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The new Coyote Cantina in Schererville aims to to offer diners modern "elevated" Mexican cuisine like they might find in Chicago.

Coyote Cantina moved into the space at 1090 U.S. 41 vacated by Bagger Dave's next to Region Ale. The new chef-driven restaurant employs about 30 workers and seats 200, including an outdoor patio and a well-appointed bar.

"We're doing a unique, modern take on Mexican food," Robert Mendoza said. "Everything we're doing is fresh and from scratch, including our tortillas. We make our tortillas daily. We're making them constantly."

The menu was developed by chef Dudley Nieto, who's opened a number of restaurants such as Mezcalina, Adobo Grill and Chapuline in Chicago, and Bar Taco, Rosa Mexicano-Lincoln Center and Dos Caminos Park Avenue in New York City.

"He's been all over in Chicago, New York, France and Mexico," Mendoza said. "He's opened a lot of restaurants."

The menu includes street tacos, such as a steak taco with cilantro, onion and avocado sauce, and chicken with sour cream, cilantro and caramelized onions.

"Each has its own ingredients, whether it's steak, pork, chicken or shrimp," Mendoza said. "Each is garnished differently."

The mixologist Tippling Bros. developed specialty cocktails, which are all tequila-based and feature fresh fruits, flowers and peppers. Coyote Cantina serves keg cocktails, which are made in batches and use nitrogen to preserve carbonation and consistency.

"This isn't the normal Mexican restaurant," Mendoza said. "It's more fine modern Latin cuisine. It's elevated and contemporary. We care more about presentation and quality and flavor."

Coyote Cantina also is planning to offer live after-hours music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There will be no cover charge.

"We want to appeal to a middle-aged older crowd," he said. "There's nothing like that. Schererville needed this kind of ambiance. We're bringing a downtown feel without the need for traveling."

For more information, call 219-319-0902 or visit


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.