The wait is over, Reynoldsburg: Tempe Taco Co. officially is open for business.
The taco, tequila and bourbon restaurant celebrated a "soft opening" last weekend in the renovated space at 7362 E. Main Street, which is next to Prost Beer and Wine Cafe.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. Nov. 4 marked the grand opening, with normal business hours starting a day later. The restaurant will open every day at 11 a.m. and stay open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Weekday closing time flexible, as business permits.
"We have over 80 different tequilas and over 40 different bourbons. There's 10 signature margaritas and about a dozen signature tequila and bourbon cocktails we're making," said Derek Maklezow, who owns Prost and opened Tempe Taco Co. with his business partner, Brett Sawman. "The menu is a simple reflection of the street-style tacos that you'd see if you went to Mexico -- carnitas, al pastor, and we've got a vegetarian taco with cactus."
These "authentic" tacos don't have lettuce or sour cream and range from $3.50-$4.50 each. Other options include flank steak and Baha-style shrimp.
Inspired by Maklezow's upbringing in Tempe, Arizona, the menu includes a half-dozen varieties of guacamole from traditional style with others featuring pineapple or smoked salmon and feta. They range from $6-$7.50 or a "flight" of three guacamoles for $10.
Starters include salads, house pozole soup and quesadillas.
"Everybody was talking about the wild mushroom quesadilla during the weekend," Sawman said.
Sides include a variety of salsas and chips and Mexican-style street corn.
Plans originally called for a spring opening but much of the last year-and-a-half was spent renovating the 2,600-square-foot space that dates to the late 1800s. Sawman said he and Maklezow spent months on the interior demolition.
"It was gutted," Maklezow said. "It was Reynoldsburg's original hotel so it was built some time ago. We kept some of the original beam work in there and left that exposed. We tore out sections of the second floor and made a mezzanine. It has a nice contrast of new, contemporary versus old and original."
Gone is the slanted, residential-style roof and awning. The interior staircase also was moved.
"I've got a child's shoe that I found. We found that and two little glass kerosene canisters. When we researched the shoe, we found out that people used to put them in the wall to ward off evil spirits," Sawman said.
The shoe will be preserved in a shadowbox.
"We'll hang it on the wall and then we've got a story to tell," he said.
The dining room, with exposed brick, wide wooden beams and glass garage-style doors that roll up when weather permits, seats about 85. An outdoor patio and second floor mezzanine offer seating for dozens more, Sawman said.