We Can Already Smell the Enchiladas

Tulsans have noticed that Blue Dome restaurateur Elliot Nelson’s venture into Mexican food with El Guapo, which has been under construction at 332 E. First St. for nearly a year, finally looks near go-time.
But, the proof is in the bean dip: The local classifieds contain ads that say the restaurant is nearing completion and that management seeks applicants for all positions.
El Guapo, the latest addition to the portfolio of Oklahoma restaurants owned and operated by McNellie’s Management Group. Properties in Tulsa are jazz and cocktail bar The Continental, 421 E. First St., and Irish pub McNellie’s at 409 E. First St. A future McNellie’s is planned for Oklahoma City’s Bricktown. El Guapo will feature a rooftop bar stocked with tequila and a menu of 50-60 Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican items.
Nelson and his group have not released a definite opening date, but according to Kelly LeMaster, office manager for MMG and assistant to Nelson, June 28 is the goal.
El Guapo, which was expected last summer to rack up a construction bill of $750,000, was originally slated to seat 240 within 7,500 SF distributed across three stories, but “they’ve acquired some more room, and I don’t know if it’s private or general seating,” LeMaster said.
Downtown bar and club contractor Mickey Payne of Happy Hammer handled the renovation of the building on the corner of First and Elgin, catty-corner from McNellie’s.
In an interview last fall Nelson said the restaurant would open by early 2007. He was not available by press time for comment on what factors contributed to the delay.

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