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Foodie couple eyes American Eat Co. for new Sonoran-style taco, burrito stand

Foodie couple eyes American Eat Co. for new Sonoran-style taco, burrito stand

Raul Leyva at the spot where he and his wife, Denise, plan to open El Tacoson, which will offer al pastor and carne asada burritos and tacos. The couple already operate a seafood restaurant at the south-side food court.

A foodie couple from Sonora, Mexico, who already have a foot in Tucson’s culinary landscape are adding a second footprint, this one seeped in the authentic tacos and burritos that you find in small-town Mexican taco stands.

Raul and Denise Leyva hope to open El Tacoson in the American Eat Co. on South Fourth Avenue in early August, taking over the small space once occupied by The Bite. That burger joint, which specialized in sliders, closed in early July after being unable to recover from the months-long pandemic shutdown.

2nd spot at facility

This will be the Leyvas’ second venture at American Eat, where they opened a Mexican seafood restaurant in January.

Mariscos El Bochas is the brick-and-mortar version of the couple’s 2-year-old Mariscos y Birria el Bochas food stand at 5142 S. 12th Ave., which they opened not long after closing a similar restaurant in their native Mexico and moving to Tucson in June 2018.

Their new venture, which they will open once they get the required county and city permits, will bring the authentic flavors of Sonora to Tucson, from the tacos and burritos al pastor to carne asada tacos and burritos.

Prices will run from $2.50 to $3.75 for tacos to $9 for meal-sized burritos.

El Tacoson joins six other restaurants at American Eat Co., 1439 S. Fourth Ave., which also has a coffee shop and a bar.

The food court opened in the former Arizona Meat Co. in spring 2018 and features a communal dining room and a universal serving staff that works with all the ventures.

Seating has been spaced out to comply with state and county social-distancing mandates.

American Eat Co. is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

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