Nathan and Karina Ayala-Schmit have been managing Adelitas on South Broadway since it opened in 2013.
And now the couple are ready to forge their own path with a new restaurant called Ni Tuyo at 730 S. University Blvd. in Bonnie Brae, where Brightmarten previously operated for four years before closing in January.
“Karina’s brother wanted to get back in the restaurant game, so we spent the last year training him on everything we did at Adelitas,” Nathan said. “Now, we need something to do.”
Karina, 33, is the daughter of Silvia Andaya, a former housekeeper who opened Adelitas at 1294 S. Broadway in Platt Park in 2013, cooking recipes from her hometown of Michoacán, Mexico. She then opened La Doña Mezcaleria, a Mezcal-centric cocktail bar with Mexican street food, next door at 13 E. Louisiana Ave. in 2016.
Andaya is preparing the menu for Ni Tuyo, which her daughter and son-in-law hope to open in early June. It will have a smaller, more upscale menu than Adelitas, with Mexican charcuterie boards and a variety of molcajetes, tacos, and margaritas. The bar will have 10 different types of tequila and 25 different mezcals.
“Silvia has a set menu at Adelitas and La Doña that will essentially never change, but this is her opportunity to showcase those menu items that have been successful as weekly specials or in catering,” Ayala-Schmit said. “We think she’s the best chef in Denver, and this is a place for her to showcase her talents.”
The couple signed a 10-year lease for the 3,000-square-foot space with a 40-seat patio at the start of May. They are stripping the paint off the brick walls by hand, taking out the booths by the windows to let in some more light, and replacing the appliances in the kitchen. They also plan to add some art from Mexico on the walls.
Pete Foster with Madison Commercial Properties represented the Ayala-Schmits and David Schneider with Axio Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord in the deal.
“We’ve been looking for a location for this concept for about a year, and when we found this place it was kind of a no brainer,” Ayala-Schmit said. “Bonnie Brae is such a charming neighborhood, you can’t help but fall in love with it.”
The restaurant’s name means “nor yours” in Spanish.
“Ni Tuyo implies that it’s not yours, it’s not mine, it’s ours because I want this to be place for everybody to feel welcome,” Ayala-Schmit said.