Hospitality industry veteran Eduardo Cordova wasted little time converting the former Bomb Tacos in Fremont East into Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer, opening on Wednesday. The restaurant pays homage to the home-cooked meals Cordova ate while he growing up in Mexico. Guisados, meaning “slow-cooked,” are typically served on a plate with rice and beans but at Santos, Cordova opted to go with a taco format featuring tortillas made in house
The other part of the name, santos, plays off of the Mexican culture “belief of and superstition in saints and angels that watch and guide us.” The decor with saints and angels found throughout finds inspiration from Mexican churches and cathedrals.
The newly redecorated space features a walk-up window, dubbed the taco confessional, that will be used during lunch hours. The wall next to the taco confessional features celebrity saint prayer candles, with a new saint highlighted daily. A bar replaces the walk-up counter. Upholstered church pews make up the benches.
Exposed white brick, metal finishes, and pops of color found in bright floral patterns round out the decor with one wall illuminated entirely by candles. The 40-seat dining room also features a mural by local artist José “Killz” Lopez of praying hands holding a taco and adorned with Santos’ slogan “Pray for Tacos.”
UPDATE, 6 p.m.: Now Santos plans to open on Feb. 5.