Owner Iana Price says that he wants to bring a cuisine that's "near and dear" to his heart.
"My family's from Panama, but I hope to bring an entire spectrum of Latin cuisine, including Panamanian, Puerto Rican, and Argentinean," he says. "I think it has a lot of potential, because nobody's really doing this."
He views it as a place to relax and have a glass of wine. "Our plan is to have a wine cellar component and bring a lot of Spanish wines," he says. "In New York, a bodega is like a corner store. Where I come from, it’s the corner store and corner eatery, where you sit and drink."
The place has had much turnover over the years, but he says he has "zero percent concern" about that.
"First of all, in the last few years in this space, people have not done any work, no upgrades on the building at all," he says. "We're putting a lot of money into it. We've overhauled the space, moved around the kitchen. We'll have a mezzanine with a full-fledged bar. We have the talent and a lot of pieces in place that should make us successful."
There'll be a covered patio, which he says will be a showpiece. "It'll have a tropical, Spanish feel to it," he says.
In addition to La Bodega, he's also opening a second branch of his soul-food restaurant, Chombos, at the Dallas Farmers Market.
"I love to eat and I love food," he says. "I know what people want. They want to spend the money and go someplace that makes them feel good about everything."