California-style taco shop to open Friday

Owner has operated restaurants in Tucson and in Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Leigh Black Irvin
Rodolfo Pinal will open his new restaurant in Farmington’s San Juan North shopping center, Rodolfo’s Taco Shop, on Friday.
  • The eatery will be located in the San Juan North shopping center spot that housed Corndogs Plus.
  • Owner Rodolfo "Rudy" Pinal says he chose Farmington after driving through it several times.
  • Rodolfo's Taco Shop will offer both dine-in and carry-out options.

FARMINGTON — A new, family-owned Mexican restaurant will open Friday in the location that formerly housed Corndogs Plus.

Rodolfo's Taco Shop, located in the San Juan North shopping center at 3000 E. 20th St., is owned and operated by Rodolfo "Rudy" Pinal, a newcomer to Farmington.

Pinal said he and his family had two similar taco shops in Tucson and in Sierra Vista, Ariz. When his Tucson shop recently closed, he decided to relocate and try the restaurant in a different city and state. He chose Farmington on a whim.

"I used to drive through here a lot, and I like this town, so I decided to give it a try," he said.

Pinal said he ran his successful Tucson taco shop for 12 years before two national companies bought him out.

"They talked me out of my contract, and I ended up with nothing," he said, adding that he's hoping the new restaurant will provide him and his family with a fresh start.

Before opening the Arizona restaurants, Pinal said he and his family lived in San Diego, and he described the fare offered by his restaurant as "California-style" Mexican food.

"There are hundreds of these taco shops, each individually owned, all over California, Utah and Washington (state)," he said. "They serve things like carne asada, guacamole, pico de gallo and nachos. Carne asada french fries are very popular."

The menu also includes breakfast burritos for $4.60 each, a variety of other burritos such as a conga burrito containing carne asada, rice and beans, several different types of tostados, chimichangas, combination platters and, of course, tacos. Taco types include carne asada, carnitas, and adobada, and they range in price from $2.25 to $2.40. A children's menu is also available, offering kid pleasers such as mini quesadillas, and bean and cheese burritos.

Rodolfo Pinal says he will staff his new restaurant, Rodolfo’s Taco Shop, with family members initially, but he hopes to hire additional workers in the future.

Pinal, who said his family is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, explained that the restaurant, at least in the beginning, will be strictly family run, with six to eight family members — including his wife, two daughters, a son-in-law and cousin — pitching in to cook and serve food. He hopes to eventually hire more workers as his business grows.

"The restaurant can seat 32 people, but we will offer both dine-in and take-out options," he said. "Take-out is usually more than 60 percent of my business."

Pinal said menu items will be freshly prepared each day.

"I plan to offer daily specials, and will also offer free chips and salsa every day," he said.

Pinal hopes the busy 20th Street location will provide good visibility for the taco shop.

"This is a really nice location, and there are some other new businesses that will be moving into the center, so that should help business," he said. "I just saw this place and decided to take a risk."

Rodolfo's Taco Shop will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily beginning Friday. For more information, call 505-326-2076.

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.