Bethany Clough

Eating Out: Tower District welcomes back Castillos restaurant, says goodbye to Das Bierhaus

Castillos Mexican Food prepares to reopen in the Tower District in this picture taken Thursday, Jan. 21.
Castillos Mexican Food prepares to reopen in the Tower District in this picture taken Thursday, Jan. 21. bclough@fresnobee.com

The Tower District is welcoming back a favorite Mexican restaurant, but it is saying goodbye to a craft beer joint.

Castillos Mexican Food opened with a splash at 568 E. Olive Ave. in March as excited customers flocked to the restaurant. Then it closed with a belly flop a few months later.

But the restaurant is back.

The restaurant is run by Margarita Castillo and other family members, all part of the Castillo family which has run several Mexican restaurants in the area over the years (though it’s her cousin and his father who run the Castillo’s Mexican Food on Ventura Avenue).

But, the Tower District restaurant and its No. 1 seller, the chile verde, is back. Castillo used the downtime to do some redecorating of the space, which was once home to Cafe Rousseau.

The restaurant is still working on getting its liquor license for beer and wine, so you can’t enjoy a drink yet, but it’s in the works, she says.

So what exactly happened that led to the closure?

It wasn’t a lack of business. Instead, there was a dispute between the Castillos owners and neighboring business Bourbon & Taps, which had open interior doorways to each other’s businesses. The conflict was over “tenancy rights,” basically who had a right to use what in the space. Lawsuits were filed and Bourbon & Taps has since left the space. Now, A & J’s New Fashioned Ways furniture store and a hoverboard store have taken over that space.

Castillos is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

“We’re glad we’re able to get back into the same spot and cooking up food,” Castillo says.

Das Bierhaus

While Tower regulars are celebrating the Castillos return, they’re probably mourning the looming closure of Das Bierhaus across the street.

The bottle shop – part bar, part store – at 619 E. Olive Ave. that opened in mid-2013 announced on its Facebook page that it is closing Saturday, Jan. 30. Customers could order a beer on tap to drink at the business, pop one open from the large selection of bottles in coolers or buy some beer to take home.

The owner did not explain why the business is closing or return messages seeking comment.

She said in her Facebook post, in part: “I have immensely enjoyed getting to know all of you and will miss the fun debates of who has the best IPA or which stout RULES!”

Customers are invited to come say goodbye and have one last drink at the business.

Fresno still has at least two bottle shops in town: Spokeasy at 1472 N. Van Ness Ave. and Beer to the People at 6460 N. Blackstone Ave.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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