Chef Arnaldo Castillo is opening Tio Lucho’s in Poncey-Highland later this year, Eater Atlanta is reporting. Castillo, who is behind the Peruvian pop-up La Chingana, is partnering with veteran Atlanta restaurateur Howard Hsu on the eatery slated to debut in summer 2022.
Castillo Thursday confirmed the news in an email to What Now Atlanta. “Howard has tremendous experience and a great track record with all of his other openings like Sweet Auburn BBQ, LAzy Betty, JUniper cafe,” Castillo said on why the chef partnered with Hsu. “We share similar values and he understands what I’m trying to accomplish with Tio Lucho’s.
The name Tio Lucho’s pays homage to Castillo’s father who carries the nickname, “Uncle Luis,” Eater reports. “I wanted to pull from that memory and honor him in that way,” Castillo told Eater. Uncle Luis is a known fixture in the local Peruvian restaurant community.
The restaurant replaces CO sushi at 675 North Highland Avenue Northeast Suite 6000, and will focus heavily on seafood and “cocktails inspired by Peruvian flavors and traditional drinks as well as Spanish and Latin American wines by the glass and bottle.” Chef Manuel Lara who once served as the sous chef at Serpas True Food is also attached to the project.
Castillo said he chose the location because he lives with his family in the area and wanted to create a neighborhood spot. “Our food will represent our region and seasonality and the craft cocktails will match the energy,” Castillo said.
Filled with plants and vibrant colors, the Tio Lucho’s space is meant to “evoke a coastal feel,” complete with a mural from Peruvian artist Franco Bejarano that will state, “En Atlanta, se comer rico” (“In Atlanta, you eat good.”)
Editor’s note: this article was updated with comments from Castillo.