fonda currently has locations in Richmond, Windsor, CBD, Hawthorn and Westfield Knox.

fondamexican.com.au