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Look Inside the Fired Up Mexican Hotspot That’s Taken Over Armatage

Colita is the most exciting gas station transformation of 2018

You have to squint to see the former gas station design
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

The usually quiet residential Armatage neighborhood has sprung to life with the newest opening from chef Daniel del Prado. Colita joins the modest restaurant collective near the corner of Penn Avenue and 54th in Minneapolis. The new restaurant is serving mostly Oaxacan cuisine with a few Tex Mex fun touches and a dash of slow smoked meats. There’s also an expansive bar program filled with fermented everything.

The former gas station has been transformed into a serene white room studded with desert plants and anchored by a round bar that’s backed by a wall of green plants. Behind the bar is Marco Zappia, who also worked with del Prado on his first restaurant, Linden Hill’s Martina. It’s there that he’s pushing the boundaries of drinking in the Twin Cities with experiemental ingredients and innovative garnishes — including a rubby ducky tucked into a salt foam on a rocky margarita.

The new restaurant has barely been open a week and reservations are often filled, the bar sometimes three people deep. Surprisingly, the acoustics are mellow, and conversation is easy to hold in the soft light that descends as the sun goes down. Colita opens at 5 pm tonight.

The living wall of plants behind the bar serves as a focal point of the room
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities
The former gas station has garage door style windows that will open when it’s warm again
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities
Just after opening, every seat was filled
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities
The all white dining room is dotted with desert plants
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities
Marco Zappia’s innovative cocktails have been garnering a lot of buzz and Instagram traffic
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities
Opened now, actually
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

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