Rescued from the Bistro Vino Redevelopment Flop: Ocean’s Ceviche

Remember the swingin’ days of a couple of years ago, when InnerLoopCondos bought Bistro Vino and got ready to tear down the 24-year-old Montrose restaurant at the corner of West Alabama and Roseland? And then the company put out that goofy little internet survey asking us to vote on which type of condo-building cliche you’d like to see shoved onto the site? If you’re one of the lucky participants who somehow managed to write in “Give it up,” congratulations! Your choice has been selected!

Mexico City natives Jorge and Isaac Alvarez have since secured a lease-purchase of the former restaurant property from its would-be redevelopers. Jorge Alvarez, a custom-home developer himself, had a crew from his Alvgar Construction company renovate the 1930’s Tudor-style home and patio.

The brothers’ “modern Mexican” restaurant, Ocean’s Ceviche, isn’t expected to open officially until May 21st, but intrepid Swamplot photographer Candace Garcia brings you this little preview of the spiffed-up grounds:


The piano bar upstairs will be rechristened as a lounge and sometime event space. The menu will feature “cuisine from Mexico’s coastal areas.” The ceviche bar goes downstairs.

Photos: Candace Garcia

15 Comment

  • oh man, i had never even noticed that bistro vino shut down. it was a great location/setup for an upper end restaurant and would certainly better serve the area if it continued to serve as this rather than more housing.

  • It will better serve the area if it has edible food. BV closed because it didn’t.

    I am looking forward to trying this new place, though. It may be delicious!

  • All’s well that ends well. The previous owner made some nice money in the sale. The new owner apparently had second thoughts and the neighborhood has a nice neighborhood restaurant with a PATIO everyone can walk to. Not sure anyone really cares about the food. Just the patio. Something restaurateurs always forget about. Even on hot summer evenings there is usually a breeze. And people enjoy the patios.

  • It makes the neighborhood, feel more alive, with that large outside Patio, and it feels safer, as well.

  • Heroes!

  • Could this finally ease the loss of Cafe’ Noche and save a lovely building as well? Talk about win/win!

  • The name isn’t doing anything for me, but the thought of some cool fresh ceviche accompanied by an ice cold beer on a smoke-free (hopefully) patio in the shadow of a beautiful old building in one of this city’s best neighborhoods suits me just fine.

  • Hooray for this!

  • I got married at Bistro Vino — on an August evening. It was fairly comfortable with the fans running. Good to know we can go back for anniversary dinners.

  • What a beautiful property. If i had the money, i would love to buy it and turn it back into a single family home and live in it.

  • *Blows smoke* at Barnard – everyone wanted to get rid of us smokers and relegated us to the patios.

  • We walked our dog by the place this morning. It looks ready to go.

    I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

  • Alabama is misspelled on the website.. just sayin.

  • Have read all of the reviews. Wanted to share a view of an employee.

    1)The place is completely disorganized. Management’s presence is only at evenings; so, if you come in during lunch time, and a server or kitchen doesn’t get your order correct, he or she will have to improvise, or you will have to pay for a mistake.

    2) The owner dislikes people who raise their concerns regarding their experience. When the issue is presented to him, his attitude is ignorance. For example, yesterday a couple came during lunch, chose to sit in the dining room. Quickly became hot due to the air conditioner out of service. When i raised that issue to the owner, who happened to stop by, he told me following: “Most people want to sit outside anyway. I am not worried about it.”. As a result, my customers had finished their meal, thanked me for service very generously, and stated that they will not come back.

    3) Priority goes to owner’s guests, which not only get better prepared and presented meals, they get them for free. And after a server had spent three hours serving them, the owner tells the guests not to worry about the tip, so the guests leave happily full and intoxicated, and a server leaves with empty pockets at 1am, whereas he or she was supposed to be cut at 10pm.

    4) 10% of staff speak and/or understand English language.

    5) The restaurant is about to hold a Halloween party which should include from 250 to 400 guests. The maximum capacity of the restaurant is unknown. When i raised my concern over safety, i was told to stick to my server position, when i stated that it is mine and every guests’ right to know the maximum capacity, i was told that i “ask too many questions” and now they have to let me go.

    I was also told not to come to a property due to the fact that a police unit will be dispatched to apprehend me. I can hardly believe it, since this is an unlawful termination.

    On the bright side – the place is gorgeous, the chef is very good, the food is delicious. That’s about it.

    Verdict: the restaurant is run by an uneducated amateur who happened to inherit solid funds, who chooses to cut corners by hiring incompetent staff for management positions, and what appears to be illegal aliens for kitchen and bus-boy positions . It will eventually go out of business.