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Los Puntos Mexican restaurant gets right to the Point

Published on

Cathy Dobson 

Just days before the area’s newest Mexican restaurant opened on Monday, Los Puntos Cantina was teaming with tradesmen.

They were putting finishing touches on the terra cotta walls, the decorative tiles brought in from Tijuana, and the kitchen’s new equipment.

Business partners Shawn Gray, Brad Giancarlo and Brian Vickery took a quick break before opening Feb. 18 to talk about their joint venture and how they’ve overhauled the former Watermark bistro in Point Edward to make it their own.

“Brian is passionate about Mexican food and Brad and I always wanted to be part of a bar and restaurant operation that’s bright and exciting,” said Gray.

When Watermark closed at 128 Michigan Ave., the three men saw an opportunity to go into business together at a location they consider ideal.

“We’re really close to the bridge and there’s a lot of summertime traffic here,” said Vickery, a Red Seal chef with a long history in the local restaurant scene.

“We wanted to create a fun spot where it always feels like you’re on vacation.

“Mexican food is recognizable to everyone and I love the flavour profiles.”

Los Puntos (Spanish for The Points) Cantina has a full Mexican menu, a variety of other items for “gringos” like burgers ($14) and wings ($15), and a margarita slushy machine. Catchy Latin pop tunes set the tone.

Giancarlo is a contractor with SG Construction and headed up the renovation that’s included a new garage door that opens up to a sidewalk patio in summer.

“We’ve given this place a complete facelift,” he said.  “It’s a small place and it was dark so we’ve brightened it up with a lot with colour and texture.”

The reno was completed with leftover construction materials Giancarlo had on hand. Everything was repurposed including the flooring, window frames and woodwork decorating the walls.

Vickery is a frequent visitor to Mexico and has taken numerous cooking classes there. He recently spent time in San Diego where he cooked with three Mexican chefs.

“The food we offer at Los Puntos is as authentic as we can make it,” he said.

The Mexican menu includes appetizers such as tortilla soup with lime chicken ($8); Caldo de Rez, a brothy beef stew ($9); and scallop ceviche with cilantro and habanero ($14).

There are six taco varieties at $4.50 each.

Among entree choices are chicken mole ($18); beef enchiladas ($18); and a platter for two with chili lime shrimp, mango habanero chicken and all the fixings for fajitas ($45).

A children’s menu, gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available.

Vickery, Gray and Giancarlo have hired six to work in the kitchen including chef Justin Inkpen, who is a Lambton College grad with lots of local experience. Nine others have been hired for the front of the house.

Los Puntos Cantina seats 42 with another 15 on the patio. It opens 11 a.m. seven days a week for lunch, dinner and drinks.

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