Former Pisa Pizza location turning into “authentic” Mexican restaurant

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Ringgold resident Steve Hyde and his wife Irma are opening an “authentic” Mexican restaurant at the former Pisa Pizza location near Coolidge Park and bringing about 15 jobs to the area.

“We had a small diner in Dalton for the last year and a half,” Steve Hyde said. “Unfortunately, the economic downfall affected us too, so we decided to open in Chattanooga.”

In Dalton, Hyde said he was catering more to the Hispanic population. But in Chattanooga, he hopes to draw in tourists and local residents who want authentic Mexican food with his “mom-and-pop” restaurant, called Poblanos.

His wife is Mexican, and some of the dishes will be family recipes, he said.

Hyde stumbled upon the old Pisa Pizza location when he missed the turn into Coolidge Park.

He saw the location and “instantly knew” this was the place for his new restaurant.

The Northshore provides a good balance of day and night traffic, he said.

“We want to be a top-level restaurant during the day and a party spot at night,” Hyde said.

He declined to discuss the investment he’s put into the business, but he has built a new deck and patio in the front and renovated the inside, adding a bar and wall to divide the kitchen and dining room.

The deck will have tables made from natural wood logs, he also said.

Hyde praised the two chefs-Mac Leamons and Michael Abbott-he’s hired, and said his bartender, Brian Walker, is promising 35 different kinds of margaritas, 30 different kinds of martinis and 22 different kinds of beer.

There is a soft opening tonight for friends and family and an official grand opening on May 19.

“Authenticity is really our focus,” Hyde said.

Tito Meza, who works at Main Street Mexican restaurant La Altena, said he and other employees hadn’t heard about the new restaurant, but the competition doesn’t worry them.

Hyde said he wasn’t ready for the business to be photographed, but Nooga.com hopes to get photos soon.