Spill the Wine closes on Lake; Latin restaurant to follow

Spill The Wine is closing at 901 W. Lake St. to make way for a new restaurant called Tinto Cocina + Cantina.

“It’s been eight years,” said Owner Katie Greeman. “We felt that we had a really good run. … It’s an opportunity for us to close this chapter and start a new one.”

Rebecca Illingworth is launching Tinto Cocina + Cantina after dropping plans for Latin Hills Kitchen at 44th & Beard in Linden Hills. She said she was hoping to open a restaurant with nearly 200 seats, and the 105-seat count allowed by the city wouldn’t leave her with a viable restaurant, given the size of the building. Illingworth said she was disappointed plans fell through.

City spokesman Matt Lindstrom explained that restaurant capacity in the Linden Hills Overlay District is calculated differently than other parts of the city, and requires one off-street parking space for every three seats. Based on the building’s former status as an auto repair shop, the building has grandfathered rights to 35 parking spots, leading to a restaurant maximum of 105 seats, he said.

As for the new 150-seat restaurant at Lake & Bryant, Illingworth said she’s planning to serve authentic Latin cuisine with a full bar. The kitchen will be led by Carlos Garza, coming from Carnivale in Chicago. They’re planning mole con pollo, pork belly tacos and authentic tortas. The opening date is targeted for mid-February.

Illingworth said she’s been friends with Greeman for a long time.

“Katie just wanted to pass the torch. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she said.

The Southwest Auto building doesn’t have a new tenant lined up yet.

“We’re still in the process of figuring out what happens next,” said John Gross, an owner of the building.