Arriba makes its debut on Tuesday
NEWS PHOTO ROBERT CHASE
Cincinnati designer Ray Byers, left, and Dieter Bohm inside the restaurant during renovation.
What used to be Maude’s restaurant, is scheduled to open Tuesday as Arriba, serving upscale Mexican food. Arriba is Spanish for “get moving” or “couple notches above everything else” and it is the latest creation of Dennis Serras, Dieter Boehm and Michael Gibbons, who also own three other nearby downtown Ann Arbor restaurants - Gratzi, Palio and Real Seafood.
Serras said he and his partners took themselves to Texas, California and Mexico searching for new ways to work with Mexican food.
“It isn’t all the same food,” explains Serras. “Like Italy, Mexico has regional cooking with regional ingredients and flavors.” At Arriba, look for such things as red mole sauce - 28 spices simmered eight hours.
Along with completely changing the menu, the partners renovated the inside of 314 S. Fourth Ave. Ray Byers, owner of Artistic Impressions in Cincinnati, created a Mexican village, complete with an ancient tree, the branches of which spread almost wall to wall. Byers and his crew constructed it from wire, plaster and real tree branches, including a trunk big enough for two or three people to hide behind.
Over the last 20 years, Maude’s had several face lifts, including the one several years ago that opened a front patio. “Maude’s probably grossed more than 85 percent of restaurants downtown, but restaurants have life cycles, and it was time to do something new,” Serras said.