Distrito Gets Neutered: From Colorful and Lively to Brown and Boring, This Makeover Ain't Makin' Sense
Two weeks ago, Old Town Whiskey, Jose Garces' upscale saloon inside The Saguaro hotel in Old Town, shuttered to be used as event space. But unbeknownst to Garces' fans, his modern Mexican restaurant just down the hall was undergoing an arguably worse fate: getting its cojones cut off.
Distrito/Hahnefeld Before and after: Distrito dining area.
In what appears to be more or less a reverse makeover, Distrito has gone from colorful and lively to brown and boring. But, hey, at least there's the barbacoa. Nope, that's gone, too.
The sprawling space, once filled with an array of bright pink and glitter, as well as plaid and floral patterns on tables, seating, and walls, has been replaced by taupe paint and the wicker and leather furniture from Old Town Whiskey, a few potted plants, and wood tables with centerpieces involving stalks of wheat.
Distrito/Hahnefeld Before and after: Distrito bar
In addition, Distrito's marquee over the bar has vanished, the guacamole and tortilla stand is now a DJ booth (actually, it has been for a year), and the entryway, once filled with brightly painted Día de los Muertos skull masks, has been replaced by a ubiquitous piece of desert art.
Laura Hahnefeld Old Distrito graveyard
Where has the old Distrito gone? For a glimpse of its past, one need only take a peek into the private dining area in the back. There, some of the splashy tables, chairs, and lounge cushions have been crammed together in what feels like more of a storage space than a place to eat.
So what gives with the nondescript hotel-restaurant look? For the answer, I went straight to the source.