Updated to include menus below.
EXCLUSIVE -- Lotus, the restaurant that opened only a couple of months ago in the space vacated by Prickly Pear in the Eola South district, is no more. It is still open, and it is still serving, but for all intents and purposes it is not Lotus. It is now called Mingos.
The ownership is the same, but, according to general manager Shawn McCormick, everything else will be changed over the next few days and weeks: the decor, the serving style, and especially the menu
The restaurant that was scheduled to open next door in the space previously occupied by Nick’s Italian Kitchen, which was to have been called Honey and was being touted in social media as an aphrodisiac restaurant, has been scrapped. A couple of concepts are being considered, according to McCormick, including Press 101, the sandwich restaurant that had been in the Dr. Phillips/Restaurant Row area.
Lotus had received negative reviews (here’s one). One of the points of contention was its very name: it did not have any logic to it.
At first hearing, neither does Mingos. But when you know where it comes from, it begins to make sense.
According to McCormick, Mingos is short for flamingos. If you take the first three letters, you’ve got the abbreviation for Florida. He says the new menu will be leaning toward Floribbean, the fusion cuisine championed by Norman Van Aken and Allen Susser in the ‘80s.
Mingos’ menu will feature such things as empanadas with smoked pork ribs, tostone cups filled with braised pulled chicken, and tacos made from naan bread with marlin.
There will be some vegetarian flatbreads and a Cuban option featuring the usual Cuban sandwich fillings. The dinner menu will feature a potato crusted snapper and shrimp paella. Seafood, however, will be the main focus. The restaurant’s new logo will feature a marlin (you were thinking it might be a pink bird, weren’t you?).
The restaurant should remain open during this transitional period. But if you call the number for Lotus today, the person answering will say that you’ve reached Mingos.
More details as they come in.
Friend of the Flog Joe Sarrubbo contributed to this report.