Sophie Bolich

New Mexican Restaurant For Walker’s Point

La Chinampa would relocate from Greenfield to the former site of Boo Boo's.

By - Dec 13th, 2022 10:46 am
Boo Boo's sandwich shop. Photo taken Sept. 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future La Chinampa. Photo taken Sept. 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Fast-casual lunch options in Walker’s Point have dwindled within the previous months, as both Soup Bros and Boo Boo’s sandwich shop departed from their neighborhood locales.

La Chinampa, a new restaurant slated for the former Boo Boo’s space, 405 S. 2nd St., would begin to remedy that, bringing an additional Mexican option to the area as well as a small fleet of food trucks.

Behind the upcoming restaurant is chef and owner Oscar Vega-Aguilar, who first opened La Chinampa in Greenfield. Following the end of his lease, the chef and owner decided to relocate his business, along with his two food trucks, to Milwaukee.

La Chinampa is expected to open in early 2023, according to a license application.

An industry veteran of 20 years, Vega-Aguilar has worked his way up through the ranks of several restaurant kitchens while developing a versatile culinary skill set. He is well-versed in Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisines, but the chef’s specialty, like his heritage, is Mexican.

Focused on lunch and dinner, the planned restaurant would serve a wide variety of Mexican dishes including tacos served Mexican style with onions and cilantro, or American style with lettuce, cheese, tomato and sour cream. Tortas featuring asada, pastor and breaded chicken would also be available, along with flautas, huaraches, quesadillas, tostadas and more.

A selection of burgers features classic, Hawaiian and chorizo renditions, along with an Argentinian-inspired chimichurri and habanero burger.

The restaurant’s name is taken from the Spanish term chinampa, which is a type of floating garden, or man-made island used for growing crops. The practice, which dates back to Aztec civilizations, has recently resurged as a sustainable farming method and supplemental food source during the pandemic.

The farms have also become a major attraction, namely in Mexico City, where tourists are ferried through canals on colorful party boats.

Vega-Aguilar explained that the chinampa’s connection to both food and Mexican culture influenced the title of his restaurant. “The chinampa is traditional, it’s related to Mexican culture,” he said.

La Chinampa would open in a structure attached to and owned by the neighboring business, Caroline’s Jazz Club. Before its departure in September, Boo Boo’s applied for and was issued commercial alterations to replace and repair various elements of the “patio enclosure.” City records do not indicate any plans for new alterations under La Chinampa at this time.

Another restaurant, Hen’s Deli, is expected to open around the corner from La Chinampa, inside the former Soup Bros space.  Richard Regner previously owned both Soup Bros and Boo Boo’s.

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