Narwhal’s plans to open nacho-centric food concept, Loaded, next year

Forget everything you think you know about nachos. Narwhal’s will open a nacho-centric brick-and-mortar, Loaded, in mid-2020 at an undisclosed location.

Co-founder Brandon Holzhueter said the new eatery will offer nachos with an unexpected twist. He and co-founder Brad Merten worked with executive chef Ryan Buettner to create the menu.

Select menu items will be revealed during a pop-up dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. at Narwhal’s Crafted in Midtown on Sept. 25. The dinner will showcase four nacho dishes from the upcoming Loaded menu, with inspirations from around world, like banh mi nachos with pork, pickled carrot and radish, jalapeno and cilantro, topped with a soy-ginger glaze and served on wonton chips.

banh mi nachos // photo courtesy of narwhal's crafted

“Having a food partner could be awesome but, if we’re going to do that, we want it to be us,” Holzhueter said. “We could possibly have a food counter, but it’s hard to imagine – there’s no space to do that in Midtown. Eventually, I could see something like that happening out in St. Charles. Thinking long term, if we were to do a third Narwhal’s, which there are no immediate plans for that, then we would just build it in together.”

The pop-up will also feature Narwhal’s fall cocktails, including an apricot Old-Fashioned, a poached-pear sangria, a blueberry-gooey butter cake cocktail and the returning pumpkin White Russian.

Holzhueter and Merten plan to host similar events, including one at the St. Charles location, during the time leading up to Loaded’s opening, to give fans a taste of what’s to come.

Justin Nunn is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.