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The old home of Chinese restaurant Golden Horse on Blackstone Avenue sat empty for months upon months.
Just north of Ashlan Avenue and across the street from In-N-Out Burger, it looked increasingly neglected as time went by.
And then suddenly it got a facelift.
New owners bought the building, fixed it up and brought their existing restaurant concept, Tacos Tijuana, to the spot. It’s now open.
Technically named Tacos Y Mariscos Tijuana, it specializes, as the name says, in tacos and seafood. More on that in a moment.
The family that owns it is the same family that owns the Tacos Tijuana Y Mariscos on Belmont Avenue near Cedar Avenue and the Tacos Tijuana on Ventura Ave. near Ninth Street (the latter is where presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dined in 2016 during a campaign stop in Fresno).
They closed their Reedley location to focus on the new Blackstone location, said Catalina Tapia, the manager and part of the family who owns the restaurants.
“A lot of people are like, ‘Wow, it looks really nice,’” she said. “The other ones, they don’t look anything like this.”
Despite the previous restaurant leaving everything behind (cups, plates, even food), the new owners revamped the entire space.
The booths are gone, replaced with new tables and chairs. There’s a new floor, the bathrooms were remodeled and they built a bar. They also redid the entire kitchen and upgraded plumbing and electrical.
“We cleaned up outside a lot, added our touch to it,” Tapia said.
If you’ve been to the other Tacos Tijuana locations, the food is the same.
“We’re pretty new to this area, but we’re not new to Fresno,” she said.
The restaurant sells a lot of carne asada tacos, and menudo on the weekends.
Another popular seller: A filet of fish stuffed with shrimp, crab and octopus and served with melted cheese and a spicy “devil sauce,” rice and beans.
The menu has a huge seafood selection, with shrimp cocktails and ceviche. About 20 seafood plates feature shrimp prepared in various ways, and served with rice, beans and tortillas, each costing about $16.50.
Less expensive options include tacos, burritos, tortas and quesadillas.
The restaurant is open for breakfast too with all kinds of breakfast options. That includes nopales (cactus) omelets and chilaquiles, a breakfast dish with fried tortillas and eggs.
The restaurant also has a full bar and a cocktail menu on each table
Micheladas are top seller, made from scratch at the restaurant.
There are margaritas, of course, regular and strawberry.
But there’s also other mixed drinks on the menu, like a black orchid. Almost black in color, the cocktail is made with raspberry vodka, blue curaçao, watermelon Pucker and cranberry flavor.
Details: 4313 N Blackstone Ave. (559) 478-4549. Its hours are 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, closing at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Bethany Clough: (559) 441-6431, @BethanyClough