First Look

The Toasted Coconut Aims to Be Your Tropical Playground

It's rum-tastic.

By Timothy Malcolm September 5, 2019

The palapa and exterior of the Toasted Coconut in Montrose.

Image: Vivian Leba

Summer is slowly crawling to an end, bringing (hopefully) a long and bountiful patio season. How to spend that season? Maybe at the Toasted Coconut, the new concept from Martin and Sara Stayer of Nobie's, which is now open at 1617 Richmond Ave. in Montrose.

The Toasted Coconut is in the space of the former Maria Selma, and the Stayers kept the palapa that defined that Mexican spot. There's a patio with a waterfall, plus a neighboring "adult sandbox" called Cinnamon Cove. 

But we're not just talking about a bar here—the Toasted Coconut is a full restaurant with a kitchen run by Ben Ruiz, who spent the last eight years in Chicago. He has come south to serve as chef de cuisine at the Toasted Coconut, and leads a menu inspired by cuisines of the 20th parallel north (India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Mexico, Cuba). Items—small bites and larger plates—include a variety of dumplings, skewered foods, Thai crispy rice, whole fish with Mala sauce, Baja-style mussels, and Grandma's hot chicken.

Hot chicken, anyone?

Image: Vivian Leba

The well-appointed bar is run by Nobie's bar director Sarah Troxell, who is going deep on low ABV and balanced cocktails, while also trying to open up hearts and minds on the versatility of rum. Don't worry—large-format cocktails and boozier offerings are available. Look for the Seaward (Rhum J.M. blanc, coconut water, lime, mint, falernum) and Low Tide (oloroso sherry, Stolen overproof Jamaican rum, pecan orgeat, orange curacao, lime, bitters) among others, presented in vintage tiki mugs, coconuts, and other kinds of glassware.

Along with that, the beer and wine list curated by Sara Stayer focuses on bitter and floral IPAs, plus easy-drinking lagers like Pacifico, Tecate, and the rice-based Yuzu Lager from Japan. All wines are served by the glass.

Low Tide.

Image: Vivian Leba

It took some time to get the Toasted Coconut open, but now that it's here, patio season can kick off in style ... just as long as the temperature comes down a bit.

"It feels good to finally be open," says Martin Stayer. "We really had to gut the space and start fresh, but it allowed us to better execute our vision. It’s not about getting it done, but getting it done right and making it the best it can be. There’s love from the whole team here."

The Toasted Coconut is open at 4 p.m. Wednesday to Monday, with closing hours to be determined.

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