Sir Veza's Taco Garage in the Tucson Mall is now Sir Veza's Kitchen & Kantina.

The new name comes with a new approach: fast-casual.

Owner Ray Flores said the idea was to create a more family-friendly atmosphere and more casual dining ambience. Menu prices have dropped with nothing over $15. 

They've also instituted counter service and diners can customize their burritos, tacos, bowls or salads by selecting from a variety of meats — chicken, fish, shrimp and beef — types of wraps — corn, flour or lettuce — and toppings including sour cream and guacamole. 


Sir Veza's Kitchen & Kantina includes self-serve salsa bars. 

The menu also includes Sir Veza's popular burgers, a new chips and salsa bar and other favorites including a Sonoran dog, quesadillas and ceviche. 

Flores announced "Change Ahead" on Facebook Sept. 10, hinting that he was changing things up at the restaurant that he's operated at the Tucson Mall since 2011. The change comes as Flores watched several full-service national chains in and around the mall close or change concepts.

"People want things faster, fresher and more customizable," he said Saturday, the Kitchen & Kantina's first official day in business. Sir Veza's closed for five days for the remodel. 


The Flores family remodeled El Charro Ventana in the foothills. 

Flores, whose family owns and operates El Charro Café and El Charro Steak downtown, also remodeled the El Charro Café Ventana location at 6910 E. Sunrise Drive. The project came as the Flores family prepares to celebrate El Charro's 96th anniversary.

Work included completely refinishing the restaurant inside and out as the family extended its lease on the space for another 10 years, Flores said.

Ventana is one of three El Charro Café locations including the original downtown at 311 N. Court Ave. and in Oro Valley at 7725 N. Oracle Road. 

Meanwhile at Sir Veza's in Tucson Mall — there's a second Tucson location at the Tucson Airport — Flores turned the Lowrider Lounge into a game room that includes vintage arcade games. The idea is to make the restaurant, which will continue airing NFL and Pac 12 sports on its dozens of TVs, more family friendly.

Restaurants that have opened in Tucson in 2018:

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