Square One restaurant at 14 E. Cota St, which originally opened in November 2005, closed their doors last week. A new restaurant named “El Taco Tequila Taqueria / Restaurant and Bar,” brought to you by the founders of Union Ale Brewing Co., will be replacing Square One. Here is a message that I received from owner Matthew Chrestenson:

El Taco Tequila will be a causal, Mexican taqueria inspired by the busiest and best authentic taco carts and trucks of Mexico and Los Angeles. Our focus on food is obsessive. We’ve spent countless hours perfecting our recipes. And we promise that our employees who put it all together will share our passion.

El Taco Tequila will be a place where friends and family can meet and unwind over authentic tacos, unique horchatas, aguas frescas, cocktails or a cold cerveza.

The decor is as fresh and fun as the food and drinks, filled with an eclectic stylish Spanish vibe of local and traditional Mexican “Dia de los Muertos“  and religious folk art. Right when you step into El Taco Tequila you’ll swear you just walked into a hip local taqueria right off the street in a small town in Baja California.

The food and drink menu will be simple and to the point. So you can spend more time enjoying what we’ve created and less time trying to figure out what to order.


– Matthew

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  1. Joe says:

    Its pretty amazing how fast you can draw your conclusion before you have even tried something. I applaud any deep rooted locals trying to open a new venture in this economy and over priced town. Its nice to see more places open for the common people and not just for the snooty wealthy residents who hide behind there gated homes. As for Union Ale which seems to me to be packed everynight must be doing something right in a location that has had many failed concepts. And your ethnic profiling should end as you are the knucklehead who ate at a place called Square One that charged $100 for a burger.

    • Joe says:

      SL(Sad Looser), I will take hugs and taco kisses all day, as I hope to return the favor to all the hard working people in our community. I believe in positive encouragement to all those trying to survive in this town to make a honest living. Writing negative reviews on places that haven’t even opened is not a person with great knowledge. So if you want a taco kiss in return you will be able to find me eating at El Taco Tequila or at Union Ale drinking a beer supporting local places.

  2. BlahBlahBlah says:

    I am super excited for a new taco place. I love the idea of the day of the dead theme. I hope their prices are competitive with Lily’s tacos. Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. Cyn Hunt says:

    Sad to see Square One close but am looking forward to trying out the new place.
    I wish the owners of El Taco Tequila Taqueria the best of luck in their new endeavor!

  4. EL says:

    I just hope it stands out. There are some good places for Mexican around town. I am afraid this sounds a lot like Chino’s… which failed.

  5. Glenn says:

    I’m half and half with SL and Joe, I think a non Mex place would be nice but the proof is in the pudding if its good or not, I think what they are probably going for will be a taqueria with some ambience(as the other places on that block you can consider to be “higher end”) as most taquerias in town don’t have it. But head to Milpas and you’ll find what you need food wise, ambience is sometimes another question.

  6. lemonjelly says:

    I’m with SL on this one. When it first started, I likened Square One to SB’s smaller version of the French Laundry. I won’t begrudge them changing to adjust to what the market seemed more willing to bear, plus the original chef left, and took that signature style with him. As did Chef Pink. RIP Square One.

  7. Glenn says:

    I wish we could have some South American in town but oh well, we are not the owners of the places and most tourists coming to SB near State are after some mexican food with(I’m guessing) some ambience . We could always open up our own place then we could get all the complaints!

  8. David says:

    Oh boy, another taqueria! I can’t get enough of them. For a town which prides itself on good food, the citizens have shown time and time again that their taste buds only get as sophisticated as a chimichanga or fish taco. For nice nights out, they take their wives to Los Arroyos – the fancy place in town. All the while legit restaurants like Sage and Onion and Square One fail.

    • Vanessa says:

      FYI, why do you think all the “legit” restaurants fail buddy? Because if they were really that good we’d consider them worth the money don’t you think! Eat a taco and let your taste buds be the judge

  9. Vanessa says:

    Tacos are the most versatile flavorful little morsels around, and if you ask me, there was nothing special about the pricey blah burgers at square one, and there service was horrible! One thing we do know is that you have to sell alot of tacos in order to survive in this town and if its good enough, then the locals will support it! Lilies was able to expand their restaurant to more than double their size… How many of those $1.25 tacos do you think there selling out? Hopefully it’s, authentic, honest, and full of flavor… and not a repeat of the bland Americanized chinos taco spot. If your a true local, you cant be disappointed in a taqueria, i have yet to find one that parallels the “best taco” ive ever tasted! I am anticipating this new place!

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