BISBEE — They’re back.
One of the oldest Mexican restaurants in Bisbee and one of the longest running Hispanic eateries in Cochise County has reopened its doors after closing for two years.
And lovers of genuine Mexican cuisine ranging from albondigas soup to barbacoa tacos and momia burritos couldn’t be more thrilled with the return of Los Tachos Mexican Restaurant.
Located at 1335 S. Naco Highway, Los Tachos was a well-established, beloved restaurant to many longtime Bisbee residents, one of the few local eateries open on Sunday evenings when the majority of others were closed.
A local family-owned restaurant that opened nearly 30 years ago, prices were more than reasonable, its food fresh and authentic, and management never skimped on portions. It also had a drive-thru takeout window in a small, quaint setting that was usually busy.
The restaurant closed Dec. 31, 2019, when owner Anastacio Saliaz decided it was time to retire.
“My grandfather (Saliaz) tried to sell it, but nobody seemed interested in buying it,” said Los Tachos manager Nicole Flores, who has worked at Los Tachos since she was 13. “A week after we opened at the start of the year, my grandfather unfortunately passed away. He was 73.”
Along with her mother, Maria Flores, and her uncle, Javier Saliaz, Flores opened the doors Jan. 19 and has kept the little restaurant the same family-based operation as it had been for decades.
And on every Taco Tuesday the place is hopping, orders are coming in left and right, and customers are piling out with boxes loaded with beef and chicken tacos.
Initially doing only takeout orders for customers, Los Tachos started having indoor dining about a month ago, serving breakfast and lunch.
“We’ve been pretty busy since we started doing in-person dining,” said Flores. “The community was really happy when we announced it, and they’ve been extremely supportive. It’s been a little overwhelming what we were going through with trying to get indoor eating up and running.”
What Los Tachos was going through was dealing with the county’s new health regulations requiring the restaurant to upgrade its current septic tank, which has existed on the property for more than two decades. Unless Los Tachos replaced or revamped it, Flores said the county was not going to allow the restaurant to have in-person dining.
Flores and her family quickly learned it was going to be an expensive fix. Initial estimates ran more than $20,000.
On the Bisbee Community Facebook page, Los Tachos posted the restaurant’s predicament:
“The county is requiring us to upgrade the septic tank which is a very expensive process,” the post said. “Unfortunately, the city/county have not invested in the infrastructure needed to allow businesses in the area to connect to the main sewer line. Sadly our only option at this time is to spend thousands of dollars to make the upgrade. Ironically, in the last 20+ years the restaurant was open we never had any issues with the septic tank but because of new health department requirements they will not allow us to offer in door dining until the upgrade is made. We are working on trying to find a solution.”
For now, a temporary one has been reached.
Flores said her uncle took measurements and specifications of the restaurant’s existing tank, sent them to a relative in California who specializes in septic tank rehauls, who then submitted plans to the county to revamp the tank. She said the restaurant was given a year to complete the necessary overhaul; in the meantime, Los Tacho was allowed to have indoor dining.
“We’re very happy that we can now have customers who want to eat inside,” she said. “So many people have told us how glad they are about it. Hopefully in a month we’ll be staying open later so people will be able to have dinner here as well.”
Los Tachos is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.