South Congress Japanese restaurant Lucky Robot is opening a new spot just a street over, as noted by an eagle-eyed tipster and confirmed by a rep for the business. Nomade Cocina will be found at 1506 South First Street in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood starting sometime in October 2023.
The restaurant will offering a gluten-free menu taking its cues from the Mexican state region of the Yucatán with specific techniques and flavors from Lebanese, pan-African, and Portuguese cuisines. according to a recent Poached job listing for servers, There will be a raw bar with oysters, ceviches, and crudos, as well as a wood-fired grill and oven.
Drinks-wise, there will be mezcal, tequila, racilla, and bacanora cocktails. The revamped space will include a lot of new greenery, as well as an outdoor bar, a pavilion and what the job listing describes as a “garden experience.”
Behind NoMade are Lucky Robot’s founder Adam Weisberg and chef Jay Huang. Weisberg started the fast-casual restaurant Zen Japanese Food Fast mini-chain in 2009, and opened the South Congress location in 2002. He turned that restaurant into Lucky Robot in 2012 with Huang.
The South First address had recently been home to a bakery location of catering company Word of Mouth, which opened in early 2021 and closed in September 2022. Owner Leslie Moore told Eater that he decided to shutter this location because it was a lot running two bakeries at the same time, and that he had been looking for a local business to take over, preferably one that would sell alcohol. Before Word of Mouth, there was cafe Seventh Flag Coffee in the space, which operated from 2014 to 2020.
Update, September 27, 9:40 a.m., 2023: This article, originally published on December 15, 2022, has been updated to reflect Nomade’s name, menu, and the new predicted opening month, as well as updates on Word of Mouth and Underdog.