Café Ena owners unveiling new restaurant soon

KINGFIELD — Construction is underway at Rincon 38, the new restaurant at 38th & Grand by Hector Ruiz of Cafe Ena. 

The tiny Rincon 38, which translates to “little corner” or “nook,” will open as soon as inspections are complete, sometime between mid-January and early March. 

Ruiz once worked in construction, so he had a rather specific vision for Rincon’s buffed wood floors, mosaic tile patches, tiled bar and warm lighting. 

“I just had a vision, that’s how I work,” Ruiz said. “It’s small and cozy.”

The “European-style bistro with a twist” will operate from 3 p.m. to midnight and will serve only dinner, so as not to compete with the nearby Victor’s and Grand cafés. Outdoor patio dining will front 38th Street, and the restaurant will serve wine and local beer. The menu is priced between $5 and $15 a plate.

Ruiz said he’ll focus on Spanish small plates and tapas, branching out into French and Italian flavors. 

His French influences come from a period of time he spent as an apprentice for a master chef in Paris. Ruiz grew up south of Mexico City, where his mother ran a small restaurant out of their home. He moved to the Twin Cities in 1992. 

Chef Jose Alarcón is moving to Rincon from Cafe Ena. He has worked with Ruiz for seven years, executing recipes that Ruiz develops.

Ruiz doesn’t live far from Rincon 38 and Cafe Ena. 

“Now I’m walking distance from both restaurants,” he said. 

After Rincon 38 is up and running, Ruiz plans to find a new home for El Meson, which closed on Lyndale Avenue last fall.