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Fidel Robles, his wife and two sons opened upscale Mexican restaurant Cilantro on Federal Boulevard 1703 nearly two years ago. While that restaurant still exists, Robles has teamed up with his cousin Camelia Robles, who with her husband La Machaca de Mi Amá and two El Coco Pirata locations include to develop two new concepts on Broadway in properties owned by CoClubs owner Regas Christou.
By mid-June, the cousins will open Taqueria Cabrón Carbon on 1043 Broadway, the former home of Quijote’s Broadway and Luciano’s Pizza and Wings. In July, they’ll be opening Camelia, which will serve modern Mexican cuisine in the building at 1055 Broadway that long housed the living room and just before the pandemic, the Jive Kitchen & Bar.
Fidel, who previously promoted comedy and concerts in Denver, including some events in the Living Room, established a relationship with the CoClubs team about a decade ago. Seeing the opportunity to take over both rooms, he hired his cousin, signed a deal with CoClubs in November, and then began renovations.
While Camelia is named after his cousin, the nickname also refers to a flower, according to Fidel. The restaurant serves seafood and steaks, including wagyu, ribeye, and filet mignon, with Mexican side dishes. Other Mexican dishes such as Chiles en Nogada (stuffed poblano chillies in walnut sauce) as well as moles and molcajetes are on the menu – dishes that are served in a sizzling volcanic stone.
Meanwhile, Taqueria Street serves tacos on tortillas made fresh daily, including tacos al carbon and al pastor, with the meat cooked on the trompo (vertical rotisserie). “We’re going to have different types of tacos from different parts of Mexico,” says Fidel. “The interesting thing is that everyone makes their own recipes or just specializes in one single way in which they know how to make tacos. We get people from different parts of Mexico to make tacos. Although Mexico is the same country, they are different in different states. ”
Since “cabrón” translates as “badass” in English, Fidel knows that depending on how it is used, it can be offensive. That’s why the sign says “Carbon Carbon” on the outside, while “Cabrón Carbon” is used both inside and on the restaurant’s social media.
“You might appreciate the joke or the Mexican part of socializing with friends and other things,” explains Fidel. “It’s not offensive to us. But according to the law we have to do [the front sign] this way.”
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he has been the club’s editor since 2006.