Chula puts inventive riff on Mexican food and drink in a lively taberna

  Photo:  Chula

Photo: Chula

Toronto's east end has a new spot for Mexican with the introduction of Chula.

The Mexican restaurant and tavern, which took over the space previously occupied by McGugan's, has launched with an entirely new concept that brings Mexican food and drink and a lively atmosphere to Gerrard St. 

Fresh takes on classic tacos such as pork, chicken and beef brisket share a stacked lineup with unexpected surprises — whole rock lobster tail, grilled spicy mushroom and soft-shell crab. 

Burritos, bowls and mains of flank steak and grilled mani mani are all reasonably priced as are the snacks and appetizers such as shrimp ceviche, whole corn and zucchini fritters. 

Impressive selections of tequila and mezcal are the standouts of the drinks menu, and there's an entire list of 2 oz. margaritas to choose from. If that kind of kick isn't your thing, there's no shortage of beer, wine, sangria and even frozen cocktails. 

The two-story space has been completely transformed on the inside with mosaic tile and splashes of vibrant colour. Chula has two outdoor patios with tiki bars — word is they will be doing pig roasts every Sunday — reminiscent of a traditional cantina.

Adam Dolley of Loaded Pierogi and chef Bryan Burke are the pair behind the business, which is now open at 1058 Gerrard St. E

Chula a new Mexican restaurant from Bryan Burke and Adam Dolley is replacing McGugan’s Scottish pub at 1058 Gerrard Street East.

"Well it's official! Chula will be the spot this summer. Roof top patio, backyard patio — each with their own tiki bar, endless varieties of tequila, Sunday pig roasts and amazing staff. Opening first week of July."

Stay tuned for food and cocktail menus to be posted.