Bethany Clough

Eating Out: Fresno restaurant scene sees closures, openings

Bourbon & Taps and Castillos Mexican Food in the Tower District are empty, with a for rent sign on the window and the booths and bar removed.
Bourbon & Taps and Castillos Mexican Food in the Tower District are empty, with a for rent sign on the window and the booths and bar removed.

The Fresno restaurant scene this week has all kinds of news, including closures, lawsuits in the Tower District, news of future openings.

Hang on for the ride.

Readers have been asking about Castillos Mexican Food, which opened in the Tower District in the former Rousseau Cafe space in March, but covered its windows in brown paper a few months later.

Neighboring bar Bourbon & Taps is gone now, too.

A “for rent” sign is up on the building that housed both and the landlords say they’re moving on and looking for a new renter.

Castillos and Bourbon & Taps are suing each other in a messy dispute that includes issues with ownership of equipment inside the businesses and their leases.

Both businesses are now empty, with the bar and booths ripped out.

Castillos co-owner Margarita Castillo says she wants to reopen once the legal issues are resolved. She is looking for a new space to rent, though she is not sure she will find it in the Tower District.

Castillo’s Mexican Food, at 4386 W. Shaw Ave. near Costco, also has closed. That restaurant was sold to someone outside the family awhile ago but closed within the last few weeks.

If you’re looking to get your Castillos fix, the closest thing to the food at the Tower District restaurant is the little Casa Castillo taqueria, at 3628 W. Shaw Ave. This one is behind the Applebee’s near Walmart.

Castillo’s Mexican Food at 3659 Ventura Ave., is another option, but is owned by different people within the same family and has slightly different food.

Back in the Tower District, Meze House has a new owner. Keep an eye out for some changes there.

Zen Wok

Zen Wok Fusion, at 609 E. Olive Ave., across the street from the closed Castillos, is open for lunch again. The restaurant had stopped serving lunch a few months ago, but is back at it, serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It has added 10 lunch specials starting at $9.50, including its popular honey-walnut shrimp dish.

Little Bean

Fulton Mall coffee shop Little Bean Cafe is closed, but not forever.

The coffee shop is in the historic Helm building, which had an electrical problem that affected the entire building. Fixing such problems in a 101-year-old building is a lot more involved than a typical building, says owner Guillermo Moreno. The other businesses can run on generators, but the coffee shop can’t.

They will reopen “without a doubt,” he says.

“As soon as the building has stable power, we’re going to open back up,” Moreno says.

He hopes to reopen by the fall and plans a grand reopening to celebrate.

Dutch Bros.

The Dutch Bros. at Blackstone and McKinley avenues will soon be open 24 hours. The drive-thru coffee stop serves lots of cops, firefighters and hospital workers who are on duty all hours of the day and looking for coffee, the owner says.

Dutch Bros. is also planning to take over the empty Wienerschnitzel building at Shaw and West avenues, probably on Jan. 1.

This will be the first Dutch Bros. in town that has indoor seating. It can fit about 30 people.

That Wienerschnitzel has closed, but don’t worry, there’s still one just down the street at Shaw and Blythe avenues.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough