Café Ena chef opening ice cream restaurant on Grand

Hector Ruiz works in the kitchen at Rincon 38 Credit: Michelle Bruch

Hector Ruiz opened his Rincon 38 restaurant three months ago, but he is already constructing another new venue before coming in to cook every day. 

Ruiz plans to open the restaurant La Fresca at 4750 Grand Ave., a few blocks south of another of his restaurants, Café Ena. It will feature grass-fed  burgers, ice cream and “European comfort food.”

Ruiz said the new venue targets Washburn High School students, in an effort to provide them with healthier options than the gas stations and fast food spots they tend to frequent. Ruiz would like to donate school supplies to Washburn as a percentage of every sale to kids showing a student ID. 

“I want to support the community and the school,” he said, noting that his son may attend Washburn.

The new restaurant is tiny at 36 seats, comparable to Rincon at 38th & Grand. Ruiz is planning an entirely open kitchen, with no walls to hide the chef from view. 

Homemade ice cream is a new undertaking for Ruiz. He’s planning a trip to Mexico to learn the craft from a second-generation ice cream maker. The menu will also feature sandwiches on bolillo, which Ruiz described as a Mexican baguette with a crunchy top and a soft middle.

The restaurant opening is slated for October, with potential hours from noon to 10 p.m. or 12 a.m.