Fonda coming to former Savida / Blaue Gans space

Catching up still with all the news coming out of CB1’s Licensing Committee last week: the upscale Mexican local chain Fonda is moving its Avenue B location to 139 Duane — the former Savida or formerly former Blaue Gans space. A big local welcome to this very popular neighborhood restaurant.

Roberto Santibañez, who said he lives in the neighborhood (will have to find out where!), opened the first restaurant in Park Slope 12 years ago. He then opened in Chelsea six years ago. He closed Avenue B temporarily in the middle of the pandemic, but then decided to move the liquor license down here. They should be ready in about six months.

Santibañez also has Mi Vida in Washington, DC, and is the culinary director of Blue Dalia in Natick, Mass. He was born in Mexico City, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, founded three restaurants in Mexico City, another in Austin, then spent five years here as the culinary director for Rosa Mexicano — our own closed in 2019. He’s also authored four cookbooks that have collected a few honors along the way.

CB1 approved the license but not without warning the chef that there’s a preschool across the street (??) and to watch his customers’ behavior — saying, “It’s a Mexican restaurant so there’s drinking and margaritas.” Yipes.




  1. I know we have a glut of Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood right now, especially if the place on Greenwich and N Moore ever opens, but I’m actually excited by this one. I ate there when I lived in Park Slope and their Queso Fundido with Chorizo is out of this world.

  2. There can never be too many Mexican restaurants in a neighborhood. Welcome Roberto and godspeed!