The turnaround from El Faro to El Rancho Grande at 1654 Haight St., the former home of El Balazo, is complete, and the taqueria is renovated, refurnished, restocked and open for business, as of yesterday afternoon.
The changeover, announced late last fall, will provide a new Mexican food offering for the Haight. The menu is largely the same as the menu for El Rancho Grande's primary location, at 855 Divisadero, with standard taqueria fare such as burritos, tacos, nachos and quesadillas, plus breakfast, sandwiches, and special plates.
As of Tuesday afternoon, employees were still assembling chairs and getting furniture in place, but customers were already in and placing orders.
Renovations to the space are relatively light, including a fresh coat of paint and new chairs. The kitchen fixtures remain in place, as does the prominent copper trim and—yes—the giant, miniature train above the entry. As with El Faro, the menu offers a small beer selection.
Co-owner Peter Azar was on site yesterday, and said that things were going well so far, partway into their first day of business.
Is there a grand opening in the works? Absolutely. "Probably not this Saturday but the Saturday after that," Azar said. Until then, they'll be getting off the ground and filling orders as usual.