Ace Mercado

– Kayla Pongrac, Designer, Artist

Working closely with renowned chef Rene Rodríguez, and long time friend and visionary Scott Porter, Kayla has crafted a restaurant depply rooted with Mexican street style cuisine.

The corner venue on Clarence and Dalhousie encapsulates a palette of warm colors and cool textures. Barn board walls mimic agave farms and raw concrete, steel and brick allude to Mexico’s urban allies.  Antiques brought back from Guadalajara and Huichol skulls from a Mexico City market add authenticity to the space.

The bar as the visual centerpiece of the restaurant stimulates the bustling and congregating of a Mexican market.  This custom rectangular showpiece demanded careful detailing to suspend a hefty raw steel bulkhead for an extensive display of Tequilas.  Aligned directly below lays the bar, formed of concrete and reinforced reclaimed wood covered with hand painted Banksy inspired illustrations.  It has become the desired gathering spot for patrons to experience Mexican food & drink.

During the opening celebrations “ACE Mercado” was tagged onto the stark brick backdrop to declare the new restaurant’s place on Clarence Street.  To complete the project, Kayla was commissioned to paint a piece for the private dining room - Mexican Gothic – her parody on Grant Wood’s famous dual portrait. 

Just short of a year, Ace has already established itself as a landmark for foodies and design lovers alike.