Go to ‘Where The Buzz Never Ends’ -Street Taco & Beer Co. Arrives
January 7, 2015
By Cristina Manos
Two long time friends, who worked together at Trader Joes for over ten years, are ready to open their first restaurant Downtown on Monday, January 12, at the corner of Church Avenue and Congress Street. Owners Dago Martinez and Amjaad Jhan are both nervous and excited about the opening of Street Taco & Beer Co.
Martinez and Jhan are like ‘brothers-from-another-mother’ and their extended family includes Scott and Rebecca Safford, who opened Tap and Bottle last summer. The Saffords inspired Martinez and Jhan to carry out their own dreams. “They are just over the one year mark, and they took a leap of faith and went for it, and that gave us the motivation and drive to give this a try,” Jhan says with a grin.
Martinez and Jhan were actually sitting at Tap and Bottle when they discussed the idea for a street-food restaurant. They decided to take a walk through Downtown to scope out available spaces. When they ended up and the corner of Church Avenue and Congress Street, the vision started to morph into a reality. The right space was there, and everything else just fell into place after the owner of the building selected Street Taco & Beer Co. to occupy the Downtown corner.
The inspiration and encouragement from the Saffords and their success with Tap & Bottle bares fruit for the Downtown community, as Street Taco and Beer Co. is already employing twenty Tucsonans just to start. And Downtown is sure to appreciate the simple, authentic Mexican food and a variety of choices of beer, as well as a few specialty cocktails.
“We are authentic, our tacos are simple and garnished with onion and cilantro, with your choice of salsa,” says Martinez.
Simple is a matter of opinion, as the owners of this restaurant use a secret blend of spices that Martinez calls “Victor’s Street Seasoning.” His father, Victor Martinez, a butcher from San Fernando Valley, developed the special spice blend. Dago would receive a barrel of the homemade seasoning from his father once a year on Christmas. The blend of spices is now the key ingredient at Street Taco & Beer Co., now that Victor finally shared the recipe with Dago in a garage in California last year. In addition to the seasoning, there’s one other key ingredient in the marinade that Martinez keeps secret.
Street Taco & Beer Co. offers over 100 brews -world, national and craft. The bar has eight beers on tap, four of which are local brands. “Victor’s Street Seasoning” is also used to make a specialty Mexican style Bloody Mary, called a Michelada. The bar also offers a variety of quality tequilas, hand crafted Margaritas, four red wines and four white wines.
In addition to tacos, Street Taco & Beer Co. will feature several other menu choices including burritos, tortas, Sonoran street dogs, street fires, street nachos, roasted corn on a stick, ceviche, homemade horchata and a couple of desserts.
Martinez and Jhad like to keep it simple but they’re not taking for granted the little luxuries that guests appreciate. The restaurant has garage doors that roll up for fresh air and an open atmosphere. Under the bar there are electrical outlets, USB outlets and purse hooks. You can recharge your batteries while recharging your body with flavorful eats and refreshing drinks. You can also enjoy sports while you reboot because Street Taco & Beer Co. also has a wall of TVs ready to show off local and national games and events.
The restaurant also sports original orange colored beams that were found when architects started to uncover the original foundation of the building. The first orange beam was discovered in the bathroom, and it was the primary influence for choosing the colors orange and black. Originally, Martinez and Jhad were going to use yellow and black, but they wanted to stay authentic and keep the building as original as it was when it was built years ago.
Street Taco & Beer Co. will be open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2am, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Stop by 58 W. Congress St., where “Where the Buzz Never Ends,” for a refreshingly simple street meal in lovely Downtown Tucson.